Newport 39 Scunthorpe Rugby Union Club 3
Scunthorpe Rugby Union Club lost 39-3 at Newport (Salop) in National Midlands 3.
The Greens travelled down to Shropshire with several changes from the side that lost their previous week at home to league leaders Sutton Coldfield, including Captain Tom Foster.
Will Harrison came in at scrum-half for his first game for 8 weeks following his shoulder injury and Phil Sidebottom had his first start of the season in the second row.
These were two of the changes but hopefully more of the injured or unavailable will be back next week for the all-important game at Syston.
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The game started with both teams looking to move the ball wide and play the game at pace. The home boys’ support work was excellent and following a move from half-way centre Rob Clymer was on hand to take an inside pass to open the scoring for his side. Fly-half Matt Curgenven converted for a 7 points to nil advantage.
Scunthorpe struck back through a penalty from Steve Johnson after 10 minutes which put his side back into the game. Play moved from end to end with neither side able to make a break through until after 27 minutes with the Shropshire boys, back defending a scum inside their own ‘22’ and under pressure, No 8 Christopher Taylor broke from the base and following good link up play, flanker Joe Stewart scored the try. Curgenven was unable to convert but did strike a penalty on the half hour to put his team ahead by 15 points to 3. Late in the half Johnson had an opportunity to reduce the arrears but fell short with his strike.
Starting the second period only 12 points adrift, The Greens were still well in the game and could grab the opportunity to secure some much needed league points. It was however the home team that started with greater urgency and crossed the line after only two minutes. Scunthorpe failed to cover a throw to the front of the lineout and home hooker Tom Cowell scored the try. The conversion was missed but the same player was once again in support to cross only 5 minutes later. Newport were now playing with total confidence and score again through Jonny Giles. This time Curgenven converted to complete a scoring spree of 17 points in 10 minutes and take the game well away from any ambition that Scunthorpe may have harboured.
Scunthorpe did suffer the loss of Captain on the day, Nick Sydall to the bin late in the first half and were still down in numbers for most of the home scoring spree. They came more into the game and kept the ball through many phases of play but were unable to brake down the home defence. Mistakes and poor handling let them down at vital times during play and it was one of these that allowed Newport to counter and score through wing threequarter Sam Foskett after 33 minutes. Curgenven converted to make the scoreline 39 points to 3 which The Greens were unable to reduce the margin in the time remaining.
They were once more down to 14 men when Guy Mychaijluk was carded in the last 5 minutes of play. The decision seemed rather harsh as the referee had called the ball out of the ruck only to send the Scunthorpe man off for coming in from the side but such is life when you are struggling.
The Greens can take some comfort in the excellent support play and ball carrying of Chris Hewitt and their tight scrimmaging, although the lineout did not function very well and the midfield handling at time was very poor.
Scunthorpe can now look forward to the return of Tom Foster, Will Robinson, Matt Power, Simon Weller and Jake Barron to give them a boost for the visit to Syston.