Finally, after a long and intense preseason... match day one arrived. The under 9’s made the short trip down the M180 and crossed the M18 to meet up with the hosts, Goole, and Beverley for what promised to be a difficult and nervy encounter.
The fog was thick and atmosphere was tense as the boys took to the field to prepare themselves both physically and mentally for their first ever full contact game. After the warm ups were complete the group was split into two smaller teams of 7.
On pitch 2 the Greens got off to a flying start with the ball crossing the line after the 5th tackle with some great forward runs from Penn. After a flurry of tries as both teams attempted to gain some tackle confidence the score was 2-2. Unfortunately Goole, who had already played the week before, took the initiative on gaps in the Greens defence to take the lead at half time 5-2. This theme continued throughout the 2nd half despite the try of the game coming from Bayley who, from some brilliant positioning, managed to find himself running through a gap in the Goole defence to put the ball down. FULL TIME – 10-3 to Goole, TRIES FROM – Batley & Bayley.
Meanwhile on pitch 1 the other half of the squad pressed hard and ground out a well deserved 5-5 draw with Beverley. TRIES FROM – Atkinson & Barrett
Beverley took to the pitch looking in the mood to take it to the Greens in what was the 3rd game of the day, and in the first half that exactly what they did. Dropped passes, runs without purpose and turn over after turn over saw the Greens slump to a 5-0 deficit at half time. The 2nd half however saw glimpses of Scunthorpe back to where they were last season. Great running and some lovely passing meant the Greens managed to score 4 tries of their own. Sowerby was involved in two quick tries early on. Placing one down himself before releasing Batley to score a lovely team try. Penn used his vision to slide the ball out left for Bayley to place down for another brilliant try. Penn followed this up moments later with a clever try of his own finding some space amongst the defence. FULL TIME – 10-4 to Beverley. TRIES FROM – Sowerby, Batley, Bayley & Penn.
The final game of the day saw the Greens take on Goole again although this game would see fortunes change. Both sides exchanged blows which saw Atkinson score a first half hat trick and Barrett, both scoring tries from fantastic runs from deep. The last try for Scunthorpe coming from a turnover of possession thanks to some outstanding tackling from the whole team. The score at half time – 4-3. The second half got even better as the Greens earned their first victory of the season. Three more tries for the ever present Atkinson and some stunning tackling from Penn, Fell, Dunk and Barnard saw the Green under 9’s control the game and finish the day with a 8-5 victory. TRIES FROM – Atkinson, Barrett & Batley.
The boys should be proud of their achievements, not only for the morning, but for the entire preseason too. Confidence will hopefully pick up from here and the tackle count will hopefully get higher too. Application in the tackle area will be worked on in training this week as our boys lack of aggression in that part of the game was the difference between the sides. Tackler of the day went to Atkinson, player to Batley. Special mention to Letorey & Cohen for their first games of rugby.
Match report by Chris Harkness.