Cup duties resume this Sunday

 

London Skolars head north to one of the more glamourous grounds in the fixture calendar to face Doncaster RLFC this Sunday 3pm at the Keepmoat Stadium. The stakes are high as the winner of this game will progress into the Ipro Cup semifinals.

Skolars reached this round of the cup with a dominant performance against a rejuvenated South Wales side, with the final score 44-6. The team scoring some well-structured, innovative tries with multiple sets of hands involved. Something that has been a highlight of Skolars performances in all competitions thus far.

Head Coach of London Skolars Jermaine Coleman recognizes the opportunity in front of the team this weekend and has left no stone unturned in the sides preparations for the quarter final “We made it clear at the start of the year there was a lot of ability in this squad and we expected to be competing for trophies. This weekend is a huge chance to do that, but it will only happen if we perform near to our full capability,” he said.

When commenting on training in the lead up to the game, his outlook was positive “We have had a physically intense, tough week as we look to right the wrongs of the performance against Hemel. The players have responded very well showing energy and enthusiasm across the sessions. We must now combine the aspects we have worked on with what we already do well to give us a performance that will give us a good chance to win,” Coleman said.

Opponents Doncaster RLFC progressed through to the quarter final stages after a hard fought 35-28 win against North Wales Crusaders. Like Skolars they have won two out of their three league fixtures so far beating Gloucestershire and Keighley, before losing last weekend to York City Knights. Their dual registration club is Hull FC and has seen them field the likes of Kirk Yeaman, Jansin Turgut and Iafeta Palea’aesina this season. This fixture could see former Skolars loanee Matthew Cook make his first appearance against us since departing.

Skolars look set to welcome back Toby Everett for this weekends game.

 

Kingstone Press League 1
Hemel Stags 12 London Skolars 38

Skolars won their Good Friday derby game, though it wasn’t until midway through the second half that they pulled away from their Hertfordshire rivals.

Both halves saw Hemel score early tries, with the initial try scorer going on to get sin-binned in the last minute of the first half and the latter second off at the end of the second. Rhys Bowdich opened the scoring racing through a gap in the defence. Skolars had to withstand heavy pressure with Ben Stead forcing a goal line drop-out. But Skolars began to control possession more effectively and after John Paxton had gone close, Alex Anthony came into the attacking line to score on the right. Charlie Lawrence adding his second conversion.

Skolars went into the lead when Mike Bishay put in a grubber kick, close to the line. The Stags fumbled the ball and Bishay was able to gather the ball and dive under the posts. Bowdich was sin binned for the hosts late in the half and Bishay slotted over a penalty.

Hemel were right back in contention early in the second half with James Delaney opening up the defence for BJ Swindells to score. Skolars re-established an eight point margin with Sam Nash taking a long pass from Ryan Chester to score in the corner.

Head Coach Jermaine Coleman rejoined Skolars last season after a spell at Hemel and two of the former Skolars he brought back with him were instrumental in the fourth try. Forward Eddie Mbaraga surprised the opposition with a kick through and his follow-up forced an error close to the tryline. The ensuing set of six tackles saw the ball moved out wide for Aaron Small to force his way over the line. Mbaraga scored himself four minutes later after Coleman had jumped high from a Bishay kick to pass the ball back to his supporting team-mates, Joe Price offloading to Mbaraga even though he had a good chance to score himself in his 100th game for Skolars.

Despite faultless goal kicking throughout the game, Skolars chose to run a penalty close to the tryline and were rewarded when Sam Nash powered over in the corner, Bishay kicking his fifth goal of the day.

At the end of the game Skolars superior quality and class shone through and the win could have been more comprehensive. Evidence of this was visible as the hosts vented their frustration through ill discipline. Head Coach Jermaine Coleman, as ever the perfectionist stated ‘While we were very good in parts of this game, with our completion rate and physicality particuarly impressive, we still started slowly and this is something we need to rectify. We can not afford to start sloppily against some of the stronger teams, we will also have to show more attacking potency.’

STAGS
1 Reece Rance
2 Jordan Aichimson
3 BJ Swindells
4 Oli Toms
5 Simon Hrbek
6 Chad Isles
7 Ben Stead
8 Malakhi Lloyd-Jones
9 James Delaney
10 Matt Ross
22 Tala Petelo
12 Luke Patterson
13 Rhys Bowdich
Subs (all used)
21 Kyal Green
17 Mike Stewart
16 Liam O’Callaghan
18 Victor Coker

Tries: Bowdich (2), Swindells (48)
Goals: Stead 2/2
Sin-bin: Bowdich (40) – high tackle, Swindell (80) – punching

LONDON SKOLARS
1 Alex Anthony
2 Sam Nash
3 Aaron Small
4 Joe Price
5 John Paxton
6 Jermaine Coleman
7 Mike Bishay
8 Michael Sykes
9 Charlie Lawrence
13 Dion Chapman
11 Eddie Mbaraga
12 Will Lovell
10 David Williams

Subs (all used)
14 Ben Pointer
15 Ben Grey
16 Ryan Chester
19 Erjon Dollapi

Tries: Antony (18), Bishay (24), Nash (51,67), Small (60), Mbaraga (64)
Goals: Lawrence 2/2, Bishay 5/5

Penalty count: 7-10

Half-time: 6-14
Referee: Jack Smith
Attendance: 425

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 6-6, 6-12, 6-14, 12-14, 12-20, 12-26, 12-32, 12-38

London Skolars will make the short journey up to Hertfordshire Friday March 25th as they take on Hemel Stags in what is always a hotly contested derby game.

The squad have started the league season relatively well so far, with a resilient, competitive defensive display against York in the season opener.

Our second, most recent fixture against Oxford provided glimpses of the great hands and attacking shapes the team have been working on in the off season. Skolars will be hoping to combine the two positives into one performance this week.

Head Coach Jermaine Coleman had mixed feelings about the performances so far and is looking for more consistency from his side ‘We have showed glimpses of real quality in our opening two league games, things that have really impressed me. However I am looking for an eighty minute performance this weekend.’

‘We weren’t energetic enough defensively against Oxford, this is something we need to address, as Hemel have had time to prepare and will be raring to put things right, the derby is a perfect game to do that. However as has been the attitude of the squad this season, we are focusing solely on us and playing to our potential.’

Hemel Stags have only played one fixture this season after having their bye weekend last week. That game was a heavy a defeat against early promotion favourites Toulouse Olympique 74-0. They will no doubt have spent the time off hurting and working on their defence as they approach this fixture.

Skolars are set to field several ex Stags players, adding extra spice to the affair. Ryan Chester, Dion Chapman, Sam Druce and Kazeem Faturoti-Edwards are all in line for possibly their first appearance of the season.

Kick off at Pennine Way is 2pm.

Wednesday 6th April see’s London Skolars host another Player Development Day in conjunction with their Academy and Education partner Barnet & Southgate College.

Following on from their last event in March, the training day is a chance for the club to attract, develop and monitor the Junior Rugby players from Skolars itself and other Rugby clubs in the area. It also provides a chance for those players who are interested in the Academy programme at Barnet and Southgate College to hear more about that, and if they are of age to apply for the wide range of academic opportunities that are offered at the College.

For players aged 12 – 17, the Development Day is open for anyone to attend and will include some athletic testing, skill development and game awareness coaching. The sessions will be led by Community Development Manager and 1st Team Assistant Matt Cuss, whilst Head Coach Jermaine Coleman and 1st team players will be also be in attendance. Cuss was keen to stress the importance of these Development days:

“Whilst our Junior Teams have continued to perform well this season, we are always looking to strengthen our squads and our Academy programme especially. There is undoubtedly a mass of athletic talent in North London and whilst specific rugby league experience may be limited for some, athletes will bring a tremendous amount of other talents from other sports that can be easily transferred to Rugby League.’

‘It’ll be a fantastic opportunity for our young players and their friends to work with some great coaches, Head Coach Jermaine Coleman and 1st team player Louis Robinson attended the last day and were really impressed with the quality of player that was present, Jermaine and Louis will also be joined by our new General Manager Simona Vavega who spent 2 seasons in the NRL with Brisbane Broncos. For those who are interested in the College Academy Programme, James Edgerley from Barnet & Southgate will be present to offer advice and guidance on how to apply.”

Further details of the player development day can be found below and anyone requiring more information is requested to email Matt Cuss on matthewcuss@skolarsrl.com

Player Development Days 2016

Wednesday 6th April 2016

  • U12 & U13 – 10.30am – 12pm
  • U15 & U17 – 12pm – 2pm

Both the days will take place on the Stadium Pitch, London Skolars RL, New River Sport & Fitness, White Hart Lane, N22 5QW.

With the recent confirmation of the London Skolars Academy side that will compete in the London Premier Summer League, adding to the existing Under 19 College Academy programme at Barnet & Southgate College and the thriving Junior teams at the club, the Skolars really are building a solid foundation for young people to access the professional pathway.

 

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