Scunthorpe took the field with just the one change from the selected squad when Ben Hyde was deemed to need another week’s rest for his injured shoulder and therefore Mick Dunk came off the bench to start and his place was taken by Nick Syddall.
It was difficult to know how to read the result of the 30th September when Nuneaton travelled down to Newport (Salop) and inflicted the first defeat of the season on the high flying Salopians but it was the home boys that made a very positive start. The ball was driven forward by the pack and following a couple of phases, Tom Foster drove threw for the try. Paul Cook missed the conversion but The Greens were first on the board after 7 minutes of play. Only 3 minutes later Scunthorpe were awarded a penalty which Cook converted and the home boys were 8 points to nil in the lead. So far so good.
This situation did not prevail for long as Rory Vowles reduced the deficit with a penalty after 14 minutes. They took the lead after 22 minutes when the home defence was stretched to the right hand side foe Richard Johnson to score. Vowles added the extras and The Nuns were in the lead by 10 points to 8. The Warwickshire boys continued to dominate the exchanges and put the home defence under severe pressure and from a lineout close to the home line, Apo Satola got the try. The kick was missed but with the home boys also conceding a string of penalties, Nuns once more drove over through their pack with Mathew Gibbs getting the try. Again the kick was missed but Nuns were leading by 19 points to 8 on the half-hour.
Dominance from the Nuns continued with The Greens struggling to gain any ball or continuity. Jackson Hughes was next to score from a sweeping move and this time Vowles added the extras for a 27 points to 8 lead after 35 minutes. The first half misery for the home boys continued when live-wire Scrum-Half Huw Thomas wove his way through from half-way to touch down in the left-hand corner. The kick was missed but Nuns were now leading by 32 points to 8 as half-time approached. Scunthorpe did have the last word of the half when they crossed through Steve Parker in added time. The conversion by Cook gave a 32 points to 15 interval score-line.
Once again it was the home side that got the initial score when Cook once more converted a penalty for a 18 points to 32 deficit. The visitors however struck back with a try through their big pack. With the successful conversion by Vowles, they now led by 39 points to 18 after 10 minutes of the second half. Scunthorpe did have their moments when individual breaks by various players failed to gain a score. There was also a feeling that the canny away team were reading the referee a lot better than the home boys as mauls were disrupted or went to ground in suspicious ways. The Visitors did suffer a yellow card to Satola for a high tackle after 24 minutes. However, The Nuns added two more tries before Scunthorpe were rewarded at the death when Tom Foster went over for his second score of the day. There was only enough time for the quickly taken drop-goal conversion before the final whistle. Nuns did however gain another yellow card during the final build-up. Colin Chapman was sent to the bin after 27 minutes when he was adjudged to have tried an illegal interception.
The Greens will have to regroup when they travel to old Three County rivals, Derby, next Saturday. Derby managed a one point victory over Bridgnorth this weekend and as Scunthorpe also came away with a close fought victory at the same Shropshire venue, it may well be a close game at Haslam Lanes
Report by LWJClayton Hon This, Hon That, and Hon the Other