Skolars 19’s Win London Youth League Grand Final

London Skolars U19’s age group finished off an outstanding season as they emerged victorious from the London Youth League Grand Final last Saturday.

On a hot day at Pennine way, the home of Skolars Championship One rivals Hemel Stags. The Skolars again made a dominant start to the game, with their impressive forward pack finding huge holes in the Eastern Rhinos defence, as was the game plan – the powerful bursts by props Franklin Bruno and David Ogufere were ably followed up with good support by lighting quick wingers Sayed Kapaka and Donovan Noble, enabling Skolars to cross for 4 quick fire opening tries, all converted by scrum half Jack Avery.
With the way the Skolars were defending both in the middle and out wide, and the assurance with which fullback Aston Stephenson was returning Eastern Rhinos kicks, there was a danger that the final was going to be all one way traffic. However credit to the Rhinos and their coach Pete Le Marquand, they rallied and dragged themselves back into contention. With the momentum now with the boys from Colchester the Skolars felt themselves under pressure for the first time in the match, facing two repeat sets on their own goal-line, it took a huge defensive effort to keep the Rhinos out, the Skolars finally got the break they needed when the left side of Seb Kolasa, Micheal Greenhalgh and Donovan Noble managed to make a great hit and force the Eastern Rhinos winger into touch.
This allowed the Skolars to regroup and they began to force themselves back upfield. With Eastern now chasing the game their plays became riskier and their error count increased. The Skolars, with first team coach Joe Mbu watching on from the sideline, were clinical in capitalizing on these errors and ran in 20 unanswered points to put the game beyond the Eastern Rhinos. The final whistle sparked jubilant scenes from the Skolars bench as they celebrated Grand Final success for the second year in a row.
This result meant the U19’s secured a London RL ‘treble’ with the 9’s, Junior Challenge Cup and now Grand Final trophy all now in the Skolars cabinet. Commenting on the victory, coach Matt Cuss and assistant coach Dion Chapman praised the way the boys had applied themselves throughout the season ‘given that the U19’s were coming into the season as Champions, there was pressure on us from the start, but every time we have been tested the lads have stuck their hands up and come away with the right result. It’s been a whole squad effort throughout the year with every one of the lads playing their part in some way, and a huge thank you must go to everyone who has enabled this season to be such a successful one, all the supporters who have turned out, everyone at the club for making everything so accessible, and Bobby Brown for driving us all over London. It’s been an absolute privilege to work with such a talented bunch of players in my first season with Skolars and I’m sure that we will see a number of this squad make the step up to first team level in the near future.”
1. Aston Stephenson
2. Donovan Noble
3. Max Catmur Hill
4. Seb Kolasa
5. Sayed Kapaka
6. Jack Avery
7. Jack Clover
8. Franklin Bruno
9. Ben Cary ©
10. David Ogufere
11. Mike Greenhalgh
12. Judd Greenhalgh
13. Scott Whitby

14. Aita Kyunoshi
15. Robbie Jarvis
16. Sean Palmer
17. Conrad Edgar
18. Anthony Kaana
19. Rhys Whitby
20. Ben Smith

London Skolars moved up into third place in the league after their win in Cheltenham and next week’s game against league leaders Oldham will be key for Skolars’ promotion hopes.

Skolars took an early lead with Gareth Raynor scoring with his second touch of the ball on his debut for the club, the former Great Britain international cutting inside to score.

Skolars missed a couple of scoring chances with a strong wind making it hard to control passes, but there was no stopping James Anthony who raced 60 metres before releasing Dylan Skee to run the remaining 30 metres to the line. Skee beat Paul Thorman’s record of 488 points scored for the club with the try and then added the conversion.

Anthony also had a hand in the next try, combining with Joe Price to split the defence before Olly Purslow dived over the tryline.

The All-Golds came close to scoring just before the break, but there was an obstruction in the lead up to Nev Morrison’s disallowed try and Skolars went in 18-0 up at half-time.

Skolars scored soon after the restart with Anthony finishing off a break by Sam Wellings and Evan Simons. However, the home side now had the advantage of the wind and Mike Stewart scored for them after Skolars had conceded one of ten penalties.

Anthony scored his second try when Louis Robinson pulled in the defence close to the line and managed to slip the ball out to the full-back. When a Simons break saw Alex Hurst touchdown Skolars looked to be comfortable at 6-34 up.

However, the Gloucestershire side fought back in the last twenty minutes. Quick passing across the line saw Morrison score, followed soon afterwards by Steve Parry pushing through from dummy half. When Pat Smith took advantage of a Skolars’ error early in the tackle count, the home side gained in confidence and with Parry scoring his second try four minutes later and Tim Bergin kicking his fourth goal, the Skolars lead was down to six points with five minutes remaining.

Skolars use their experience to keep possession, but when their kick was charged down, there was suddenly a chance for the All-Golds if they could get to Erjon Dollapi who picked the loose ball up on his own 40 metre line. However, the prop broke through the first set of oncoming defenders before putting a kick deep into the All-Golds half, which produced a defensive error.

Skolars won the scrum and as the hooter sounded, Mike Bishay slotted over a drop goal to seal the victory.

After the excitement of last weekend’s Northe Rail Bowl Final Skolars return to Championship 1 action on Sunday when they make the relatively short trip to take on the University of Gloucestershire All Golds at the Prince Of Wales Stadium, Cheltenham.

The two teams have already met twice this season with Skolars coming out on top on both occasions. Back in March, on a gluepot of a pitch at New River Skolars won a Northern Rail group match by 20-0 and, more recently, in June, Skolars took the spoils in a Championship 1 fixture by 38-22, although Gloucestershire gave a good account of themselves and led for long periods of the game. The league newcomers will be buoyed by recent back to back league wins.

The All Golds will be boosted by the addition of two new signings, winger Nev Morrison from Sheffield Eagles, and Hull FC fullback Danny Nicklaus.

All Golds head coach Brad Hepi said: “Nev is a big strong running canter or wing, that can score tries and is proven at Championship level. He is a current member of the Eagles Championship winning squad, and will give us a much needed boost in the final run in.

“Danny Nicklaus has played 10 games at Super League level for Hull FC during 2012, and has come to us to get much needed game time due to the strength in depth FC have at the moment in the halfbacks department.

“I’m excited to have both high quality players join us at the All Golds until the seasons end.

Joe Mbu will take a strong squad to Cheltenham with only Ade Adebisi, injured at Halifax last week, likely to miss out. Latest signing Gareth Raynor is expected to travel with the squad and could feature.

Skolars currently lay 5th in the Championship 1 table with games in hand on most of their rivals and will be looking to cement their play-off place with a win before they face high flying Oldham at home the following Sunday.

Skolars 19’s, under the stewardship of coach Matt Cuss, have reached the Grand Final and this takes place tomorrow (Saturday the 27th) at Hemel Stags, KO 2.00pm. Matt will be looking to emulate his predecessor, Neil Thorman, who coached the Skolars 18’s to Grand Final success last season.

Skolar A’s are also in action on Saturday when they entertain South West London Chargers at New River (Perth Road pitch) in a Souther Premier fixture. KO is 2.30pm.

Good luck to all Skolars player who are pulling on the shirt for the club this weekend!

On Sunday 4th August Skolars bring you another in our series of ‘Super Sundays’ when Oldham Roughyeds are the visitors to New River for a crucial Kingstone Press Championship 1 fixture.

Spectators will be treated to:

Curtain raiser Southern Conference fixture between London Skolars A’s and Hammersmith Hills Hoists
Half-time competition
Mini real ale festival
Kingstone Press Championship 1 fixture between London Skolars and Oldham Roughyeds

We have a limited half price ticket offer for this game with adult tickets priced at £6 and concession tickets priced at £3. To take advantage of this amazing offer visit the Skolars online ticket office by clicking here

Tickets available on the day priced at £12 for adults and £6 for concessions.

Shopping cart 0 Items



Club Shop

London Skolars 2018 Replica KitLondon Skolars 2018 Replica Kit

Match Tickets

CLICK below for ticketsCLICK below for tickets

Play mini and junior rugby for Skolars

Call: 020 8888 8488 | Email:
Ages 7-17


Be part of London, be part of London Skolars