Scunthorpe rugby club play with pride but find no consolation at Nuneaton in 34-0 defeat
Scunthorpe Rugby Union Club lost 34-0 to Nuneaton.
They travelled down to Liberty Way on a gloriously sunny day and played in one the best venues since Twickenham in May 2010.
However, Scunthorpe's rugby could not match the location as they were outclassed by a very good outfit.
It was actually Scunthorpe who started better when they were camped in the Nuns’ half for a good 20 minutes.
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Unfortunately, apart from a missed penalty from Chris Neal, they never looked like scoring as the home defence looked impenetrable.
On 21 minutes Ashley Dibden suffered a recurrence of his shoulder injury and had to leave the field replaced by Tom Barker.
It was the 26th minute before the Nuns scored when they finished a clinical move and right wing Theo Knight completed an overlap.
Will Maisey added the extra two points.
Maisey then kicked a penalty after the Greens were penalised for not rolling away.
Nuneaton were now beginning to kick into gear and some useful tactical kicking from Maisey and strong running from Andrew Dockray at blindside tested the solid Scunthorpe defence to the limit.
Tim Robinson started the first of his interchange replacements bringing Matt Probert on at tight head to replace Guy Mychujiak.
From a catch and drive line-out, Nuns pressed the line; at a resulting ruck, Jake Barron was issued with an uncharacteristic yellow card for team offence after two warnings from the referee.
The home side continued the assault and right wing Johnson scored in the corner, Maisey missed the extra two.
At half-time the score was 15–0 and Scunthorpe were still in the game, although it going to be interesting to see how the enthusiastic young guns from Lincolnshire would break down this very well organised outfit at the same time trying to prevent them from scoring.
Two more interchanges were used with Tomlinson being replaced by Mychujiak and Gavin Drewry making way for Josh Jones.
Scunthorpe did not make the best start to second period with a number of errors in basic passing.
It has to be said a result of intense pressure from the opposition and the stifling heat which seemed to affect the Greens more than their fitter opponents.
From one of these poor kicks, the Nuns counter-attacked and went the length of the field for prop Pateman to score an unconverted score.
Nuneaton had their tails up and battered the Green line for half an hour.
Many other teams in this league could well folded at this point, but in fairness to Scunthorpe they defended well and forced Nuns into errors that only resulted in two more tries from McConnochie and Tilsley.
It was the 32nd minute when the Greens entered the opposition 22 and a couple of bursts from Tom Barker and what they felt was a bad decision in the final execution could have given Scunthorpe a consolation try, but it was not to be.
The final score of 34-0 looks like a drubbing but the experience of playing level 4 rugby and a fitter, sharper squad will see Nuns put many other teams to the sword and they will score many more points at home this season.
Scunthorpe played with pride and effort and will look forward to the visit of Longton to Heslam Park next week.