Sat 19
1st XV
M Probert, C Chapman, N Dyson
S Johnson (3)
Greens avenge early season defeat

Greens avenge early season defeat

By Matt Nundy
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Scunthorpe win their final league game of 2015 to sit 3rd place in the league table at Christmas

For the final fixture of the league season before the mid-term break, The Greens travelled to Lichfield attempting to maintain recent form, keeping pressure on Old Halesonians just a place ahead of them in second place in the table.

Travelling without their usual centre partnership of Ash Dibden and Oli Wood who were not available, Tim Robinson paired Steve Johnson with Sam Morgan, whilst moving Colin Chapman from wing to fullback and Oli Passmore covering on the wing.

Scunthorpe started the game with great pace and purpose as the ball went through several phases before Nick Syddall made a clean break and carried the ball to within a few metres of the home line. Again the ball was quickly recycled and the force of nature that is Matt Probert drove over for the try after only 4 minutes of play. Steve Johnson added the extras and The Greens were up and running at 7 points to nil. On the negative side, Scunthorpe lost the influential James Dyson with an elbow injury after only 7 minutes of play.

Lichfield soon came back with some enterprising play, spreading the ball wide at every opportunity and from an overlap on the left, Will Cotterhill took the inside pass to touchdown under the posts. Luke Massey converted to level the scores after 11 minutes.

Play had now settled to the Scunthorpe pack creating all the pressure in the set pieces and the home boys trying to get play wide at every opportunity. The Greens had two great opportunities from both attacking scrum and linesout but their efforts came to nil in the face of some stern home defence. The Staffordshire boys once more gained reward for their enterprise with Dan Rowlands crossing in the right hand corner after 24 minutes. The conversion attempt failed but the home team were now ahead by 12 points to 7.

Although playing against the strong wind, Scunthorpe had plenty of possession and territory and went ahead when forcing a series of scrummages on the home line they eventually won a penalty try which Johnson converted after 35 minutes to make the scores 14 points to 12 in their favour going into the break. They were help by the fact that the home team had Keven Birt (35 minutes) and Dan Rowlands (44 minutes) both yellow carded.

The Greens were again first to strike in the second period when after only 5 minutes, they showed their own enterprise when Tom Foster looped round in midfield and extended the break before handing on to Colin Chapman who used Mick Dunk as a foil as he crossed halfway out on the right. Johnson added the extras with a good strike under the prevailing conditions. With a lead of 21 points to 12 The Greens were now looking comfortable.

Things improved further when they again forced their way into home territory through some powerful play at the set piece. As lineout followed scrum, the pack drove for the line and Nick Dyson was credited with the try. It was unclear who had touch down but the referee awarded the try. Johnson’s conversion was missed but Scunthorpe was now ahead by 26 points to 12 after 22 minutes of the second half.

Field came back strongly through their threequarters and once more broke through the Greens defence for a try by Will Cotterhill wide on the left. Massey failed to add the conversion and the score was now 26 points to 17 after 26 minutes of the second period.

The home Boys continued to press and Scunthorpe had the added burden of Johnson being sent to the bin after 30 minutes. Field eventually made the numerical advantage pay when Greg Massey crossed on 40 minutes. Once more the conversion attempt failed and Scunthorpe were able to hold on for a 5 point victory at 26 points to 22.

Tim Robinson will appreciate the break in order to regroup and give all the walking wounded time to recover before league action resumes on the 9th January.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 19, Dec 2015




National League 3 Midlands