London Skolars U16s followed in the footsteps of London Crusaders last night by playing in a unique cross-code completion at the new Allianz Park, formerly Barnet Copthall, where the Crusaders played for two seasons in 1993 and 1994. They created a small piece of history themselves by being the first Rugby League team to play at the new state of the art Saracens ground playing in a triangular tournament facing Saracens Amateurs and Hackney Bulls. The competition was played over 2 games each with a 15 minute half of Rugby Union and a 15 minute half of Rugby League.
Both Hackney and Saracens displayed outstanding appetite for the “other code”, both teams taking to the league format with gusto, this effort, coupled with the superb surface at Allianz Park enabled some fast-flowing, end to end rugby to be played, which pleased the sizeable mid-week crowd.
With many of the Skolars players having previous experience within the union code, they were more than able to compete and coped with the technicalities of the game in both the union halves. They fell just short against the well drilled Saracens side but managed to post an impressive win against Hackney.
During the league halves, the Skolars players displayed some outstanding play. Their superior League nous, ability to play the ball on the gain line and defensive organisation blew their opposition away; continuing their winning streak against Hackney, and also winning against a very athletic and talented Saracens side.
Once again the Cross-Code Challenge proved a highly successful event, and was a great showcase for both rugby league and rugby union at this age-group. The night ended with a presentation from Barnet and Southgate College about their successful CORE programme which both Skolars and Saracens deliver on. It is hoped that many of the boys on show last night at Allianz Park take up the opportunity to join the programme in September, where Skolars will no doubt benefit from even more talented individuals wanting to play some Rugby League this season.
A short fim about the event can be seen on LondonSkolarsTV on our home page. To return to home page click here