London Clash Match Report

LONDON SKOLARS 14

LONDON BRONCOS 36

Skolars fell to defeat in the derby game against Broncos on their return to New River after redvelopment. The friendly was their first game on the new artificial pitch ahead of the new season which starts in March.

Broncos took an early lead when Brad Dwyer and Ben Helliwell combined to put Iliess Macani over. After Sam Druve had gone close at the other end a speculative pass was intercepted by Hellliwell who ran deep into the Skolars’ half, but it was the home side that scored next when Saaaed Agboke intercepted and raced to the other end of the field.

A high kick from Oscar Thomas was well taken by James Anthony, but he was bundled into to the in goal area. The resulting goal line drop out saw Alex Walker go over for Broncos’ second try.

Broncos added two further tries in quick succession. Jon Wallace pushed his way to the line under the posts, with James Antony spraining his ankle badly in the attempt to stop the prop. Skolars also picked up further injuries with Will Fairhurst and Dave Williams both taking knocks to the head and Michael Greenhalgh injuring his knee. Broncos fourth try came when Joel Wicks slipped the ball out for Alex Walker to score his second  of the say.

Broncos nearly scored again just before half-time but Thomas’ pass to Sean Morris was just forward. They added a further try soon after the restart when Macani took a quick tap restart on the twenty. He was chased down five metres from the line, but Thomas was on hand to finish off, also slotting over his fourth conversion.

Brad Dwyer and Oscar Thomas both created problems for the home side’s defence, whilst Vince Spurr put in some challenging high kicks for Skolars, but the game became a little scrappy in the second half. Whilst the pitch may have played like it was summer, hands were still winter cold and both sides didn’t control attacking moves as well they might have liked.

Skolars continued to work hard and Aaron Small did well as acting full-back to win a kick chase with Macani and avoid being dragged over the tryline.

Walker recorded his hat-trick when Skolars failed to defend a grubber kick before Tuoyo Egodo burst through the defence 20 metres out to record his side’s seventh try.

Skolars enjoyed some good possession in the last ten minutes. Sam Wellings just managing to force his way through the defence. Michael Sykes was less easy to stop just before the hooter, but Joe Mbu will be glad it’s five weeks before the season starts so that the injuries can recover.

 

LONDON SKOLARS

1 James Anthony

2 James Carty

3 Kazeem Fatouri-Edwards

4 Aaron Small

5 Saeed Agboke

6 Will Fairhurst

7 Vince Spurr

8 Louis Robinson

9 Sam Druce

10 David Williams

11 Louie Sutherland

12 Anthony Cox

13 Dion Chapman

 

Subs (all used)

14 James Mason

15 Michael Sykes

16 Dave Ellison

17 Seb Kolasa

18 Michael Greenhalgh

19 Callum Adetona

20 Mike Benson

21 Matt Lyle

22 Sam Wellings

 

Tries: Agnoke (19), Wellings (73), Sykes (80)

Goals: Druce 1/3

 

BRONCOS

1 Iliess Macani

2 Sean Morris

3 Tuoyo Egodo

4 Ben Hellewell

5 Alex Walker

6 Oscar Thomas

7 Joe Glover

8 Jonathan Wallace

9 Brad Dwyer

10 Toby Everett

11 Oli Toms

12 Harvey Burnett

13 Joel Wicks

 

Subs (all used)

14 Matt Davis

15 Ben Gray

16 Callum Bustin

17 Sadiq Adebiyi

18 Erjon Dollapi

19 Ben Pointer

20 Matt Davies

 

Tries: Macani (11), Walker (24,28,63), Wallace (26),Thomas (43), Egodo (67)

Goals:  Thomas 4/5, Glover 0/2

 

Penalty count: 9-3

 

Half-time: 8-36

Referee: Jamie Bloem

Attendance: 568

 

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 4-6, 4-10, 4-16, 4-22, 4-28, 4-32, 4-36, 8-36, 14-36

The Capital Challenge

London Skolars 10 Wigan Warriors 28

Skolars opened 2015 with a friendly against a Wigan Warriors side containing some of their Super League players and their promising Under 19s.  The game took place a The Honourable Artillery Company Grounds on the outskirts of the City of London, where dual code international and current England RU assistant coach Andy Farrell, himself a former Wigan star was guest of honour at the pre-match lunch event.

Skolars start their competive games on 1 March and this was their first pre-season friendly.

Though the Warriors conceded size advantage by some way, they showed some good focused attacking moves in the first half

They moved into an early lead when Jamie Doran’s grubber kick to the left wing was perfectly timed for Jack Wells to touchdown. Doran set up the second try as well when a quick pass from a scrum 20 metres from the line created a gap for Jake Moore to score down the left.

Skolars spent a large part of the half defending on a heavy pitch but conceded another try when Liam Paisley pounced on a handling error in the in-goal area from a Moore kick to add a third try. Moore kicking his third conversion.

The second half saw Skolars start to use their size advantage. James Anthony, returning to the side after year in Australia, took an attacking role and after forcing a goal-line drop out, triallist Gavin Rodden forced his way over to open the Londoners’ account with former Hammersmith HillsHoists’ Vince Spurr adding the conversion.

Wigan re-established the three try margin when Liam Paisley was able to roll in a tackle on the line just managing to ground the ball.

Skolars hit-back when Aaron Small gathered a high kick from Tommy Connick, but it was the Warriors who enjoyed the final score when Gabe Fell linked with Wells, who cut through the defence for his second try.

Despite the defeat, Skolars’ Head Coach Joe Mbu took the positives from the first game of the year. “The boys showed and did what we set out to do. I’m pleased with the way we controlled our sets and also how cohesive we were, especially as some of the players hadn’t even trained with us.”

 

LONDON SKOLARS

1 James Anthony

2 James Carty

3 Kazeem Fatouri-Edwards

4 Aaron Small

5 Saeed Agboke

6 Tommy Connick

7 Vince Spurr

8 Louis Robinson

9 Sam Druce

10 David Williams

11 Mike Benson

12 Anthony Cox

13 Will Fairhurst

 

Subs (all used)

14 Gavin Rodden

15 Dave Ellison

16 Michael Sykes

17 Dion Chapman

18 Michael Greenhalgh

19 Seb Kolasa

20 Louie Sutherland

21 Matt Lyle

 

Tries: Rodden (47), Small (60)

Goals: Spurr 1/2

 

WARRIORS

1 Lewis Tierney

2 Jack Higginson

3 Jake Moore

4 Liam Forsyth

5 Gabe Fell

6 Craig Mullen

7 Jamie Doran

8 Joe Bretherton

9 Josh Ganson

10 Brad Lawrence

11 Rob Lever

12 Jack Wells

13 Kyle Shelford

 

Subs (all used)

14 Max Dudley

15 Liam Paisley

16 Callum Field

17 Paddy Jones

18 Sam Brady

19 Paddy Casey

20 Lewis Hickford

21 Ryan Haughton

 

Tries: Wells (5,75), Moore (15), Paisley (34,52)

Goals:  Moore 3/4, Houghton 1/1

 

Penalty count: 3-2

 

Half-time: 0-18

Referee: James Child

 

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 0-12, 0-18,6-18, 6-22, 10-22, 10-28

PCubed Challenge a Roaring Success

PCubed Challenge 1PCubed Challenge 2

Friday saw 6 of London Skolars Community partner Primary Schools make the journey into the heart of the City to compete for the much coveted PCubed Challenge. This year saw the 6 highest performing schools from the London Skolars Community programme in the Haringey and surrounding boroughs drawn into 2 groups of 3, with the winners going on to play each other in the final.
Group One saw the 2 early favourites drawn together. Coldfall, the reigning champions faced Rhodes Avenue, who were recently crowned Haringey Tag Rugby Champions. Alongside these were tournament newcomers Coleridge who were appearing after impressing Community Staff in the Haringey Regional Festival back in November. However their task was always going to be a difficult one and they came undo in both their games, losing heavily 3-0 and 4-0 respectively. However they showed some real desire and in their captain and playmaker Alfie Elvis they had an inspirational leader who gave it 100% effort. It came down to the final game of the group to decide who was going through in 1st place – Rhodes Avenue started the brighter of the 2 sides and raced into an early lead. Coldfall then hit back and clawed 2 tries back to really put pressure on Rhodes Avenue as the game entered into it’s final few minutes. However despite Coldfall really pushing, Rhodes Avenue survived the game and finished top of Group One to reach the final for the first time.
Group Two was a far more open group, with local prep school Keble drawn against St Michaels from Highgate and local Tottenham primary St Pauls and Hallow. St Michaels set the early pace with a commanding 3-0 victory against new comers St Pauls and Hallow. However in their second game St Paul’s began to get more comfortable with the pace of the game and held Keble to a 1-1 draw. The final game of the group was again a crucial one as Keble faced St Michaels. Despite having the majority of possession, and being by far the more comfortable side with the rugby ball, St Michaels defence was pretty impenetrable and Keble were held to a 1-1 draw for the second time of the day, meaning St Michaels finished top of the group with 4 points.
For the first year ever, all teams had an extra game, with 3rd place in each Group playing each other and 2nd place playing their counterparts from the opposing group. St Pauls came out on top and showed how much they had improved from their first game beating Coleridge by 4 tries to 1. Keble enjoyed their best win of the tournament, beating Coldfall 2-0.
As the large crowd began to gather for the main game between London Skolars and Wigan Warriors, Rhodes Avenue and St Michaels played out the best final seen in all years of the PCubed tournament. As had been the case all day – St Michaels ability to tag was absolutely incredible and their defence once again thwarted Rhodes Avenue again and again. With neither team able to breach each other’s defence the final went to Golden Point extra time for the first occasion in the events history. Both teams began to tire and errors crept into their game, it was from one of these errors that Rhodes Avenue star player Louie Hubbard dived onto a loose ball and set off on what should have been a match winning run. However St Michaels had other ideas and their blonde flyer Lily Hesper Dugdale produced a fantastic diving tag to save the game for St Michaels. This proved to be the last play of the game and as the final whistle was blown, both sides shared the spoils and were crowned joint winners of the PCubed Challenge for 2015.
The winning teams were presented with their medals by guest of honour Andy Farrell and Richard Siddle from tournament sponsors PCubed.

 Skolars To Unveil New ‘Anniversary’ Kit At Capital Challenge

London Skolars have launched their new home kit which has been designed as part of their 20th anniversary celebrations. Based on the original red and black kit used by the club in 1995, their foundation year, all Skolars playing kit, off field kit and merchandise will carry the slogan ‘Since 1995’.

 

The highly innovative kit has been supplied by Airosportswear Ltd, a Yorkshire-based supplier. This is their first foray into professional rugby league, and the company will supply apparel for all Skolars 10 teams from the Under-7s through to the first team.

 

The kit will be worn for the first time by the Skolars in the annual Capital Challenge which takes place on Friday, January 16th. Played at the Honourable Artillery Grounds (HAC) in the heart of the financial services district of the City, it is probably the most expensive rugby pitch in the world.

 

Wigan Warriors are the opposition for the second year in a row and Andrew Farrell OBE will be the guest of honour and speaker at the corporate hospitality event held before the game. Just under 300 guests are expected to fill the main hall, after which a capacity 800 are expected to watch the game.

 

As a curtain raiser to the event there will also be a Tag Rugby festival featuring six schools. Over 100 youngsters will be vying to be crowned champions of the Annual Pcubed Schools Challenge, now in its sixth year.

 

The 2015 Capital Challenge has attracted its best ever panel of major sponsors:

  • Nasdaq Global Indexes – part of the Nasdaq Group
  • WisdomTree Europe – a global leading provider of Exchange Traded Funds and Products.
  • Powershares by Invesco – a global leading provider of Exchange Traded Funds and Products
  • Cantor Fitzgerald – a leading global financial services firm
  • Capita Asset Services  – a leading global registration and administration company
  • Pcubed  –  a global consultancy uniquely focused in project, programme, portfolio and change management

Each one has embraced the Capital Challenge 2015 and taken it to the next level and the event itself has become a unique showcase for rugby league in London.

 

Skolars General Manager Carolyn Flowers said: “Yet again the Capital Challenge has grown in stature and importance. It combines grass roots kids rugby with a top class professional game in the heart of the world’s leading financial district. The game is a sell out and the hospitality has surpassed all previous years. The sponsor panel is the envy of anyone in sport never mind rugby.”

“We are over the moon to have one of the world’s most famous rugby clubs, Wigan Warriors, as our guests and our coaches and players can’t wait to pit themselves against them. We hope this will be a great launch pad for the club both on and off the pitch.”

 

Replica kit, merchandise and season tickets will all be on sale at the match.

 

Skolars will be fielding a number of new signings on Friday and ahead of the match have announced the re-signing of experienced prop forward David Ellison.

 

Ellison began his career at Wigan and had spells with Swinton and London Skolars before joining Oldham, where he enjoyed three successful seasons. He then moved on to Championship 1 newcomers Oxford RL in 2013 and, after making ten appearances for Tony Benson’s outfit, he signed for another season last year. Ellison goes straight into Joe Mbu’s squad for the Capital Challenge match against a Wigan Warriors XIII on Friday and the club are delighted to welcome such an experienced player back into the fold.

 

The Capital Challenge match between London Skolars and a Wigan Warriors XIII takes place on Friday 16th January at the Honourable Artillery Grounds, Armoury House, City Road London, EC1Y 2BQ. Kick-off is at 2pm and there will be a limited number of standing tickets available on the gate from 1pm priced at £15.

 

On Sunday 25th January Skolars will entertain London Broncos at the New River Stadium in White Hart Lane, N22 5QW. Kick-off is at 3pm and the match will be the first to be played on Skolars new state of the art 4G pitch. Tickets can be purchased in advance for London Skolars – www.skolarsrl.com or can be bought on the day.

 

For more information contact London Skolars on 020 8888 8488 or e-mail info@skolarsrl.com

 

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