London Skolars 16 Whitehaven 48

3rd April 2011

For the third consecutive week, Skolars were in a good position early on only to fall away in the second half.

Both sides had opportunities early on, but it was Skolars that opened up the scoring. Chris Smith found a gap for Haven, but had been helped by blocking by a teammate. Dave Arnot was harshly penalised for an incorrect play the ball, rushing to feet for a quick move after a Neil Thorman break. However, soon afterwards, Jy-Mel Coleman then went over on the right, twisting out of the tackle to ground the ball.

When Whitehaven levelled the score it was against the run of play, Lee Doran going over from close range after Lewis Palfrey had got to the line. Two minutes later the visitors were in the lead with Scott McAvoy racing through a gap on the left hand side.

McAvoy then set up the next try, drawing in the defence just enough to release Craig Calvert who just managed to ground the ball in the corner.

Ade Adebisi then pulled a try back against his old club, racing to the line in the corner. Skolars put pressure on the Cumbrians with a fine Coleman 40-20 kick, and further possession came when Dave Arnot leapt to push a penalty kick back into the field of play, but couldn’t breach the defence. With four points between the sides at half-time, everything was set for a tight second half.

That didn’t happen. Whitehaven are unbeaten in the league this season and they started to show their form in the second half. McAvoy powered over for his second try, Then Dylan Skee and Adebisi just managed to deny the promsisng Loz Hamzat in the corner. Skolars started to counterattack and forced a goal-line drop out, but Lewis Palfrey’s kick caught the breeze and instead of taking the ball in Havens’ half, Skolars had to scramble to prevent the ball finding touch 5 metres from their own tryline. That gave Haven a real post and good interplay between Chris Smith and Paul Cullnean opened a gap for Luke Isakka to score. Cullnean was the creator of the Cumbian’s next try three minutes later with Smith finishing off.

Craig Benson joined the attacking line for their seventh try and Mal Wiper scored soon afterwards to crowned his debut after joining the club on a dual registration with Salford. Palfrey rounded off a good day with a converted try to notch up 16 points in the game. Though he has now moved from winger to prop, Austen Aggrey showed he still has pace with his 49th try in his 150th game for Skolars, but that was little comfort to Joe Mbu, coaching from the stands after his lengthy touchline ban. “It’s frustrating to keep making the same mistakes”, he said. “Again we showed promising progress, but the lack of consistency of implementation is letting us down.”

Jy-Mel Coleman was awarded with The Mall Wood Green Man of the Match award.

1 Neil Thorman
30 Olu Iwenofu
17 Dave Arnot
4 Luke May
5 Ade Adebisi
7 Dylan Skee
6 Jy-Mel Coleman
10 Jason Hart
9 Gareth Honor
22 Saqib Murtza
15 Olly Purslow
14 Jason Cook
33 Cariern Clement-Pascall

Subs (all used)
32 Sam Gee
25 Austen Aggrey
8 Tony Williams
16 James Simon

Tries: Coleman (13), Adebisi (31), Aggrey (77)
Goals: N Thorman 2/3

1 Craig Benson
5 Loz Hazmat
33 Mal Wiper
4 Scott McAvoy
2 Craig Calvert
6 Lewis Palfrey
7 Tane Manihera
23 Paul Cullnean
14 Chris Smith
26 Luke Isakka
11 Spencer Miller
35 Lee Doran
17 Andrew Beattie
Subs (all used)
9 Carl Sice
10 Howard Hill
15 Richard Farrer
18 Kurt Wilton

Tries: Doran (19), McAvoy (21,49), Calvert (26), Isakka (57), Smith (60), Benswon (66), Wiper (69), Palfrey (74)
Goals: Palfrey 6/8

Penalty count: 10-12

Half-time: 10-14
Referee:  Warren Turley
Attendance: 542

The Mall Wood Green Man of the Match: Jy-Mel Coleman

SCORING SEQUENCE:  6-0, 6-6, 6-10, 6-14, 10-14, 10-20, 10-26, 10-32, 10-38, 10-42, 10-48, 16-48

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