Derby, with 1 win in 7, travelled to Heslam Park, to take on Scunthorpe, a side who had won their previous 7. The form book suggested that the home team would triumph and so it transpired.
Pete Wilcox, Josh Pearson, Josh Tilford and Sam Pittman all returned to the starting XV, with Luke Frixou moving to no.8.
A drizzle, which continued for the majority of the match, greeted the players as they ran out.
It did not take Scunthorpe long to take the lead, with a try by Wood, converted by Cook, making the score 7 – 0 after 7 minutes.
From the restart, McGrath Van Wyk gathered the ball, chipped ahead and forced the Scunthorpe player to carry over his own line. The 5m scrum indicated how soft the pitch was, but Derby were unable to make the territory count.
A 5 minutes spell, from the 28th minute, saw Scunthorpe score 15 points and virtually seal the victory.
Garbutt and Wood scored tries while Cook added 1 conversion and a penalty.
Derby defended well for the rest of the half, but were unable to put any pressure on an impressive Scunthorpe side.
Just before the break, Ryan Manning was sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock on.
Derby started the 2nd half well and were soon pressurising the Scunthorpe line.
For fully 30 minutes, Derby attacked, with the majority of time being spent in the Scunthorpe 22.
Forwards were launched on runs and backs tried to find gaps. Penalties were awarded, but it all came to naught as excellent Scunthorpe defence kept Derby at bay.
After 70 minutes the inevitable happened. Derby lost the ball and Scunthorpe swept downfield to score with their first attack of the half. Mist went over for the bonus point try, while Cook converted.
The final whistle blew and Derby were left pointless again.
That said, this was a much improved performance, against a side who still harbour playoff ambitions.
The forwards worked hard and made numerous excellent carries and tackles.
Derby have a week off, next week, before another away game at Doncaster Phoenix the following week, with a 5pm kick off.
Come on Derby !
Match Report by Richard Bambra.