London Skolars 18 Widnes Vikings 62

5th May 2011

Sunday 6th February

Despite the one-sided final scoreline, Widnes were made to work for their tries in the early stages with Skolars twice taking the lead against a side that has reached the final of this competition in the last two seasons.

The opening minutes of the game belonged to Skolars, forcing an early goal line drop out before Ade Adebisi was held up over the line. Quick passing to the right saw Matt Thomas find a gap, scoring the opening try, which almost silenced the vociferous travelling support.

Widnes counterattacked. Adebisi made a fine tackle to stop Tangi Ropati, but with the defence on the backfoot, Paddy Flynn was able to score in the right hand corner. Skolars regained the lead three minutes later.

Jy-Mel Coleman’s bomb was caught by Danny Craven, but having jumped from the field of play to take the ball, Craven passed the ball out for the threequarters to avoid being caught in-goal. But when the ball got out to Paddy Flynn, Luke May was alert and stole the ball in the tackle to stroll over the tryline. Jy-Mel’s Coleman’s conversion was caught by the wind, limiting Skolars’ lead to four points.

 

Widnes then started to show the extra power and pace of a full-time professional side. Despite the best efforts of Neil Thorman, David Allen crashed over under posts taking the full-back with him. Then Craven made a break from 30 metres out to score. Widnes started to take control and went further ahead when Ben Kavanagh used his power to push his way through the defence. But as well as brute force, there were skills on display, with Craven throwing a dummy to score down the right for his second try. He also succeeded with 9 conversions to give him a 26 point haul.

Widnes added their sixth try a minute later, Simon Finnegan’s cross–field kick positioned to perfection for Matt Gardner to score in the left hand corner. Sustained pressure after the restart saw two more tries in quick succession for the visitors. A scrum close to the Skolars’ tryline after an attempted knock-down gave good field position with Thomas Coyle slipping over between the posts, soon followed by a try for Thackeray, with Skolars regularly having to defend on the back of conceded penalties.

Skolars stuck to their task and were rewarded when Neil Thorman followed up his own short kick through to just get his fingertips to the ball. After Skolars had been penalised for making a tackle before the player received the ball, Karl Haggerty notched up Widnes’ half century, striding through the defence with ease. Daniel Heckenberg then set up Tangi Ropati to score and a Kirk Netherton break was completed by Paddy Flynn.

However, it was the home side that enjoyed the final score of the day. Thackeray’s kick-though was scooped up by May, who released Adebisi to score in the corner.

LONDON SKOLARS

1 Neil Thorman

2 Smokie Junor

17 Dave Arnot

4 Luke May

5 Ade Adebisi

7 Dylan Skee

6 Jy-Mel Coleman

8 Tony Williams

9 Gareth Honor

13 Stephen Ball

11 Matt Thomas

10 Jason Hart

15 Olly Purslow

 

Subs (all used)

34 Dave McMeeken

33 Austen Aggrey

37 Liam Prescott

31 Squib Murtza

25 Aaron Small

 

Tries: Thomas (7), May (14), Thorman (61), Adebisi (80)

Goals: Coleman 0/3, Prescott 1/1

 

WIDNES VIKINGS

1 Danny Craven

19 Matt Gardner

18 James Ford

23 Tangi Ropati

5 Paddy Flynn

6 Anthony Thackeray

14 Thomas Coyle

3 Richard Varkulis

9 Kirk Netherton

10 Daniel Heckenberg

11 David Allen

16 Macgraff Leuluai

17 Ben Kavanagh

Subs (all used)

8 Steve Pickersgill

12 Kurt Haggerty

13 Simon Finnigan

29 Grant Gore

 

Tries: Flynn (11,77), Allen (19), Craven (26,39), Kavanagh (34), Gardner (40), Coyle (48), Thackeray (51), Haggerty (70), Ropati (74)

Goals: Craven 9/11

 

Penalty count: 8-19

 

Half-time: 8-34

Referee:  Chris Leatherbarrow

Attendance: 643

 

SCORING SEQUENCE:  4-0, 4-6, 8-6, 8-12, 8-18, 8-24, 8-30, 8-34, 8-40, 8-46, 14-46, 14-52, 14-58, 14-62, 18-62


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