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Scunthorpe 1st XV 44 - 7 SCRFC

National League 3 Midlands

Last Updated: Dec 1, 2015 12:19pm
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By David Daniels
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Once again the final score fails to tell the whole story as Sutton played well against a strong team sitting third in the league and with a little more luck the Sutton side may have taken something from a frustrating game after the long journey to Scunthorpe in North Lincolnshire ended in a 44-7 defeat.
 
On the day Sutton's problems started before kick off when team captain Jon Raistrick sprained his ankle badly in the warm-up and as the damaged ankle swelled rapidly Sutton had to rearrange their back line, with 2nd row George Ord taking over as captain.
 
Backs sub Ben Morgan came off the bench to start the game in the unfamiliar role of fullback, with Nathan Burchell moving from fullback onto the wing allowing teenager Ollie Chitnis to move into the centre to replace the unfortunate skipper.
 
....but in spite of the last minute changes Sutton had a good first thirty minutes restricting their high flying opponents to just a 10-0 lead after the early exchanges. This was some achievement as Sutton had lost the toss and Scunthorpe opted to play with the assistance of a very strong wind, which blow straight down the pitch and they used it well to pin Sutton in their own half for much of the opening period.
 
However, the 10 minute period up to the break and the first few minutes of the second half spelled disaster for Sutton as Scunthorpe extended their lead to 23-0 at the break, with a try and a penalty and then the host team raced into a 30-0 lead with a converted try 2 minutes after the restart. After this it was to be an uphill battle for the remainder of the game and although Sutton tried to use the wind to their advantage, the wind subsided and nothing Sutton tried went right except for a strong attack down the right, which put centre Tom McNamee in for a consolation try, converted by fly half Alex White, 32 minutes into the second half.
 
Unfortunately, Scunthorpe scored two more converted tries either side of the Sutton score closing the game at 44-7.
 
The opening try of the game went to Scunthorpe flanker James Dyson, who scored after Scunthorpe used the strong wind to kick a long range penalty into touch in the Sutton 22 on the left touchline and from the lineout they worked the ball towards the try line allowing their no7 to break free and score to the left of the posts. Fullback Steve Johnson added the conversion to give the host club a 7-0 lead after 8 minutes of play. During the next period of play Sutton defended strongly and counter attacked when they could but 21 minutes into the game fullback Steve Johnson kicked a penalty to extend the lead to 10-0, when Sutton infringed at a scrum in their 22.
 
Sutton responded well creating at least two clear cut chances in the Scunthorpe 22 but the first attack was held up short of the line and Sutton failed to free the ball or get it to ground, so the referee deemed a turnover and Scunthorpe cleared the danger. In the second chance Sutton were tackled just short of the line and then penalised for not releasing the ball after the tackle... and again Scunthorpe cleared their line and Sutton's efforts came to nought.
 
With halftime approaching both Sutton and Scunthorpe suffered a yellow card each after a brief fracas involving both teams with a Sutton forward and a Scunthorpe back taking an enforced break but in spite of causing the fracas Scunthorpe kept the original penalty and once again they kicked into the corner and no8 Keiran Bournes scored from the resulting lineout for a 15-0 lead 33 minutes into the game before winger Colin Chapman was the beneficiary when following the restart, the ball squirted forward from a Sutton hand and the winger gathered the ball to race 40 metres to the Sutton try line to extend the lead to 20-0 on 35 minutes ... having lost their goal kicker to the bin both conversions were missed but there was still time for centre Ash Dibden to try his luck and he succeeded with the final penalty kick of the first half to increase the deficit to 23-0.
 
The disastrous start to the second half for Sutton is credited to flanker Jake Barron, who followed up a kick ahead to race over for a well taken try, which was converted by Ash Dibden to stretch the lead to a daunting 30-0 after just 2 minutes of play following the restart.
 
Again, although stung by the quick score, Sutton responded positively but unfortunately although they competed well in the forward exchanges holding their own at the scrums and lineouts, when Sutton had possession of the ball the progress they made was neutralised by too many turnovers at driving mauls and the breakdown plus the penalty count again went against Sutton adding to the constant pressure Sutton had to play under... so it was no surprise when midway through the second half Scunthorpe scored a pushover try, which was grounded by scrum half Tom Hughes and converted by Steve Johnson to extend the lead to 37-0 before the Sutton efforts were rewarded when they broke right in the Scunthorpe 22 and Alex White delivered the scoring pass to centre Tom McNamee, who charged over for a deserved consolation try, which was converted by Alex White to close to 37-7 with 8 minutes left to play but the home side stubbed out the would be revival with a final try for fly half Tom Hughes. The try came from a Sutton lineout on their left wing, which Sutton won cleanly but it had to be retaken because the referee wasn't ready and the second throw, which was long, was won by Scunthorpe at the back of the line just outside the Sutton 22. With unexpected possession Scunthorpe swung the ball into midfield and the fly half weaved his way over on 77 minutes for the final try, which was converted by Steve Johnson for a 44-7 victory to complete a miserable afternoon for the unfortunate Sutton side.
 
Whilst acknowledging the courtesy and hospitality provided by their hosts Sutton now have to put aside the rugby frustrations they suffered on their trip North, as this weekend they travel to Leicestershire to face Syston RFC, with Sutton looking to put the past defeats behind them and build on the positive aspects of their play, which will win games for them if they can just release their full potential and retain possession at critical stages of the game. KO 2.15
 
Sutton other team results:
 
Unfortunately Lichfield cried off their league fixture with the Sutton Development side and Kenilworth Ladies also cried off their fixture with Sutton Ladies frustrating for all the players denied a game last weekend but the Ladies will be back training as usual on Wednesday's starting at 7.30 pm ( ask for Liz Fletcher).
 
However the Sutton 3rd XV were able to play their away game at Dudley Kingswinford and after an enthralling contest it was Sutton who lifted the spirits at the Sutton club by beating Dudley Wasps 24-27 in their league fixture.


Photo: File pic

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