Weekend Preview

Last weekend saw no less than five of the six Skolars teams in action winning their games. The highlight had to be the 1st team’s first away win of the season but there were some excellent performances from all side representing the club.

There’s another busy weekend in prospect with all sides in action. Saturday sees the 18’s travel to take on Staines, whilst the 16’s host Brentwood and will be looking to get that elusive win under their belts. On the back of a great win at Staines last weekend the 14’s are away again, this time Eastern Rhinos are the opposition. Finally the 12’s host Brentwood but this game has been moved to Sunday and has a midday kick-off.

Saturday afternoon sees the Skolars A team host Greenwich Admirals in the Cup at New River – Kick-off 2.30pm and the A’s will be looking to continue their fine run of form this season that has seen them top the league table, with only one defeat.

The final game of the weekend is the 1st team’s home fixture against current league leaders, Barrow Raiders. Coach Joe Mbu knows this will be a tough test for his team but the fixture comes on the back of a battling victory at South Wales. Will Colleran made his first league start of the season at the Gnoll and after playing well and scoring he’ll be looking to retain his place. Double try scorer Andy McLean, who had missed recent games due to injury, will also be looking to keep his place in the starting lineup.

When the two teams met in May Skolars matched Barrow for large parts of the game but the home side scored four tries in the last eight minutes to sink any hopes of an upset, the final score ending up 42-12.

The match kicks off at 2.00pm and tickets are available to purchase on the door priced at £12 for adults and £6 for concessions.

It was a busy weekend for all Skolars teams with the stand out result being the first team’s first away league win of the season at South Wales Scorpions, where the Skolars just edged a thrilling encounter 32-36.

Skolars A’s continue to impress, having lost only one game this season. On Saturday the A’s travelled to play West London Sharks and came away with a 10-40 win to keep them at the top of the table, alongside Hammersmith Hills Hoists. Next up for the A’s is a home cup tie this coming Saturday against Greenwich Admirals.

Neil Thorman’s 18’s played Barking & Dagenham at home but the match was abandoned by the referee with Skolars well in front. Skolars will be awarded the match whilst the abandonment is investigated.

The 16’s didn’t fare so well, going down at home to Barking & Dagenham by 6-48.

Paul Thorman toook his 14’s to face Eastern Rhinos away and returned celebrating a fine 42-30 victory.

Finally the 12’s travelled to play Newham Dockers and came away with an impressive 4-48 win.

All in all a decent set of results for the club. Well done to all of those who played last weekend and, of course, the coaches and volunteers who play such a pivotal role in getting the games organised and played.

London Skolars closed the gap on the play-off spots to three points with a game in hand with a narrow victory over South Wales. Both sides scored six tries, but it was the accuracy of Dylan Skee’s kicking which proved decisive with six conversions from six attempts.

Skolars opened the scoring after just two minutes through Andy McLean after forcing an error from the home side, but a Skolars’ error led to Kevin James’ try for the Welsh. Skolars then put on some sustained pressure and Will Colleran found a gap in the defence to score in his first game in two months.

But three tries in ten minutes saw South Wales take a ten point lead. Tom Morgan broke through in the centre to score before Steve Parry followed up his chip kick to touchdown. Skolars had a good chance at the other end when Skee was in support to a Neil Thorman break, but the final pass was intercepted by the Welsh and Parry added his second try a minute later.

Skee made amends just before half-time when he touched down under the posts after a James Anthony break. That kept Skolars in contention and they took the lead two minutes into the second half when Joe Price capitalised on an error from a Skee bomb.

However, after tries for Joe Burke and Nathan Mossop, Scorpions might have been hopeful of revenge from the 8 point defeat earlier in the season at The Gnoll. However, Skolars gained a scrum straight from the kick-off and Skee dived for the line, sliding over in the damp conditions. His conversion narrowed the gap to two points.

Skolars had a couple of chances to level the score through penalties, but elected to tap and aim for a try. That decision paid off when Andy McLean found a gap on the left. They then had to defend for a large part of the last 15 minutes of the game, but held out for a win which puts them three points away from the play-off spots with a game in hand.


8 David James

25 Kevin James

18 Ben Gilbert

3 Tom Morgan

9 Dalton Grant

5 Loz Wildbore

1 Steve Parry

15 James Greenwood

19 Nathan Mossop

10 Greg Burke

22 Chris Vitalini

11 Ashley Bateman

16 Joe Burke


Subs (all used)

13 Shaun Owens

5 Neil Dallimore

23 Alan Pope

6 Keiron Harrison

Tries: K James (5), Morgan (17), Parry (21, 27), Burke (54)

Goals: Wildbore 4/6



1 James Anthony

2 John Paxton

3 Joe Price

4 Will Colleran

5 Ade Adebisi

6 Andy McLean

7 Dylan Skee

8 Olsi Krasniqi

9 Neil Thorman

10 David Williams

11 Brad Hopkins

12 Mike Worrincy

13 Lamont Bryan


Subs (all used)

14 Michael Sykes

15 Martyn Smith

16 Matt Thomas

17 Louis Robinson


Tries: McLean (2,63), Colleran (10), Skee (38,56), Price (42),

Goals: Skee 6/6


Penalty count: 10-9


Half-time: 22-18

Referee: warren Turley


SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 4-6, 4-12, 10-12, 16-12, 22-12, 22-18, 22-24, 26-24, 32-24, 32-30, 32-36

Today, Friday the 22nd June, sees the final working day at the club for community coach Graeme Spencer AKA Spen. After almost three and a half years at the club as a community coach, and player, Graeme is leaving to start the next chapter of his life which sees him move on to a completely new career.

Graeme joined the club in 2009 as a player and to work in the club’s community department. Graeme’s playing career with the club was interupted in 2010 after he sustained a nasty back injury but, as the picture above shows, he can still pull on his boots when required. The Milton Keynes Wolves team, who Graeme faced when playing for DAISNAID recently, all thought he was the pick of the DAISNAID team!

Commenting on his time at Skolars Graeme said “As with my playing career, my coaching career has been filled with highs and lows.  The lows include having to travel on LOTS of buses and tubes with a bag of balls and cones before I had a car!  The highs are to many to count, but winning the 2011 London Junior League Club of the Year is hard to top!  So it is on to pastures  new as I step into the “real world” of working regular hours, and not filling my day with pumping up rugby balls and filling water bottles! I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the club for giving me the opportunlty to work and live in London.  The people involved in Skolars are what make it a great club, and I hope that this continues into the future.  I am now unfotunantly a Skolars fan for life”.

Skolars Community Manager Paul Thorman also reflected on Graeme’s time with the club “Graeme’s arrival at the club was somewhat unconventional and the HR department would probably frown upon it now but I don’t think we could’ve appointed a more suitable person. Graeme arrived at a time where the club needed someone to roll their sleeves up and get on with it. With that, Spen has managed to go above and beyond the call of duty and the awards the club received in 2011, Junior League Club of the Year and Haringey Club of the Year, were recognition for Graeme’s hard work throughout his time at London Skolars. The club is almost unrecognisable from when Graeme started here, which is testament to his quality, allied to this, he has maintained his unique sense of humour throughout.”

Every child and young adult who has had the fortune to be coached by Graeme will testify to what a positive and enthusiastic attitude he brought to every coaching session. He has an infectious love and knowledge of Rugby League and we know he will find it hard not to be involved with the sport at some level in the future.

The Skolars offices will be a quieter place after today. Graeme’s “sledgehammer” wit and banter will be sorely missed. We wish him every success for the future and he leaves knowing he will always be welcome at the club at any time.

Good luck Spen and thanks for the laughs – far too many to mention!

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