Bears v Scorpions Match Report
BEARS HOPES DENTED BY VALIANT SCORPIONS
BEARS 14 SCORPIONS 18
6th August at the Butts Park Arena
South Wales Scorpions gained their first win in the League 1 Shield defeating the Bears 18-14 in a dramatic encounter at the Butts on Saturday.
In an almost repeat of the game earlier this season, but with the roles reversed, the Scorpions didtheir Welsh friends North Wales Crusaders a favour with the win, the Wrexham-based side now having one foot in the League 1 Shield Final.
The Bears started well and took the lead after just 80 seconds when, from their first set of the game, Jason Bass ran 50 metres to the line and Joel James converted after a Joe Bachelor break.
Scorpions didn’t lie down and in the 13th minute, Kyle Scrivens did well to create a chance for Ian Newbury who beat a few players to score in the corner. Paul Emanuelli’s conversion looked to have hit the post and come out but it trickled over the crossbar to level the scores.
The rest of the half was gritty with no real stand out chances. Penalties and scrums were the order of the day with both sides also defending very well.
Only in the last five minutes did Coventry have a couple of real chances to score with Joe Batchelor being denied twice, first being tackled by Newbury forcing him into touch, then being told by the referee he hadn’t grounded properly.
However the referee gave the Bears a penalty for an infringement during the latter and James kicked from in front of the posts to give the home side a two point half-time lead.
Scorpions were first on the board in the second half when, following two penalties, Chris Vitalini crashed under the sticks and Emanuelli converted.
From the first set after kick-off, Scorpions scored again, Vitalini taking advantage of another Bears’ defensive lapse. Emanuelli easily converted and Scorpions were 18-8 up.
After winning two penalties, the Bears looked to hit back and were close. Joel James held up over the line after some more good work from the Scorpions’ backline. Jamie Murphy was also responsible for stopping a try after he pushed Matt Reid into touch.
Batchelor finally got his try in the 63rd minute after going through a gap in the Scorpions’ defence, James converting to bring the score back to 18-14.
But Scorpions held on despite a barrage from the Coventry attack. Chris Barratt was closest for them being stopped centimetres from the line.
Scorpions looked for another try, Emanuelli kicking a 40-20 to set up an attack and a little bit more speed would have seen debutant Jake Thomas score what would have been a well-deserved try.
Emanuelli missed a last minute drop goal and Coventry won a penalty just seconds from time adding to the drama but Scorpions held on for the win.
Tom Tsang said:
Very disappointing result and even more disappointing performance.
South Wales and their half back Paul Emmanuelli gave us a lesson in game management. Scorpions played a simple game of focusing on completion and kicking early and often to keep turning our defence around in the heat.
This is exactly what we had discussed doing, but they executed better than us. We still created plenty of opportunities but bad decisions and lack of composure meant we couldnt take them.
Its a big blow for us and the implications for the rest of the season but we have to keep our heads up and focus on the next game.
Joe Batchelor (Man of the match)
Richie Hughes (captain)
Beard final home game of the season is on Sunday 21st August at 3pm versus University of Gloucester All Golds at the Butts Park Arena.