RUGBY: Cup comeback falls just short for Rasen

Dave Starling
Dave Starling

Rasen played their last match of 2013 with a Lincolnshire Cup quarter final encounter facing Scunthorpe in a mud wrestler’s paradise.

The difficult conditions dictated how the game was played and after Rasen had made a bright start with some driving runs, Scunthorpe showed their attacking prowess.

Scunthorpe maintained the pressure and a loose pass from scrumhalf Christian Gregory forced Rasen to concede a five metre scrum. Scunthorpe put on the power and took the ball blind for winger Josh Jones to open the scoring in the eighth minute.

The visitors kept up the siege of the Rasen line and from a scrum looked to be driving the home pack over the line for a pushover try. However a momentary lapse of concentration saw the ball bobble out of the scrum from number eight Dave Garbutt’s feet, but he reacted quickly and picked the ball up to crash over the line. Jake Goodison added the conversion to give Scunthorpe a 12–0 lead.

In the first half Scunthorpe had managed to cling on to almost everything, but as the game wore on and fatigue began to set in the high level of dexterity diminished. From one dropped ball Rasen hacked on with Scunthorpe retreating, although winning the race the final defender’s fall couldn’t control the ball as it squirted out from under his body. Rasen hacked on again for substitute Dan Robinson to win the race for the score.

This was the shot of adrenaline needed as the red and greens continued with the remarkable spirit that has developed over the season and pushed for another comeback.

The tension mounted as Rasen knocked on from a tap and go penalty, but still managed to win the ball back almost immediately. A final knock on within touching distance of the line seemed to have ended Rasen’s chances, but Alldridge took a strike against the head and the Rasen pack headed forward for Gregory to dive in as the ball crossed the line. Fly half Matt Sutton was left with a final conversion to send the sides into extra time, but it was one kick too many.