Scunthorpe made the short journey to Peel Croft, home of Burton RUFC on a pleasant but breezy afternoon. The Greens had made several changes: Adam Middleton coming in at fullback and the youngsters Matt Field and Ollie Passmore securing the wing berths and Steve Johnson moving to the centre in the absence of Oli Wood.
The Scunthorpe forwards were soon into the game, dominating their opponents in the opening exchanges. This paved the way for the opening score after only 3 minutes when James Dyson touched down wide out on the right. The conversion was narrowly wide. Further pressure by the forwards allowed the backs to make their initial mark on the game which led to the Burton backs being penalised at the tackle area. Steve Johnson was unlucky with the penalty attempt as it shaved the outside of the post. However the team continued to pressure the home defence and Rob Ward went over for his first try of the season. Some interesting exchanges took place with the home side showing some penetrative endeavour which was countered by the Scunthorpe backs exploiting weaknesses in the home defence. It was the home team that took the advantage though, when an enterprising break by the Burton winger, gave Eddie Nicholls, their lively scrum half, the opportunity to gallop away and score a fine individual try. Immediately from the kick off Burton attacked with confidence and were rewarded with a second try when full back Nick Oxley scored close to the posts. His try was converted by fly half Harry Titley to give Burton the lead on 26 minutes.
A scrappy period of play followed but Scunthorpe began to impose themselves on their opponents and dominate the exchanges; and, with 32 minutes on the clock Ollie Passmore pressed the accelerator pedal and sped through the home defence to score a fine try which was converted by Johnson. Burton refused to lie down and five minutes later they levelled the score at 17 points all when Oxley scored his second try. Stung by this repost the Scunthorpe forwards demonstrated their power in the scrums and after some strong maul work space was created that allowed Steve Johnson to score a good try which he converted for a 24 – 17 half time lead.
The second half started with some lacklustre exchanges but the course of the game was changed when 2 yellow cards in quick succession reduced Burton to 13 men for a ten minute period. The latter offence gave a penalty chance which Johnson took to extend the lead. Scunthorpe, with their superior numbers, exploited the mismatch and spent much of the next five minutes in the Burton 22 metre area. The dominance that had been gained in the earlier exchanges was compounded by the superiority of numbers and the award of a penalty try by the referee was just reward for the disciplined approach of the Scunthorpe team. The return of the two Burton players from the sin bin gave the home team a much need boost and they gained an advantage in position and a telling break by their back row led to a score for the replacement hooker James Davies.
A further act of skulduggery from the Burton front row saw the referee issue a third yellow card to the home team. The Scunthorpe forwards dominated in the set pieces and only good defensive work by the home team prevented further scores. The pressure was exerted increasingly by the visitors and after some tight scrummage work the referee decided that enough had been done to warrant the award of another penalty try which gave a final score line of 41- 24. The bonus point victory was a fitting reward and brought to a close a successful season for the team and coaching staff that has been ably led by Tim Robinson.
Match Report by MJYates