London Skolars 27 South Wales Scorpions 26

2nd July 2011

Skolars left it late to win their third successive home game, with Dylan Skee slotting over a drop goal to take a one point lead with two minutes remaining.

It wasn’t a classic encounter with errors on both sides. However, like the game at The Gnoll where two points separated the sides at the end, there was no lack of tense excitement in the latter stages as both teams looked for what would be a vital score.

Skolars’ coach Joe Mbu summed up a mixed performance from his side. “In the first 20 minutes we really put on the pressure and completed sets well. We went away from what we needed to do at the end of the half. Then we were coming from behind and our execution wasn’t as good, but we hung in there and the lads showed we can win tight games.”

Skolars opened the scoring early after gaining possession from a Scorpions’ error, Mourad Kriouache’s pass opening up a massive gap for Jaroslaw Obuchowski to score.

Both Gareth Honor and Aaron Small was held up over the line before Will Colleran raced onto a Kriouache chip. After ten minutes the Scorpions hadn’t enjoyed possession for more than one tackle. However, they started to respond when they did finally get the ball in their hand, with the industrious Steve Parry going close. Andrew Gay scored their first try after Chris Clough had charged down a Dylan Skee kick on Skolars’ 30 metre line.

Kriouache again showed some good understanding with his new team-mates in just his second game, again unlocking the defence for Obuchowski to score his fourth try in three games.

With the honour of scoring Scorpions 1000th point since formation last year, South Wales looked extra keen for the next try. Gay was held-up over the line, but duly recorded the milestone following up after a Dalton Grant run. Scorpions were now taking control of the game. Joe Burke was held-up after a ball steal by Ashley Bateman, before Parry burrowed his way over from dummy half, with Lewis Reece’s conversion levelling the scores.

A long pass by Casey Bromilow out to the left wing saw Dalton Grant score in the corner, on the ground where his namesake Olympic high jumper used to train, to put South Wales six points up at the break.

Skolars made a bright start to the second half, with Dave Arnot sending Ade Adebisi over in the corner. Dylan Skee missed the conversion and the visitors now had a two point gap. That margin started to look like a large one as the error count started to mount. Skolars had several good chances, but each time the ball went to ground as the defensive gaps opened.

The Scorpions extended their lead midway through the half, Curtis Cunningham wrong-footing Adebisi after a break by Parry to score a try against his old club. Adebisi had his revenge three minutes later, rounding his former wing partner. Skee’s conversion levelled the score and Skolars then had two chances for penalties that could have been kickable, but elected to go for a try; unsuccessfully on both occasions.

South Wales weren’t getting into Skolars half and needed something impressive to get downfield if they were going to win. However, Cunningham’s kick down the wing from his own 10 metre line was not what was required, sailing straight into touch. That gave Skolars a full set to attack, but Skee took the drop goal option early in the tackle count to give the Londoners a vital one point lead.

That wasn’t the end of the drama. A high short kick-off was just gathered by Skolars who moved downfield and then were awarded a penalty. They elected to kick from 30 metres out, but Skee sent the ball wide. Scorpions looked for a quick tap restart, before being reminded of the rules and Skolars were able to receive the ball with relative ease and the clock ran down for Skolars to celebrate their third consecutive home victory, for the first time since 2007.

Rob Thomas (on loan from Harlequins RL) won The Wood Green Mall Man-of-the-Match for some strong work in attack which helped tire the Scorpions defence, especially during the second half.

 

LONDON SKOLARS

3 James Anthony

18 Aaron Small

31 Will Colleran

17 Dave Arnot

5 Ade Adebisi

7 Dylan Skee

30 Mourad Kriouache

13 Stephen Ball

9 Gareth Honor

34 Rob Thomas

37 Jaroslaw Obuchowski

31 Ben Bolger

15 Olly Purslow

 

Subs (all used)

12 Oliver Bloom

27 Cariern Clement-Pascall

32 Sam Gee

19 Will Colleran

 

Tries: Obuchowski (2,17), Adebisi (68)

Goals: Skee 3/5

Drop-goal: Skee

 

SCORPIONS

27 Jamie Murphy

5 Curtis Cunningham

4 Ashley Bateman

3 Lewis Reece

24 Dalton Grant

1 Andrew Gay

7 Casey Bromilow

10 Paul Raftery

9 Steve Parry

16 Joe Burke

17 Harri Greville

3 Christiaan Roets

12 Loz Wildbore

 

Subs (all used)

8 Chris Davies

21 Hywel Davies

15 Neil Dallimore

14 Chris Clough

 

Tries: Gay (13,23), Parry (33), Grant (36), Cunningham (64)

Goals: Reece 3/5

 

Penalty count: 14-7

 

Half-time: 16-22

Referee: Matthew Kidd

Attendance: 437

 

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 12-0, 12-6, 16-6, 16-10, 16-16, 16-22, 20-22, 20-26, 26-26, 27-26


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