The Greens travelled without the services of Oli Wood in the centre and Chris Donk in the back row but did have the benefit of Ask Dibden back from injury in the centre and retained young Simon Fisher as cover for the back five.
Hinckley have dramatically changed from the team that met Scunthorpe in September and have literally beefed up. They put out an enormous pack and soon declared their hand by the style that they would play. It was to be through their big pack with lots of driving around the edges of the rucks and liberal use of the maul and set pieces.
Scunthorpe were under immediate pressure and Jake Barron was sent to the bin after only 7 minutes of play. Even though a man down they managed to hold out until the 16 minute when Mark Lord converted a penalty for the Leicestershire boys.
Scunthorpe managed to breakout of the defensive stranglehold but failed to breakdown the Hinckley defence. The scrum was an area that Hinckley used as an offensive weapon and The Scunthorpe front row did well to stand up to the pressure. That is not to say that they always controlled their ball or did not concede a penalty but they did pressure the home scrum and avoided Hinckley scoring from any scrummage close in.
They were however unable to stop a ‘catch & drive’ from a lineout on there 5 metre line for a home try on 32 minutes. The home boys also produced a driving maul from close in, to touchdown in the 43rd minute. Lord added the extra points for a half-time advantage of 15 points to nil.
It was more of the same from Hinckley in the second half and it took only 3 minutes to add another try from a close range maul. Lord was unable to add the extras for a 20 points to nil lead.
Scunthorpe were seeing much more of the ball but found the home side very difficult to break down. Rewiti Viamoso made several powerful runs but the final breach could not be made. During one such attack, Scunthorpe lost the ball and so, from their own ‘22’ Hinckley managed to break up- field for a long-range try by winger Mitchell Culpin. Lord converted for a 27 points to nil lead after 22 minutes of the second half.
Scunthorpe were now playing for pride as much as anything else had even though they did not manage to cross the white wash they did put Hinckley under enormous pressure and the home boys had one man sent to the bin for a high tackle and then another for not retreating 10 metres from a quickly taken penalty. Hinckley continued to play the ‘smart game’ knowing full well that Scunthorpe would continue to run the ball they just continued to infringe and the referee was rather lenient in not at least producing one more yellow card. As well as they tried they could not conjure that final pass for a least one try that their efforts deserved, so the final score remained at 27 points to nil.
Hinckley were well deserved winners and will no doubt have a say in the final outcome regarding the top two places as next week they face league leaders South Leicester who have an equally monster pack.
Match Report by LWJClayton