Travelling with an unchanged squad, for their first visit to The Bees ground came on a day when not only the opposition but also the weather was a great challenge. Scunthorpe started with the diagonal gale at their backs and were quick to take advantage when from a position close to the home line the pack drove over with Matt Probert getting the touchdown. Steve Johnson added the conversion and after only 4 minutes of play The Greens held a 7 points to nil advantage.
The Bees did have their fair share of possession but failed to make ground in the face of some strong defending. Although Scunthorpe was gaining the upper hand at the scrummage, it was them that was penalised on half-way and quick thinking home scrum-half Martin Hooker took a quick penalty, moved the ball right where an overlap gave winger Alex O’Malley a clear run to the corner. Mitch McGahan failed with conversion but his team was now on the board after 17 minutes of play at 7 points to 5.
Scunthorpe once more used their strength at the set piece to gain a penalty and put the ball well into the home ‘22’ from whence they drove the ball over the line with James Dyson getting the touchdown. Johnson’s attempt failed but Scunthorpe were now 12 points to 5 to the good, after 22 minutes.
They maintained their pressure and once again, through their pack driving over, James Dyson was again the recipient and dotted the ball down. The conversion failed in the difficult conditions but the lead was now increased to 17 points to 5 on the half-hour and so the score remained until half-time.
For the Travelling support, the big question was “is this lead going to be enough, considering the conditions?” Without applying any real pressure, The Home boys were awarded a penalty near half-way which McGahan put over to make the score-line 17 points to 8 after 8 minutes of the second half.
Scunthorpe stepped up their efforts and kept possession going through multiple phases at a high tempo. Efficient rucking maintained the ball and both backs and forwards carrying with pace and power. It was from such driving play that the defensive line was breached and Nick Dyson charged in from the ‘22’. Scunthorpe at this point were a man down with Steve Johnson having been yellow carded when he picked up the ball in an off-side position following a mix up when fielding a high kick. The conversion failed but The Greens were now ahead by 22 points to 8 after 17 minutes of the second period.
Despite having the gale at their backs the Bees seemed unable to take play into the Scunthorpe ‘22’ for any worthwhile period and also seemed to lack conviction. It was Scunthorpe that therefore took play into the home ‘22’ by maintaining control of possession and driving forward. Following a series of scrummages on the home line, The Greens were awarded a penalty try which Johnson converted and after 38 minutes the scoreboard showed Scunthorpe ahead by 29 points to 8.
To the great delight of the travelling support that is the way things ended and they could celebrate an excellent bonus point away win with the second half performance amongst the best this season.
Next Saturday sees another big game when 4th placed Bromsgrove are entertained at Heslam Park and the record shows that last season they were one of the few sides to do did the double over The Greens. Tim Robinson, as always, will be very conscious of what is required, and no doubt prepare the squad accordingly.
Match report courtesy of Mr L Clayton