The Greens travelled without their versatile and influential vice captain Nick Syddall who had his appendix removed during the mid-season break. He will be out for several weeks.
An already daunting task was made even worse by Scunthorpe making a poor start when losing possession early in the game and the home boys used quick-hands to get Jack Lavin in for the first try after only two minutes of play. Another breakdown in open play fell kindly for England 7’s international Nick Royle who needed no further invitation to outpace the cover for the try. Lavin converted for a 12 points to nil lead after only 8 minutes of play.
Scunthorpe did come more into the game and managed to retain possession without causing undue stress to the home defence. The set pieces were working quite well with Jake Barron taking all his own ball and using Nick Dyson as the alternative lineout jumper. It took until the 24th minute for the home team to get another try and of course it fell to Royle to get another touch-down. Lavin failed to convert but the scoreboard now read 17 points to nil in favour of the home boys.
The next 15 minutes were confined to mid-field as neither side were able to breakthrough. Scunthorpe had a catch & Drive which got over the line but was ruled out for obstruction. After 38 minutes Caldy once more worked their way up field and Forbes Edward chipped over the advancing defence to re-gather and score. Lavin converted for a 24 points to nil lead. As the first half went into injury time, Scunthorpe hammered at the home line and when awarded a penalty opting for a quick tap by James Dyson, who was tackled by a player who had not gone back the required distance to the line. The referee however played on and as Scunthorpe went through the phases it seemed that they must score. This was all undone by an over ambitious long pass that failed to find any support and was snapped by Caldy, culminating in another try by Edward. This was a rather cruel blow and gave the half-time scoreline a rather harsh look at 31 points to nil.
The Scunthorpe travelling support were in rather sombre mood for the second half. And following some initial pressure from the home side, The Greens managed to get some good phases together without being able to make a final break-through. Their cause was also hindered when Guy Mychajluk was yellow carded for a high tackle 10 minutes into the second period. Scunthorpe managed to see out this period with young Kane Linklater coming on as front row cover and doing a fine job.
Rather typically, having just got back to their full complement, Scunthorpe allowed Caldy to create enough room an the right flank for Royle to complete his hat-trick. Lavin converted for a 38 points to nil lead after 21 minutes of the second half. Scunthorpe managed to keep the league pace setters out for the rest of the game whilst a break by Tom Foster did not result in a try as he was tackled 10 metres short of the line. Foster of 5 years ago would still have had the gas to go all the way but time has taken away the pace of yesteryear.
The Greens can take some comfort from a good solid second half when most thought that they would capitulate. Tim Robinson must now prepare the boys and take up the challenge of hosting Stourbridge for a first ever encounter between the clubs at Heslam Park next Saturday.
Match Report by LWJ Clayton