Scunthorpe started their 2018/19 campaign at home to Coventry area club, Broadstreet, who came down from level 4 last season. The Greens fielded a strong squad with only the experienced and influential Nick Dyson missing from the pack.
The game kicked off in bright sunshine with spectators in shirt sleeve order. After an close opening 5 minutes, the home pack showed their power and won a penalty at the scrummage which Paul Cook converted, to give a 3 points to nil advantage. The Greens continued to dominate in both territory and possession but were held out by some determined defensive work from the Street boys. The home defence was severely tested after 15 minutes but managed to repelled two close quarter drives by the visiting pack. Scunthorpe did eventually use their own power game to drive over from a line out for Dave Garbutt to get the touchdown. Cook missed the conversion but the home boys were now in the lead by 8 points to nil after 18 minutes. The Broadstreet No 8, Dawes, was yellow carded when he pulled down the maul in the incident leading up to the Scunthorpe try.
Scunthorpe were unable to take advantage of their extra numbers when some early season mistakes meant that scores were lost. The visitors also had fly-half Hodgson sent to the bin after 28 minutes for deliberately knocking down a pass. The from a defensive scrummage close to their own line which was under pressure, the visitors managed, through there influential Captain, Dawes, to break out and continue the move, with the ball eventually reaching right winger, Murray for an outstanding try. Hickman added the extras and after 34 minutes The Street were back in the game with an 8 points to 7 score-line.
The home pressure and territorial advantage was not reflected in the score-line at this point and it took until just before the half-time whistle for Scunthorpe to get another score, when from a diagonal kick from Cook, the ball was chased down by Sam Morgan who slipped a pass to Will Robinson for the touchdown. Cook converted with an outstanding touch-line effort to take his team into the interval with a 15 points to 7 advantage.
For the early part of the second half it was the visiting side that upped the tempo and once more tested the home defence. Things took a turn for the worse when Olli Cole was yellow carded at the break-down after 5 minutes. Street took advantage of their numerical superiority and centre glover managed to cross on the right hand side. The kick was missed but The Street were only 15 points to 12 down.
It took until 15 minutes before Scunthorpe were able to brake the shackles with a strong run from Oli Wood that set up a series of phases, from which Tom Foster managed to charge over. Although the conversion was missed, the home boys were now 20 points to 12 ahead. Play continued end to end with The Street using the wind advantage well and keeping the home side pegged back. They were rewarded with a penalty after 27 minutes which was converted by Hodgson to put them back in the game at 20 points to 15.
As the game extended into the last few minutes, The Greens threw everything at the visitors line and were rewarded when man of the match Wood, managed to charge through the visitors defence for a well deserved try. Cook added the extras and gave his team a 27 points to 15 lead going into the dying minutes. The Greens held out to gain a bonus point win and provide a sound start to the season.
Next week they travel to newly promoted Burton for another stern test.
Match report courtesy of Mr L Clayton.