London Skolars 6 Harlequins RL 70

5th May 2011

ETF Securities Capital Challenge – Friday 21st January 2011

With 52 players in action in the unique setting of the Honourable Artillery Club, both coaches were able to see virtually their entire squads in match action for the first time, and in Quins’ case, an opportunity to assess a trialist, with Mark Calderwood playing for his hometown team for the first time. He was one of 12 different try scorers for Quins, who were missing only Rob Purdham, Karl Temata and Omari Caro.

For Skolars, Joe Mbu was taking a number of positives from the game which, despite the final scoreline, saw Skolars stay in touch for the first half hour. “We had a good hit out and competing against the best in London gave the guys the good experience of playing against the top level. We’ll take a lot of good things away, there’s a desire and willing to work together. One thing I will be doing is checking on interpretations with the referees as we gave away far too many penalties.”

Whilst Mbu may have been concerned about the ten penalties conceded by Skolars in the first half, that was actually one less than they received, as referee Steve Ganson was quick to ensure that both sides adhere to the rules right from the start of the season. That made for a scrappy first half, but Skolars did make Quins work hard for their points.

Quins first try saw their two props combine on the left flank, with Danny Ward outwide to score from Oliver Wilkes’ break. The second try was a soft one, Andy Ellis going through unopposed under sticks from dummy half.

His opposite number Sam Gee as held up over the line soon afterwards and Skolars recorded their first try in this annual game since it moved to the HAC in 2007 when Dylan Skee slipped through a gap in the defence. Neil Thorman added the conversion. It took another ten minutes before Quins would score again. That came from Tony Clubb and was quickly followed by one for David Howell, just grounding ball despite the efforts of the defence.

Nick Kouparitsas made some strong running throughout the game and rounded off the half with a try on his debut. With both sides ringing the changes at half time and the game becoming more free flowing. The quicker play the ball from the Super League side started to give Quins a chance to run and create more gaps in a backtracking Skolars’ defence. Another debutant, Jack Latus scored soon after the break, cutting through the defensive line, soon followed by one from Chad Randall.

In addition to his 8 conversions, Luke Gale scored a try following a break from his own 10 metre by Luke Dorn, Latus taking over the duties in the last 15 minutes for his 3 goals. Rob Thomas, who has played 4 games for Skolars on loan over the last 2 years, burst through a number of tackles and his try showed his strength in attack.

Quins hit the half century as Dan Sarginson ran from 20 metres out to score. His debut try and the final try of the game by another newcomer Will Lovell were overshadowed by the try by the more high profile Calderwood.

He showed signs of his pace when chasing a deep kick to the wing forcing a drop out. Then he finished off a Ben Bolger break, which came after Jy-Mel Coleman had just failed to hold an interception. Skolars only real chance in the second came when a Jason Hart pass went to ground on the left as the defensive pressure held tight.



1 Neil Thorman

2 Smokie Junor

3 Dave Arnot

4 Luke May

5 Ade Adebisi

6 Jy-Mel Coleman

7 Dylan Skee

8 Stephen Ball

9 Sam Gee

10 Jason Hart

11 Matt Thomas

12 Oliver Bloom

13 Jamie Boston


Subs (all used)

14 Jared Riki

15 Olly Purslow

16 James Simon

17 Cariern Clement-Pascall

18 Jason Cook

19 Tony Williams

20 James Anthony

21 Danny Burke

22 Olu Iwenofu

23 Liam Prescott

24 Austen Aggrey

25 Aaron Small


Tries:  Skee (17)

Goals: Thorman 1/1



1 Luke Dorn

2 Jamie O’Callaghan

3 Tony Clubb

4 David Howell

5 Chris Melling

6 Luke Gale

7 Chad Randall

8 Danny Ward

9 Andy Ellis

10 Oliver Wilkes

11 Mike Burnett

12 Chris Bailey

13 Nick Kouparitsas

Subs (all used)

14 Luke Ambler

15 Rob Thomas

16 Jason Golden

17 Lamont Bryan

18 Jack Latus

19 Ben Bolger

20 Dave Williams

21 Dan Sarginson

22 Joe Ridley

23 Sam Bolger

24 William Lovell

25 Max Edwards

26 Mark Calderwood

27 Olsi Krasniqi


Tries: Ward (7), Ellis (10), Clubb (28), Howell (32), Kouparitsas (39), Latus (46), Randall (48), Gale (60), Thomas (63), Sarginson (68), Calderwood (76), Lovell (79)

Goals: Gale 8/9, Latus 3/3


Penalty count: 13-13


Half-time: 6-28

Referee:  Steve Ganson


SCORING SEQUENCE:  0-6, 0-12, 6-12, 6-16, 6-22, 6-28, 6-34, 6-40, 6-46, 6-52, 6-58, 6-64, 6-70

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