The Greens travelled to Nottingham to play the first round of the NLD cup against opponents who they have not faced for many years. For players and supporters it made a great change having to travel only as far as Nottingham rather than deeper into the midlands as is the case for league rugby.
Tim Robinson fielded a team including quite a few young players making their first appearance in the senior ranks and also two players not seen in the first team for some time in Chris Neal and Richard Tomlinson.
The Home boys were under pressure in the opening exchanges and fell foul of the referee to the point where they had 2 men in the bin after only 12 minutes of play. It was no surprise therefore that Scunthorpe capitalised with a try after 15 minutes. The ball was spun wide to the right and with fullback Neal in the line, Ollie Passmore had an easy run in and Johnson added the extras.
Before the home boys were back to strength, The Greens struck again when Steve Johnson wearing the No.10 shirt, spotted space out wide and angled his kick for Passmore to catch and feed the supporting Neal for the 2nd try. Johnson again added the conversion and his team were in the lead by 14 points to nil after 17 minutes of play.
With confidence high, Scunthorpe were spinning the ball about with good hard running and excellent support work bring further tries for Ash Dibden and Si Fisher. Johnson converted both and after 26 minutes, The Greens were leading by 28 points to nil. Johnson had not only been very accurate with his boot but did a good job of orchestrating play with a group of mostly young players around him.
The home side refused to lie down and were always dangerous with some good athletic runners of their own. It was fitting that just before the break they managed to break through down the right touchline for an excellent try which was also converted for an interval scoreline of 28 points to 7.
Play became more fragmented in the second half with both sides giving away a fair amount of penalties. It took until the 24th minute of the second period before Johnson and Neal worked an opening for Colin Chapman down the left flank for a touch down. The kick was unsuccessful but the score was now 33 points to 7. The Lincolnshire boys were also a bit confused to be the dominant scrum but being penalised in that phase by the referee. As frustration gathered, Tom Hughes picked up a rather silly yellow card by knocking the ball out of the hands of an opponent when it was clearly not Scunthorpe ball. All this occurred in the 36th minute of the second half and they were therefore condemned to play out the game a man down.
With both teams throwing on the replacements, the dynamic of play had rather stalled but not before Ash Dibden, now playing at fly-half spotted a gap and strolled through under the posts. Unfortunately the kick was missed but the game came to an end with a scoreline of 38 points to 7.
Back to league action next week, The Greens travel to Northampton to play against the Old Boys, who are back in the league after a three season absence. Games between the two clubs have been fairly close with only occasional wins at the visiting ground. Scunthorpe now on a run of 4 successful games and with the Old boys having picked up their first win in their away fixture at Sandbach, it is all set fair for a good match.
Match report courtesy of Mr L Clayton