The Greens fielded an unchanged starting line-up for the first time this season when they took on third placed Stourbridge on their first ever visit to Heslam Park.
The home boys started with great sense of purpose and put their high ranked opponents under great pressure in the initial stages. The first score came after 8 minutes of play when from a lineout in the Stourbridge ‘22’, Scunthorpe set-up a catch & drive, which when stopped, saw James Dyson drive down the blind-side and hand on to Jake Barron for the touchdown. Steve Johnson missed the conversion but The Greens had established a 5 points to nil advantage. They continued to dominate for the next 15 minutes and were disappointed not to get another score.
Inevitably Stourbridge came back into the game and established an attacking position close to the home line from where Nigel Mukerati wrestled his way over for a try which was converted by Luke white, giving the visitors a 7 points to 5 lead after 30 minutes of play. The Greens struck back 5 minutes later when a powerful run by Steve Parker, just on for injured Ollie Wood, saw Paul Cook add the finishing touch to score. Again the long range conversion was missed but the Home team went into the interval with a 10 points to 7 lead.
The West Midlands boys certainly came out after the interval showing much more dynamic intent and upped the pace of their game to the point where they scored a try after only 3 minutes of the second period. Chris Scott put through a grubber kick behind the advancing home cover which was touched down by Luke White. The successful conversion gave the visitors a 14 points to 10 advantage. Stourbridge continued to dominate and after a succession of penalties against the home boys, the referee awarded a penalty try to Stourbridge in the 23rd minute. With White again adding the extras, the Visitors now had a comfortable 21 points to 10 lead.
It was eventually the home team’s turn to apply pressure and following an a period of set pieces, followed by penalties and a disallowed try, Stourbridge somehow managed to gain possession from the back of a Scunthorpe scrummage 5 metres from their own line and break away to score at the other end of the pitch. Although the conversion was missed, Stourbridge now had their bonus point try and effectively denied The Greens any hopes that they may have harboured of gaining a bonus point of their own. They did however continue the fight and James Dyson exploited an overlap on the right wing to score. With the conversion being unsuccessful, They had to settle for a 26 points to 15 defeat in a game that was a lot closer than the score-line suggests. If all three difficult conversions had been made or they had not conceded the breakaway try then they would have had the bonus point that they deserved. They however must fight another day when they travel up to Preston next week to take on the Hoppers.
Match Report by LWJClayton