The Greens travelled with yet another new centre partnership but otherwise a more settled squad than in recent weeks. With Oli Wood still not declared fit to play, Steve Johnson and Paul Cook covered the mid-field. An injury in mid-week to Danny Vannett prevented him from travelling and continuing his good showing of the week before.
The Lions lived up to their reputation for open and fast flowing rugby and although Scunthorpe initially kept them at bay, a mid-field break from broken play by the dangerous Devon Constant, led to the position from which Danny Hartwell drove over after 7 minutes of play. Jonathan Boden added the conversion for a 7 points to nil advantage. Scunthorpe struck back after 12 minutes through a Johnson penalty and were exerting sustained pressure on the home boys in the set pieces.
The Lions continued with their game plan but at times seemed more frantic than controlled as they moved the ball from all areas of the pitch. Once more under scrum pressure from The Greens front 3 of Ollie Cole, Gareth Mist and Nick Syddall, Jake Baron was able to drive over from the base of the scrum after 29 minutes. Johnson’s conversion put Scunthorpe in front by 10 points to 7.
The rest of the first period remained pointless with the visiting boys happy to go into the interval ahead on the scoreboard.
The second period started with The lions moving the ball right to left from half-way and although there seemed to be a clear knock on, play was allowed to continue as the defence stopped awaiting the whistle. The ever dangerous Constant touched down to put his side ahead by 12 points to 10 with barely a minute of the second half gone. Once more Scunthorpe struck back through a Johnson penalty for a 13 points to 12 lead for The Greens after 4 minutes.
The home boys were still playing the high tempo rugby and kept the visiting defence at full stretch. They took full advantage of a charge down kick to score once more after 7 minutes of the second half. Boden this time succeeded with the conversion for a 19 points to 13 lead. Now well into their game plan, The Lions scored again after 15 minutes through Daniel Martin and Boden again adding the extras. At 26 points to 13 ahead the home boys were looking comfortable although they were then subjected to a period of sustained pressure which they withstood with a degree of good fortune. Constant got his second try of the game after 35 minutes with the touch-down being judged good following consultation between the officials, although subsequent viewing of the match video did show that a grounding was not achieved. A try with the final play of the match was credited to John Murdoch which was enhanced by Boden’s conversion for a final score-line of 38 points to 13 in favour of the home boys.
Scunthorpe will be disappointed with the second half, particularly how play unfolded and the vagaries of officiating that gave the final score a rather generous gloss to the Lions, who non the less were worthy winners.
Match Report by LWJClayton