Mark My Words

14th July 2011

London Skolars Director of Rugby, Mark Croston, takes a look back at busy week for the club:

Saturday was a busy day on all fronts for the club. With all teams playing and the double header at The Stoop – a lot of work was put in by staff,  coaches players and, of course, the fans who made the journey.

My first port of call was Staines Rugby Club to watch our U14s play the very experienced Wigan St Judes.  My nephew Gavin played six for them, who’s numbers included Wigan Scholarship players and some very experienced juniors. However, we competed well and demonstrated how much progress we have made and how much talent we have coming through the juniors.  Anthony Barry, Ugucan Gundogan, and Shemar Shirly proved be a handful, with Donovan noble scoring  a fantastic try in the corner.

We all then hot footed it to The Stoop to prepare for the main event the game against our play-off rivals Oldham. We adapted well to the strange surroundings and, although we dipped in the second half, we were the better team and in parts played some inspired rugby. There was a lot of bravery on show with some players carrying knocks but putting their bodies on the line.  Gareth Honor got us home with a late try and was outstanding throughout – and Dylan Skee showed his class once again – tries,  goals and a quality kicking game. Ade Adebisi showed what a great finisher he is, yet it was his late chase and tackle saving a certain try that kept us in the game.

With a free weekend looming to make way for the Northern Rail Cup Final,  we are able to have a more relaxed build up to the away game in Workington.  They are certainly one of the form teams, and so are we, so it should be another close encounter with our Cumbrian friends.  Talking of Cumbrian friends,  it was great to see Cumbria make the final of the RFL 9s tournament last week – showing the depth of talent at their disposal.

We have two members of our squad on duty with GB Students in Australia. John Paxton and Michael Sykes both starred in their historic draw and victory down under – congratulations to both of them and we are all looking forward to seeing them back in Skolars colours later this month.

Finally, great to see Joe back on the paddock on Saturday.  I suspect he’s still a little sore form some big collisions – making some very important surges towards their line to set up try scoring positions. Its a tough job coaching and playing yet Todd Egan our assistant coach did a great job on Saturday filling in when Joe and Jermaine were on the field – especially when they were both out of breath!


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