Skolars v London Broncos Friendly Final Score

Final score from the friendly match against London Broncos.

London Skolars 20

London Broncos 28

Full match report to follow.

London Skolars would today like to confirm two loan signings from the London Broncos, the two Ben’s, Ben Pointer and Ben Gray. Both of these were prominent players when Skolars took on Broncos in last year’s London Clash. However, they will both be pulling on the red and black jersey to face former team mates this weekend, which is sure to contribute added spark to the game.

 
Ben Pointer, aged nineteen, started his affiliation with Rugby playing Union in Northampton, representing both the East Midlands and Northampton EPDG. From the age of ten however, he spent his summers playing Rugby League, he took to the thirteen aside game just as naturally. He was selected to join the Midlands regional Rugby League team for his scholarship. Through his application and quality coaching, Ben’s game continued to develop rapidly and he was selected to play for his local Northampton Demons men’s side at just seventeen. His ability to hold his own at such a young age, playing a strong men’s competition caught the attention of London Broncos who signed him to their academy. After a full season with a few eye catching performances, he went on to make his debut for the first team towards the end of their season in a loss to Hunslet Hawks. He is primarily a hooker, who is exceptionally quick from dummy half, much like one of last year’s most exciting players, Billy Driver. We would like to thank his Grand Parents John & Marjorie Blake for their sponsorship of Ben for this coming season.

 
Ben Gray is also nineteen and followed a somewhat similar path to Pointer. Also hailing from the Midlands, Ben was raised in Leicester. He had started his Rugby career playing union for his county of Leicestershire and was part of the Tigers academy up until the age of 16. It was at that age he was introduced to Rugby League by his local club the Leicester Storm, he went to the Midlands academy to play and study there for a year before being picked up by the London Broncos. Again it took Ben just a single season to impress the junior development personnel at the club and he was rewarded with a first team debut in 2015 against Hunslet Hawks. Gray’s favoured position is as a prop and will be easily distinguished to the Skolars faithful by his immense work rate. Gray will be sponsored by Rugby League 2016 twitter account and their kind followers.

 
Both have been training regularly with the first team squad and have blended into the team seamlessly. Ben Pointer when asked about the move at training this Wednesday was extremely optimistic stating ‘the move is going to enable us both to get a lot more game time at a good standard of Rugby League, which in turn should help us to develop as players as we will get to hone all the skills and techniques taught to us in pre season.’

 

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London Skolars take on London Broncos this Saturday 30th January in their annual pre-season match at the New River Sport & Fitness Centre, Wood Green.

Both teams have bolstered their playing squads with new signings in the off season and will be looking for improved performances in 2016.

Skolars’ Head Coach, Jermaine Coleman, has named a similar side to the team that took on a Wigan Warriors XII at the Capital Challenge last week.  The team will be boosted by the inclusion of a few key players who return from injury.

“We’ll run with a similar side to last week and give some game time to a few players who need a run.  Dave Williams and Michael Sykes are back from injury, so we’ll look to get them some game time as well’’ says Coleman.

“We’ve got a couple of guys like Erjon Dollapi and Joe Ridley that have joined us this year so we’re looking for a big year from them individually and I know they are excited about the year ahead.’’

“Pre-season has gone well so far.   The boys have really bought into the culture and the environment we’re building at the club. Like any new process there are hiccups and bumps along the way but overall I’m happy with the effort and desire we’ve shown as a group.”

Similarly, Broncos Head Coach Andrew Henderson, has strengthened his squad with new player signings in the off season including Mark Offerdahl, Nathan Stapleton, Mark Ioane but will likely give a lot of younger guys a chance to impress.

Being one of only a few full-time teams in the Championship, the Broncos will be looking for a top 4 finish this season.

Despite suffering a loss in their first hit out last week, Skolars’ Coach Coleman was pleased to see the team execute some of the things they’ve been working on during the pre-season.

“I thought we acquitted ourselves well in the game against Wigan.  I thought our defence was good and I was happy with the condition the boys were in.  For a first run out I was pretty happy with our overall game but there’s certainly areas we’ll continue to work hard at.”

Buoyed by that performance, Skolars are expecting another challenging game against a well prepared Broncos outfit and will be looking to continue their pre-season preparation.

“I think like all pre-season games for me, it’s about taking another step forward in our preparation for the season ahead.’’

“The ‘London Clash’ fixture is an opportunity to start the ball rolling and I expect they (Broncos) will be fit and very slick.’’

Coach Coleman has named an extended bench for the weekend game.

Skolars Team

1) Alex Anthony

2) John Paxton

3) Aaron Small

4) Joe Price

5) Jimmy Morgan

6) Chris Bishay

7) Charlie Lawrence

8) Erjon Dollapi

9) Ben Pointer

10) Ben Gray

11) Michael Worrincy

12) Will Lovell

13) Eddie Mbaraga

 

14) Dave Williams

15) Cariern Clement-Pascall

16) Sam Druce

17) Mike Greenhalgh

18) Michael Sykes

19) Lameck Juma

20) Jermaine Coleman

21) Andy Winfield

22) Kazeem Fatouri-Edwards

 

The match kicks off at 3pm at New River Sport and Fitness, White Hart Lane, Wood Green, this Saturday 30th January.

Match Tickets to the game are available on the gate on the day.  £12 Adult £6 concession.

 

London Skolars v Wigan Warriors

Skolars firebrand, Ben Gray charges at the Wigan Defence

Match Report

London Skolars   6

Wigan Warriors   10

 

Skolars’ pre-season opened with the now traditional Capital Challenge game, taking on Wigan for the third time. It was the tenth Capital Challenge game to be played at the The Honourable Artillery Company Grounds and was the closest result of the games played in those historic surroundings on the outskirts of the City of London.

Whilst the opposition might have been youthful, with a predominantly under 19 side, there were seven England academy internationals in their ranks, so there was no shortage of talent, all keen to impress ahead of their season, no doubt mindful of the rapid progress made by George Williams and Dom Mandfredi, who played two years ago.

Despite heavy rain until half-time, both sides were eager to move the ball around to create chances even if that meant a few errors. Skolars had an early chance to capitalise when Joe Price intercepted on his own 20 metre line. The Wigan defence raced back to chase him down, finally dislodging the ball 10 metres from the tryline.

Liam Marshall opened up the scoring midway though the first half as the Warriors created an overlap down the left flank, Jake Moore converting from the touchline. He added a second soon after racing onto Lewis Heckford’s grubber kick to touchdown.

Skolars then started to attack a little more and a high bomb by half-back Ben Pointer, a youngster on loan for the season from London Broncos, they forced an error close to the tryline. Will Lovell drew the defence on the right before slipping the ball out to Joe Price, who just managed to ground the ball despite the efforts of Marshall. Charlie Lawrence added the goal to narrow the deficit to 6-10 at half-time.

That score late at the end of the first half seemed to lift Skolars in the early stages of the second half as the rain subsided. The young Wigan side, applied themselves well to keep out a large London pack, with the bulk ofthe action being in the Warriors half. Chances were few for both sides, but Price had another opportunity late in the game, but was forced into touch close to the tryline. The Warriors held out to retain the trophy.

Skolars’ Jermaine Coleman was upbeat in defeat. “We’ve kept the majority of the team from last season and have had a good pre-season together; today you saw the fruits of that labour. I was very pleased with the way we muscled up in defence. Wigan may have been a very young team, but they are full-time and probably train more than us. So to go so close it’s almost a little frustrating that we didn’t see it out.”

Wigan played a Super League game at Millwall last September and are keen to repeat a high profile trip to the Capital. Their first team Head Coach Shaun Wane was enthused about the day at the HAC.  “It was what we wanted and far more. This was the first time that the majority of the team had played against men. It was a great experience for them. We love coming to London and we are trying to get the best of the talent. If London kids want to play Rugby League we want them to think of Wigan and we want to spread the word”.

London Skolars

1 Alex Anthony

2 Sam Nash

3 Aaron Small

4 Joe Price

5 Lameck Juma

6 Charlie Lawrence

7 Mike Bishay

8 Erjon Dollapi

9 Ben Pointer

10 Ben Gray

11 Mike Worrincy

12 Will Lovell

13 Ryan Chester

 

Subs (all used)

14 Billy Driver

15 Eddie Mbaraga

16 Sam Druce

17 Michael Greenhalgh

18 Will Martin

19 Jimmy Morgan

20 Mike Benson

 

Tries: Price (40)

Goals: Pointer 1/1

 

Wigan Warriors XII

1 James Worthington

2 Tom Davies

3 Liam Paisley

4 Patrick Casey

5 Liam Marshall

6 Lewis Heckford

7 Josh Woods

8 Sam Brady

9 Craig Mullen

10 Patrick Jones

11 Jake Moore

12 Callum Field

13 Greg Burke

 

Subs (all used)

14 Joe Pilling

15 Sam Kibula

16 Caine Barnes

17 Max Dudley

18 Oliver Russell

19 Sam Adejumo

20 Tyler Spence

21 Oliver Partington

 

Tries: Marshall (20,29)

Goals:  Moore 1/2

 

Penalty count: 5-5

 

Half-time: 6-10

Referee: Jamie Bloem

Attendance: 576

 

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 0-10, 6-10

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