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Grimsby 15 - 8 Mansfield

Excellent second half comeback just falls short

Last Updated: Nov 3, 2016 07:51am
Oak Tree, Mansfield
By Andy Foster
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Mansfield travelled back from Lincolnshire on Saturday with a hard earned and much deserved losing bonus point. Given a first half where Grimsby dominated territory and possession it was to their credit that the blue & whites, not only, didn’t crack but moreover came away with something for their efforts. 

Standing in for Head Coach Wayne Robinson, Forwards Coach Dave Roberts commented, “It was hard for us to get a hold on the game as their pack were very good and secured plenty of ball but I’m really pleased at the way the lads stuck to the task and the least we deserved was the bonus point” 

The home forwards did indeed have a fine afternoon with their Number 8 leading the way impressively. With so much possession early on it was only going to be a matter of time before the pressure told. Although Mansfield defended valiantly throughout there was no answer to a perfectly executed catch and drive from a lineout on the fifteen minute mark which put the home side in front 7 nil. 

A great deal of play following that first score centred around the midfield area and although the visitors couldn’t get their hands on much quality ball their defence was superb. Not only were the pack working overtime in defence, Fly Half Alex Miles produced a man of the match performance with a particularly impressive defensive display at Fly Half, repelling strong running home forwards coming at him for much of the afternoon.  

It wasn’t until the allotted 40 minutes had ended that the possession Grimsby enjoyed in the first half paid dividends again with their second try of the game bringing the score to 12 nil. 

However, there were already signs that Mansfield were not only not going to lie down but were determined to make a mark and right on the fifth minute of injury time an impressive forward drive resulted in a resurgent Mike Wallace emerging from the bodies to claim the five points making the score 12-5. 

Mansfield started the second half in earnest with much more intent and vigour and the pressure they exerted was rewarded with a penalty after just minutes as Alex Miles clawed the score to 12-8. Although the home side had the edge in the scrum, the visitors dominated the lineout making numerous timely steals. 

That said, Grimsby are not third in the league for no good reason and they struck back just two minutes later with a penalty of their to cancel out the recent blue & whites score and the scoreboard settled at 15-8 till the final whistle. 

Although neither team were able to improve their score, make no mistake what followed was a thoroughly enjoyable game of rugby. It was hard, uncompromising and exciting to watch as both teams gave it everything they had.

Mansfield for their part had now matched Grimsby in effort and ingenuity and were perhaps ruing not getting across the line sooner. As well as producing a few wayward kicks that simply handed back possession when it may not have been necessary. It was great to see Phil Pogmore return to Mansfield colours after his job has brought him back to the area, both he and Flanker Bobby Ogunode made a nuisance of themselves all afternoon for the opposition. Some great defence from both sides thrilled all supporters and the game ended with a share of the spoils. 

Mansfield host league leaders Lincoln this weekend and the Kick-off is 2.15pm. You can follow the action on Twitter, just go to @MansfieldRugby.

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