Mansfield RUFC beaten by Pavoirs

Alan Symcox passes to Alex Miles
Alan Symcox passes to Alex Miles

Mansfield RUFC were left disappointed after they were beaten 29-20 by local rivals Pavoirs.

They were left frustrated once again by pre-match injuries, which again prompted late changes to the starting XV.

Head Coach Neil Stent said: “I’m rueing what might have been to be honest.

“Our defensive performance whilst down to 13 men was great but in the end we are disappointed not to get anything from the game as thought we deserved at least a bonus point.”

Mansfield did start well and opened the scoring when John Ross kicked a penalty.

Paviors then kicked out on the full giving Mansfield more possession deep in opposition territory. The good work was almost immediately undone as first the line out was adjudged not straight and then the blue and white scrum struggled and were penalised.

Paviors were enjoying the better of both territory and possession in what was an error strewn phase of the game with both captains receiving warnings for persistent infringement.

The referee’s patience finally broke on 20 minutes with a yellow card for Mansfield lock Aiden McGregor. This was to prove decisive as Pavs opted for a scrum from the penalty which their already dominant pack converted into seven points.

Worse was to follow as Paviors prospered from their numerical advantage as they touched down in the corner to go 14-3 ahead.

Despite their numerical disadvantage the visitors regrouped and took the game to Paviors.

A penalty infringement and a second warning for the Paviors captain resulted in an attacking line out on the twenty two.

And Mansfield got their rewards when the impressive Josh Hall picked up and released scrum half Alan Symcox for the score and reduce the gap to 14-10.

Pavoirs extended their lead through a penalty, before Ward missed a penalty as Mansfield trailed 17-10 at the break.

The second half saw the introduction of Andy Simms and Ellis Keegan in the forwards, but this did nothing to change the balance up front where Paviors continued to dominate.

Paviors further extended their lead on 50 minutes as, once again they turned over the ball at scrum-time to release their speedy winger who took advantage of a disorientated defence.

Mansfield then failed to collect a chip over the defence, allowing the Pavoirs winger in for another score to give the home side a commanding 29-10 lead.

Mansfield then lost Simms to a yellow card to make their task even harder.

Paviors continued to dominate the 14 men of Mansfield, but an organised defensive effort kept them out.

Clear frustration from the visitors came to the fore on 65 minutes when Symcox spoke out of turn and was given 10 minutes in the sin bin.

Now down to thirteen the Blue and Whites continued to defend manfully. But a fourth team warning for Paviors finally resulted in a yellow card for them on 72 minutes and, two minutes later, parity was restored as Simms returned to the fray.

Mansfield took advantage and Symcox went over for a try following a catch and drive from the line out to make it 29-15.

The Blue and Whites reclaimed the restart with captain Donaldson leading the charge up field. Excellent ball retention and recycling with the outstanding Hall again in support eventually resulted in a score for Andy Simms to bring Mansfield to within nine points.

Deep into injury-time there was to be one final twist as Mansield had the opportunity of a quick tap and the possibility of claiming two bonus points. The other option was a long range attempt at goal and the single losing bonus point.

A superb strike from Coleman looked to be successful only to agonisingly clip the inside post and fall the wrong side of the horizontal.

Things don’t get any easy next week as the Blue and Whites make the long trip to play-off chasing Bedford Athletic. Kick off is 2.15pm and you can follow the @MansfieldRugby.