Scunthorpe put in another titanic shift at Heslam park overcoming NLD rivals Derby by 29 points to nil on a wet, sticky pitch. Derby were very combative but the well drilled Green defence held up and prevented them any scores.
Scunthorpe got the scoreboard moving after 7 minutes when Olly Wood scored a great try. Will Robinson set it up with a strong run, the ball was recycled and Wood burst through several tackles to score close to the posts. Paul Cook converted to put 7 points on the board.
Scunthorpe put the Derby players under a great deal of pressure with wave after wave of attacks which the opposition defended well. Eventually, after 30 minutes, Derby ran out of defenders and Dave Garbutt crashed over from close quarters to score in the corner. Paul Cook was close with the conversion but failed to add the extra two points.
From a poor restart Derby gifted the ball to Scunthorpe and a rampant ‘Green Machine’ punished the error. Tom Foster glided through the defence to feed Olly wood on the inside to score his second try. Paul Cook converted the try and Scunthorpe had a comfortable lead of 19 – 0.
Paul Cook added a penalty and at half time as the teams changed round Scunthorpe sat fairly comfortable, in fact a very similar position to that in the away fixture at Derby.
Derby came out fired up and really put the Green defence to the sword. Although some of their play was somewhat lateral they did pin the home side in their own half for a good thirty minutes.
The Greens spent this time defending and had no real quality ball to work with. A number of their efforts were penalised, justifiably, by the referee but Derby could not convert the advantage into points.
One such occasion saw the home side trying to run the ball out of defence instead of clearing their lines with a kick. The player went down and was penalised for holding on – giving the advantage back to Derby.
The last real effort by Derby saw them kick a penalty to the corner to gain the catch and drive line out, Scunthorpe however stole the line out but knocked on.
From the resulting scrum Scunthorpe once again stole the ball and broke free from their 22 via Olly Wood, Paul Cook and Colin Chapman. They entered the Derby 22 for the 1st time in the second half but lost control, Derby cleared their lines but the ball only went to Dave Garbutt who trundled on. The ball was recycled and Tom Foster weaved his way forward, feeding Gareth Mist in support to score the bonus point try under the posts. Paul Cook converted to make it 29 nil and the game was all but over.
Derby were gutted as all their effort came to nought but praise has to go to that immense Scunthorpe defence that kept them out for the full 80 minutes. The Greens have now moved up into 4th place in the league and next week travel to Longton to play a rearranged game due to bad weather before Christmas.
Match Report by The Rt Honourable S.Williams DSO & Bar