With the rain teeming down this was never going to be a flowing game of rugby as both sides made numerous unforced errors.
Rasen made their first foray into Paviors half and were rewarded with an 11th minute penalty, but centre Meehal Grint’s pained self admonishment for his lack of success was clear for all to hear.
Two minutes later Grint had the opportunity to atone for his earlier miss and this time there were no cries of anguish as the ball soared between the uprights to give Rasen the lead.
The visitors maintained their momentum, but the endemic problems of previous weeks resurfaced as promising positions were surrendered through a lack of composure precipitating penalties that allowed Paviors to clear the threat.
By this time Paviors, and particularly their vociferous touchline entourage, were becoming frustrated by some of the refereeing decisions, which proved to be a dangerous diversion as Rasen remained focussed on the game and continued to exert pressure.
The referee’s patience was finally pushed too far and Paviors fly half Chris Oswin was yellow carded to give Grint a regulation penalty in front of the posts that doubled Rasen’s lead.
Paviors regained their composure and came back with a vengeance to push Rasen deep into their own territory. Rasen struggled to suppress this onslaught and conceded a flurry of penalties before Paviors finally opted for a kick at goal, which Oswin converted to close the half with his side trailing 6–3.
Paviors started the second half as they had finished the first and soon had Rasen under pressure. The balance of power seemed to be turning and Rasen were further incapacitated when prop Matt Ashton was sin binned for an unnecessary indiscretion.
Paviors had a monopoly on possession with only grit and determination from the Rasen defence keeping them at bay, frequently illegally as the penalty count mounted.
But, Paviors continued to reject kicking opportunities in their quest for a try. Their persistence was eventually rewarded when the Rasen defence was sucked in and the ball was spread wide for winger Bobbie Ratcliffe to scoot in at the corner.
Rasen were soon back on their own line and within three minutes of the last score, substitute Nathan Eggleshaw powered his way over the line from the back of a scrum to increase the lead.
Rasen’s fortunes took a turn for the worse as Grint was banished for a 10-minute interlude on the touchline, but just as Paviors had done in the first half, Rasen found a renewed vigour despite being a man down and the pendulum of power swung again.
Rasen pinned Paviors deep in their own territory, but there was a scare when the ball went loose and was hacked up field by Ratcliffe. In a nip and tuck race for the line the Paviors’ winger had just put too much on the ball, in his attempts to hold off the chasing defenders, and it went dead to give a relieved Rasen a twenty two restart.
Rasen continued their quest for parity and soon found themselves camped in the Paviors twenty two. The momentum was halted for a lengthy injury break, but on the resumption Rasen’s much vaunted catch and drive routine came into play for Will Inman to crash over the line.
There was still a tricky conversion to come from wide out to bring the sides level, but Grint’s ice cold composure and deadly accuracy produced the goods.
The last four minutes were nervy as both sides looked to balance their quest for a crucial score against the fear of making a mistake to let in their opponents.
It was Rasen who made that mistake, but with the last kick of the match Paviors were unable to convert a long penalty attempt.
In difficult conditions a draw was a fair result as neither side had been able to dominate for long enough. Rasen should take heart from their defensive display, but the penalty count is still too high and the worrying tendency to concede them at key moments in attack needs to be eradicated.
This weekend winless Peterborough, currently languishing at the foot of the table, travel to Willingham Road for a 3pm kick off.
Rasen: Starling C, Alldridge, Ashton, Mills, Crowe, Chamberlin, Pryer, Dearden L, Starling M, Sutton, Everton P, Grint, Norton F, Harvey, Robinson
Subs: Cole (Ashton), Inman (Mills), Gregory (Starling M)
Paviors: Peck, Mason C, Mason R, Pike, Crossland, Briggs, Barrett, Morris, Graham, Oswin, Green, Collishaw, Broddell, Ratcliffe, Billam
Subs: Eggleshaw, Dixon, Charity