Scunthorpe played their first competitive fixture of the 2014/15 campaign when they entertained Market Rasen at Heslam Park. The irony of this first round clash is that these two strong County rivals usually meet in the final so it now gives other clubs within the county the hope of getting to the later stages of the competition as one of the favourites will be eliminated.
Both sides started strongly with defences on top but the Greens took the lead when Rasen conceded a penalty just outside their ‘22’ after 14 minutes for Steve Johnson to slot the ball over for a 3 point advantage to the home side.
The visitors gained a penalty and kicked for position on the Scunthorpe 5 metre line and from the ensuing lineout drove the ball over the line. The conversion was unsuccessful but none the less it gave Rasen the scoreboard advantage by 5 points to 3 after 17 minutes.
The pressure was being exerted mainly by the home side in the final quarter of the first half and it was no surprise when a strong burst by Steve Johnson was well supported by Mike Smith for a try on his home debut. Johnson added the extras and The Greens took a 13 points to 5 advantage into the interval.
Scunthorpe started the second period quite strongly and were awarded a penalty after just 2 minutes of play but Johnson missed the target. The decision to go for goal was a strange one as the pack had just driven the opposition back 25 metres and having won the penalty the obvious move would have been to put then into the corner to once more demonstrate their ability in that phase of play particularly as the kick was not strait forward.
Johnson did however get another penalty opportunity halfway through the second period and made no mistake this time to put his side in the lead by 16 points to 5. Rase game back strongly in the final quarter and botched two chances to repeat what they had done in the first half but credit must go to outstanding home defence as the second of these chances was defended when a man down. Nick Syddall having received a yellow shortly before.
A satisfying result for The Greens with the first league fixture to follow next Saturday when they entertain Burton. With a few faces to come back into the team, coach Tim Robinson will be hoping for a step up in conviction and intensity to secure the first points.