DUDLEY Kingswinford were slowly kicked to defeat - but director of rugby Carl Douglas was still pleased with his side’s improvement.

Scunthorpe landed six penalties through full back Steve Johnson to steal a narrow 18-13 win.

Douglas, though, was encouraged by what he saw: “It was much more positive in all sorts of areas. We managed the game a lot better and defended a lot better and they didn’t cross our line despite spells of real pressure which is testament to lads’ efforts.”

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s testing trip to South Leicester, Douglas said: “We had plenty of opportunities to score, and the lesson to take is we have got to complete what we start, we are breaking the line, but we’ve just got to finish.

Ultimately the penalties we conceded were the deciding factor, they just kept chipping away at us and that is hard to stomach. We have to ensure we deal with the breakdown and give the referees no cause for concern, as that tends to catch up with you.

“But it was a far more encouraging and we go to South Leicester knowing its a big challenge as always but confident we are getting our game together.”

The first half ended 6~6 Kieran Pinches had also kicked two penalties, and Nick Adams had missed one from long range. Considering they had shipped 11 tries a week earlier the defensive effort was excellent and there was no real threat to the DK line line in the first 40, and in fact on a couple of occasions Pinches had deftly kicked into the Scunthorpe 22, only to be foiled at the line out.

The second half developed into a pattern, DK counter attacked with wide sweeping moves from deep which stretched the Scunthorpe defence, but they too often ended with the referees whistle at the breakdown and often a Scunthorpe penalty. Danny Hawkins, Nick Adams and TJ Gordon had all made substantial ground with the ball in hand during this period.

Then, following the restart DK won a penalty, kicked for the clubhouse corner, collected a long ball at the ensuing lineout and attacked their line with a will, a sweeping move to the right, and back into the middle, this lead to the forwards driving towards the line then they were able to release Connah Jones to score a try, Pinches added the extras to secure a bonus point.

The proverbial kitchen sink was thrown for the remaining minutes but they could find no way through.

Tickets are still available for an audience with England coach England head coach Stuart Lancaster.,Contact DK by email at: dkrfclancaster@gmail.com or call Roger Shakespeare on 07779 923687.