Doncaster Phoenix fall to defeat at neighbours Scunthorpe
Doncaster Phoenix slid to defeat at Scunthorpe as they returned to action following a three-week break.
The Castle Park club only trailed by three points at the break but fifth-placed Scunthorpe ran out 27-12 winners.
Phoenix, who lie third bottom in the Midlands Premier table, were hindered by some late team changes and the heavy pitch did not suit their game.
The home side opened the scoring after 15 minutes following a catch and drive routine from a lineout and the conversion made it 7-0.
This did at least stir up the visitors and, after their dominant pack drove the home side into consecutive defensive penalties, the referee awarded Phoenix a deserved penalty try to square up the game at 7-7.
A Scunthorpe forward was yellow-carded but it was the hosts who scored a penalty in first half stoppage time to lead 10-7 at the break.
The home side quickly extended their advantage to six points with a penalty shortly after the restart.
Full back Josh Winter was then bundled into touch just short of the line.
But on their next attack Phoenix let in the opposition with one loose pass going to ground and a grateful Scunthorpe defender kicked the ball ahead well into Phoenix territory.
The visitors never really recovered and conceded two quick converted tries to fall 27-7 behind.
Fly-half Tom O’Brien reduced the deficit with a well-taken individual try during the closing stages.
Phoenix welcome third-placed Sheffield to Castle Park on Saturday.