Mansfield RUFC weather late Coalville storm for victory

Mansfield RUFC 2013
Mansfield RUFC 2013

Mansfield weathered a late storm from home side Coalville to hang on to what they had got for an 18-15 victory on Saturday.

Coalville finished strongly in a game that saw Mansfield reduced to 13 men at one point but they still couldn’t do enough during the middle period to deny the visitors taking the valuable league points on offer.

With both clubs looking to improve their league position there was a lot at stake as Mansfield faced a stern test playing into a very strong wind in the first half.

In a reversal of some early performances it was Mansfield who struck first and they forced a penalty and chose to go for a lineout with a catch and drive play.

A textbook execution saw Liam Grant, who enjoyed a fine afternoon, on the end of the move to force his way over and claim the five points after just five minutes played.

A dangerous tackle forced another scoring chance with a penalty after 12 minutes and Jonathan Williams converted to bring the score to 8-0.

For their part Coalville were full of intent with their forward pack determined to make their mark.

They produced an impressive scrimmaging display which caused problems for the visitors all afternoon.

Mansfield continued to apply pressure though and were starting to take more control when at the end of the first quarter Josh Hall was sent to the sin-bin.

The home side were unable to take advantage of the ensuing penalty and the score remained the same for the time being.

However, into the wind and a man down, the task did not get any easier for the Blue & Whites.

Coalville continued to use their strongest weapon, the scrum, to great effect and just as the visitors were restored to a full complement they were about to be reduced to 14 men again with a second yellow card for John Ross Ward after 23 minutes. The three penalty points on offer brought the score to 8-3.

It took the home side just four minutes to drive home their numerical advantage and take the lead for the first time.

Following some neat recycling of the ball it was sent slickly down the line for a well taken try and the scoreboard read 10-8 to the home side.

Mansfield had to try and retain possession and use the ball wisely as kicking into the wind was very difficult.

With a few minutes of the half left to play, Mansfield were now back to full strength and struck again as Jonathan Williams broke out of his own half to feed Ash Wills who found Jack Parr.

The ball was slipped back inside for Williams to finish off the move he started 50 metres earlier. This restored the lead for Mansfield and the half finished 15-10.

Coalville came out strongly after the break and into the wind they began to exert a great deal of pressure.

Mansfield were forced into giving away a number of penalties in the first ten minutes which consistently gave up valuable territory to the home side.

Although the pack collectively performed superbly in the lose and the lineout, the home side still had the advantage at scrum time.

With 14 minutes played Mansfield were mounting an assault on the Coalville red zone and won a penalty. From the ensuing advantage Jonathan Williams took the opportunity to attempt a dropped goal.

A superbly struck kick proved successful and Mansfield extended their lead to 10-18 and with an eight point gap this meant Coalville now had to score twice.

However, the home side had displayed a doggedness all game and that wasn’t about to stop.

With five minutes to go they crossed for their second try and the conversion brought the score to a tantalising 18-15.

Mansfield were able to gain and keep both territory and possession for the final minutes of the game and the contest finished with Mansfield taking the win and Coalville earning a losing bonus point.

Mansfield host Derby this weekend and you can follow the action on Twitter, just go to @MansfieldRugby.