Learning to keep discipline is key for Scunthorpe Rugby Union Club players
COACH Tim Robinson wants his Greens players to use their experiences of the last few weeks to help them keep their discipline better during 2013.
Backs Oli Wood and Adam Middleton both miss Scunthorpe's game at Longton on Saturday through suspension, as they are one and two weeks respectively into a four-week ban for red cards received in two of the past three matches.
Wood was given his marching orders for striking a Derby player in the closing stages of their 40-19 victory just under a fortnight ago – an incident in which home three-quarters Lewis Thompson also saw red – while Middleton was punished for continued dissent in a friendly victory against Market Rasen.
Their dismissals, coupled with a red card for Steve Parker earlier on in the campaign, mean the Greens have had three red cards this season – a big increase on their previous two years at Level Five, when not one player was sent off.
Robinson accepts such instances will occur in what is a predominantly young team, but he wants his squad to learn from others' mistakes.
"It's unfortunate, but some of the guys have got to learn from the experience of the past few weeks and realise that when you play against teams where frustration has set in, you're going to have to cop for a few of them and think of the scoreboard," he said.
"Oli phoned me a day after the game to apologise for his actions and he apologised to the rest of the team because he knew, in a period where we're on the up, he was going to miss three or four weeks.
"It was different to Adam's the week before because that was down to petulance. He could have curbed what he was saying whereas Oli while yes, he could have remained disciplined, when you take several punches it's hard not to retaliate.
"He could have been the bigger man and walked away from it, but in the heat of the battle that happens sometimes."
Wood's red card at Derby was the culmination of a niggly second half against their NLD rivals.
Robinson said the home side, bottom of National Three Midlands, began to get more physical as the game slipped beyond their grasp.
Bearing in mind Longton are another struggling side, the former England Under-21 international is calling for his players to be wary of similar tricks should they be in front.
"Once Derby got points down, and they'd had three previous yellow cards to that for violent conduct, they turned to disappointing tactics," Robinson added.
"Sometimes that happens when there's that much frustration and I think Derby had really built our game up as one they were going to get the win out of, especially having been in the position they were at half-time.
"As soon as we got the points after half-time they got, should we say, a little bit more physical and aggressive than we were expecting.
"It was unfortunate Oli didn't hold his discipline because their guy would definitely have got a red card for what he did."