Conditions couldn’t have been worse for South Wales Scorpions’ opening match of the season as stormy conditions greeted Oldham at Old Parish for their first fixture at their new home of Maesteg RFC.
The match didn’t even get finished. On 72 minutes referee Adam Gill called a halt to proceedings as many players were suffering from hypothermia like symptoms.
It was a shame for the 458 strong crowd, many of whom were Maesteg locals, but the rain had been pouring down from kick-off and soon what was a shower turned into a full blown monsoon making any attractive rugby impossible.
Some great defensive efforts from the Scorpions kept Oldham out for the first 20 minutes and despite winning a few repeated sets, they couldn’t get past the tough home defence.
The deadlock was finally broken when Dale Bloomfield went over in the corner and Sam Gee converted.
The more experienced visitors had a lot of the ball in that first 40 but couldn’t do much with it. The ball got greasier and the pitch got muddier, and the Scorpions’ backline refused to relent again until the 36th minute with Chris Vitalini and Barrie Phillips especially excelling.
At that time, the Roughyeds doubled their lead when Adam Files forced his way through with Gee again kicked the extras.
You also can’t discredit Oldham’s forward pack as the home side didn’t break in that first half despite a valiant Scorpions effort. The nearest Scorpions got to scoring was when Connor Farrer tried to chase his own grubber five metres from the line and forced Roughyeds to knock on. And just as the scrum was forming, the half-time hooter sounded.
It took just three minutes of the second half for the Scorpions to get on the board. After a fine passing move, Alex Jones scored in the corner but Paul Emanuelli failed to land the tricky conversion.
However Emanuelli made up for that by kicking a 40-20 but again tough defence prevented the Scorpions from scoring from their rewarded set of six.
It took Oldham ten more minutes to work their way up to Scorpions’ line and when they did, Stephen Nield touched down in the corner. Someone in an all brown kit set him up, the number on his back was a complete mystery. Lewis Palfrey failed to convert but added a penalty on 63 minutes to give Oldham an 18-4 lead.
Roughyeds knocked on from kick-off and from the scrum, the workaholic Farrer was again denied, being held up over the line.
And when both physios were called on to treat a number of players, the referee ended things and the Rugby Football League will decide later this week whether the result will stand.