Scunthorpe once again played without injured Captain Tom Foster and the number 10 shirt was handed to Sam Morgan. Making his first senior appearance of the season was old campaigner, Phil Jepson, who has been doing sterling service with the Stags. There are many familiar faces in the visiting Hinckley squad but they also include some new faces curtesy of their link arrangements with the now Coventry based Wasps.
Hinckley were immediately on the offensive and were rewarded with a try after only 3 minutes when, following several phases, the ball was moved right to left along the threes for Glenn Murray to touch Down. Connor Eastgate failed to convert but the visitors were on the new digital scoreboard with a 5 points to nil lead. The Greens were unable to get out of their own ‘22’ and following more intense pressure, England age group player, Jacob Umaga, timed a perfect angled run to touchdown near the posts. This time Eastgate nailed the conversion to give his team a 12 points to nil lead after 20 minutes. The Scunthorpe normally solid mid-field defence was looking distinctly shaky.
A good chase from the kick-off gained a penalty at the break-down and Steve Johnson struck the penalty to reduce the margin to 12 points to 3. Looking much more assured, the home boys now looked after the ball a lot better and worked an overlap on the right for Paul Cook to make ground before off-loading to Adam Middleton for the try in the corner. Although the conversion failed, The Greens were now back in the game at only 12 points to 8 down.
The rest of the first period failed to produce a score from either side as the visitors sought to subdue The Greens through their pack but failed to get any change from the home eight as they pursued their driving mauls. With some quality in their threequarters, they may well have been advised to attempt the other route.
Scunthorpe regroup the better after the break and won a penalty after 11 minutes but Johnson missed to the right of the posts from long range. The home boys continued to threaten and won another penalty after 14 minutes which Johnson, this time, converted to bring his side to within one point of the Leicestershire boys. The Greens continued to have more of the play with Hinckley unable to satisfy the referee at the breakdown and as a result Ewan Bartlett was yellow carded. Another penalty to the home side was gained after 27 minutes but again Johnson was unable to convert and the home boys remained one point in arears.
Inevitably, Hinckley got back into the Green half and following a penalty at the breakdown, Umaga slotted the kick to put his team 4 points ahead, with less than 10 minutes to play. The visitors became more hard nosed and pragmatic in the tactics and saw out the game without conceding another point.
The home support will feel that this was a game that was there for the taking but following a poor start, during which, the so far, very solid mid-field defence, lost their way. The team also failed to make the best of their opportunities and had to settle for a losing bonus point.
Match Report by LWJClayton