Back to the training ground for beaten Grimsby RUFC
GRIMSBY RUFC plan to put their free weekend to good use following a frustrating 21-13 reverse away at Belper.
The Blues are without a game on Saturday – action resumes when East Retford visit Springfield Road on November 17.
Grimsby will take the opportunity to work hard on the training pitch in an attempt to get their season up and running.
Against Belper, 20 minutes of impressive rugby was followed by mistakes, contentious decisions and Grimsby's inability to convert points with the boot.
Had the Blues' relatively easy kicks at goal been converted, then Grimsby would have got their away league campaign off to the start that their hard work deserved.
From the kick-off, the Blues started strongly. Good runs from Neil Corry, Mike Newman and Matt Vincent made inroads into the Belper half.
A strong driving maul from the Blues went close on several occasions and it was from one such move that they opened their account.
Corry broke from the back of the maul. He reached for the line but couldn't quite make it and instead popped a sumptuous off-load to lock Ben Stowe to score the try.
The Blues had their tails up and good running lines saw winger Jono Norman go close.
The resulting charges from Jason Stead and prop colleague Col Matthews squeezed the Blues closer.
Scrum-half Ben Nutting then found Ben Pharaoh lurking on the blind-side.
A fizzed wide pass from Pharaoh found Norman, who finished with aplomb.
The game looked there for the taking, but the Blues sat back once again and let the home side into the game. A well-worked move off the back of a scrum saw the hosts' scrum-half scamper over the line.
Some suspect decisions then got under the skin of the Blues.
As another rolling maul galloped towards the line, the home side pulled it down for the third time in succession.
The referee opted for just the penalty, despite captain Pharaoh's inquiry into the repetitive nature of the offence and the fact that an obvious try was on the cards.
Belper took this gift and, from a counter-attack, a horrible bounce of the ball found its way straight into the arms of their centre – who outstripped the defence to score the home side's second try.
The rest of the game was a scrappy affair, with penalties being awarded regularly. The difference in the end was the reliable kicker from Belper who made easy work of these opportunities, and the Blues' inability to do the same.
Following a fine period of defence for the Blues, Corry was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle on the Belper scrum-half.
However, four minutes later, winger Lewis Newsum looked to be about to score when a high tackle pulled him into touch.
The Blues players expected a penalty try and a sin-binning – but all that was awarded was a penalty.
Belper hung on for dear life in the latter stages to seal the win.