Market Rasen 1st XV 38 Grimsby 1st XV 9
IN the end it was a comfortable win in this Lincolnshire Cup tie, but the psychological effect of a derby and the differential in league status hampered the Rasen performance as standards faltered and the game lacked the intensity of a league fixture.
The red and greens opened the scoring three minutes into the game through a try from flanker Ben Chamberlin, following centre Anthony Jones’ interception of a laboured Grimsby pass.
Despite this early setback, Grimsby worked their way up field and reduced the Rasen lead with a penalty in the ninth minute.
There then followed 20 minutes of rugby, which at best could be described as disappointing and at worst as dire, with both sides making numerous unforced errors.
Eventually Rasen worked a position deep into Grimsby territory and were awarded a penalty, which was quickly tapped.
White line fever then broke out as several Rasen players battered into the Grimsby defenders looking for glory before lock Chris Mills forced his way over the line to record his first try for the club.
The visitors were now like a punch drunk boxer tottering on the ropes as their restart failed to travel ten metres.
Rasen opted for a scrum that was converted into a penalty as Grimsby couldn’t take the pressure and the red and greens were back at the Grimsby line.
With the ball at the back of a ruck, Chamberlin picked up and rose like a spawning salmon over the pile of bodies to dive over for his second score. Centre Meehal Grint landed the conversion.
Not wishing to repeat their previous faux pas at the kick off, Grimsby kicked longer, but still had to suffer damaging consequences as it fell straight into the arms of Will Thornes.
The Rasen lock stampeded back through the beleaguered Grimsby defence with the ball finally reaching Chamberlin to complete his hat trick. Grint converted from wide out with the last kick of the half to put Rasen 24–3 ahead with a Grimsby massacre seemingly looming in the second half.
Rasen seemed to have hit top gear when a sweeping passing movement involving both backs and forwards found Chamberlin lurking on the wing to cross the whitewash for his fourth try.
Grint slotted the touchline conversion and Rasen had made the perfect start to the half, but this was to be the last piece of inspirational play as the game descended into abject mediocrity.
In a carbon copy of the first half Grimsby replied to the opening score with a penalty before embarking on the most dismal piece of play of the game.
Initially bravely opting to run from their own twenty two, the play seemed to go into slow motion as the Grimsby centre delivered a pass that everyone watching on the ground could see would be intercepted and winger Dan McDaid gratefully collected the ball mid–flight to run in unopposed under the posts.
Grint added the conversion to complete the Rasen scoring.
Grimsby kept trying, but with poor application they were kept at bay by the red and green defence until prop Pete Southwell received a yellow card.
Grimsby had by now clearly surrendered as they opted for the kick at goal, which was duly converted to bring their tally to nine points.
Bereft of attacking ambition, Grimsby attempted another penalty kick that was pulled wide of the posts before the game petered out, but not before try machine Chamberlin had been given a torrid time when forced into service as a makeshift front row replacement.
A win is a win, but a significant improvement will be required this weekend when the side return to league action with a home game against Nuneaton Old Edwardians with a 2.15pm kick off.
Meanwhile, this result puts Rasen into the semi–final of the Lincolnshire Cup with a home tie against Lincoln on a date yet to be determined.