The Greens once more travelled with a much changed squad, which included Sam Morgan and Will Badley for the first time. Captain, Tom Foster returned to action after injury as did Will Robinson who formed a new centre partnership with Sam Morgan.
The new look threequarter line came under immediate pressure and the defences were breached after only two minutes of play when home centre Joe Heatley burst through to score. Luke White converted to see the home side on their way. Scunthorpe did manage some early pressure and won a penalty decision which Will Robinson converted. Stourbridge however continued to play some high tempo rugby, inter-passing at speed and it was no surprise when Cieran Moore crossed after 10 minutes. White again converted for a 14 points to 3 advantage
The home boys continued to threaten and tries followed in the 20th and 24th minutes through Chris Depper and Nigel Mukarati. White added the extras and The Greens were looking at a serious first half disadvantage. They managed to take the game to the home boys with some driving play from the pack, whilst also moving the ball through the hands and settling the new threequarter combination. To add to their woes however, they had Aaron Coulthard sent to the bin in the 28th minute and it was therefore rather cruel when Stourbridge managed another try on the stroke of half-time through hooker Sam Wilkes. Whites successful conversion resulted in a 33 points to 3 half-time score-line. For an infringement during the final phase of play leading to this try, Colin Chapman was also binned.
The travelling Green support felt a distinct sense of trepidation at what the second half might hold but playing against a strong blustery wind, Scunthorpe regained the ball at the kick-off and managed some powerful drives through the pack for Nick Dyson to score whilst a man down. Ashley Elvers touched down for the home boys but White failed to convert in the 5th minute of the second period.
Now back to full strength, Scunthorpe exerted greater control and managed to retain possession through many phases of play until Ash Dibden powered over on the half-hour. This try was particularly pleasing as the usual centre threequarter was playing his first ever game at open side. The conversion failed but The Greens were still in the ascendance and more pressure brought a try for Sam Morgan as he took a short pass from Tom Foster in the 36th minute. Robinson this time managed the conversion and the scoreline was taking on a more respectable look at 38 points to 20. Scunthorpe had managed to outscore the home boys by 3 tries to one in the second half, with very little time left on the clock.
They were still dominant and won a penalty in the home ‘22’ but the attempted touch finder, rather sadly, went the wrong side of the corner flag, thus denying the opportunity of a bonus point try attempt. Then by a cruel turn of fate Stourbridge broke up field and created an overlap on the left for a try in the final seconds of the game. The final tally of 45 points to 20, was a lot less than was anticipated at half-time but could have been closer when taking into account the sterling effort by The Greens in winning the second half.
Match Report by LWJClayton