Scunthorpe undertook the long journey into Herefordshire without Jakob Hardy and Oliver Wood. The home team have put together a strong squad but results todate have not reflected their strength.
The overnight and morning rain had abated leaving the surface fairly dry but with a stiff breeze straight down the ground. Lucs used the breeze well and pinned The Greens back into their own half for most of the opening exchanges. It took until the 17th minute, following multiple phases, for an inside pass from fly-half Stuart Kirby to send the powerful Isaac Fanueli bursting through to the line. Sam Boxhall added the extras for a 7 points to nil lead. Scunthorpe were struggling with their normally solid set piece play by not being able to satisfy the referee at the scrum engagement and with some wayward throwing in at the lines-out. Possession therefore became a rare commodity. Despite this they managed to keep the home side at bay until play moved into first half injury time. A penalty was conceded by Nick Dyson for which he received a yellow card and Boxhall kick the goal for the three points, giving his team a half-time lead of 10 points to nil.
What The Greens desperately needed was to score first in the second half to get back into the game. Instead the home team moved the ball to the right in mid-field and found a gap in the Green defence to put Drew Cheshire in for a try which was converted by Boxhall for a 17 points to nil lead in the first minute of the second half. Scunthorpe now had a major task of trying to change the course of the game and make a come-back.
During a period of pressure on the home line, Lucs had Kirby yellow carded. After multiple phases Scunthorpe moved the ball to the right where it appeared that Paul Cook had scored in the corner, only for the referee to disallow the try and then go back to a previous incident in mid-field and show Guy Mychajluk a red card for what he claimed was a head butt.
The Greens were now down to 14 players with 20 minutes still to play. The contest at the rucks and mauls had been quite feisty with the home team specialising in physically taking out players around the fringes which led to many confrontations, poorly dealt with by the referee.
Luctonians dealt with all these incidents much better than Scunthorpe and maintained their pressure and high intensity and after 34 minutes Fanueli ran in his second try once more converted by Boxhall. The score board now read 24 points to nil in favour of the home team. As the game went into added time three more tries were scored. One by Grant Elliott for The Greens, converted by Cook but there were two for the home side. Which added a slightly flattering gloss to the score-line at 36 points to 7.
This is certainly one to forget and get on with preparations for the visit of another of the title contenders in Newport (Salop) when they come to Heslam Park on the 20th October. A weeks break (With no game on the 13th October) also gives an opportunity to those carrying injuries to heal in time for the next big test.
Match Report by L.W.J.Clayton