The Greens undertook the long journey to Heathbrook the home of Dudley Kingswinford with a largely unchanged squad. Captain, Tom Foster came back in to take the all important number 10 position, whilst Will Harrison started at scrum-half and Tom Hughes reverting to the bench. Joining the replacements bench for the first time this season were Si Weller and James Nuttall.
Dudley had a slow start, no doubt still smarting from the chastening visit to Sandbach the previous week. Scunthorpe took full advantage and produced a lively first 10 minutes but without any points reward. Steve Johnson did however get things going with a penalty after 14 minutes. The home forwards adopted an aggressive approach to their work at the breakdown which at times upset both the opposing pack and the referee, leading to a glut of penalties and warnings.
Ryan Smitheman did have an opportunity to put the home team level after 16 minutes but his long range attempt fell to the left of the uprights. Play by both teams now degenerated as mistakes multiplied although Johnson was able to convert another penalty to put The Greens 6 points to nil in front after 25 minutes.
The home team were gaining in confidence and took play into the Scunthorpe ‘22’ and gained a penalty which Smitheman converted to reduce the margin to 3 points. With half-time approaching Dudley had a man sent to the bin following several warnings but to their credit they not only withstood the Scunthorpe pressure but managed to drew level with another Smitheman penalty to go in the interval level pegging.
The Greens were once more first out of the blocks in the second period with some strong running from Rewiti Viamoso and much improved ball retention to win a penalty which Johnson again converted to put them 9 points to 6 ahead after only 3 minutes. Without playing any devastating rugby, Scunthorpe were able to dominate their opponents who were becoming increasingly desperate with penalties at regular intervals until right at the end of normal time Johnson slotted his 6th successful penalty for an eighteen points to six advantage. Dudley through caution to the winds and although the game was already lost they managed to salvage a point by scoring a close range try that was converted to make the final score 18 points to 13.
Not a game to remember but once again The Greens took the points. The elementary mistakes will have to be eliminated when they entertain Hinckley at Heslam Park next Saturday.
Match Report by LWJClayton