Skolars Miss Out On Playoffs

2nd September 2012

Skolars’ hopes of reaching the play-offs were dashed as they fell 8-48 to Doncaster, the win giving the visitors the league title by one point.

Skolars couldn’t get possession in the early stages of the game. The home side completed a set of six for the second time in the game on 19 minutes. That wasn’t so much down to their errors as Doncaster’s dominance and the visitors took their chances well.

The opening try saw them flick the ball to the left then switch back to the right, stretching the defence to open up a gap for Carl Hughes to dash over. James Anthony stopped Dan Cowling from scoring soon afterwards, but with the defence backtracking, Craig Fawcett had space to stroll over for Doncaster’s second try and more quick passing saw Lucas Walshaw put them further ahead.

Skolars finally scored when Skee put a high bomb out to the right wing for John Paxton to beat Dean Colton in the air for the ball. Walshaw looked set for a second try when he raced to the line, but didn’t see Smokie Junor coming in from the other wing and the young Skolar just got there to stop him from grounding the ball. However, Walshaw scored again soon afterwards from a perfectly flighted Paul Cooke pass.

Skolars kick-off went out on the full and when Dan Cowling finished off the attack for the Don’s fifth try the sizeable travelling contingent started to feel their side were finally going to take a league title. However, there was a scare late in the half when James Anthony’s offload allowed John Paxton to dive to the corner for his second and although Skee’s conversion missed, Skolars’ play-offs hopes were still just alive.

Those hopes were dashed soon after the restart when Fawcett drew the defence in to send Colton in at the corner. Skolars weren’t giving up Brad Hopkins was held up over the line, but after Fawcett and Kesik both went close, Lee Waterman scored his 33rd try of the season, a record for the South Yorkshire club. After a fine tackle by Brad Hopkins on Kyle Kesik, the defence was so broken that Chris Spurr went over with little resistance.

Skolars were still trying to be creative but that just allowed Waterman scored his second. Cooke’s sixth conversion ensured that the home side would again finish with a negative points difference for the season. Waterman came close to a hat-trick, but Skee raced back to make a cover tackle that demonstrated his side’s commitment.

Results elsewhere meant Oldham pipped Skolars to the last play-off spot and left Joe Mbu ruing the two games against Oldham which finished in a draw and a one point loss. “We didn’t complete our sets today and were up against a strong Doncaster side who have deservedly won the league. I’m disappointed that we haven’t made the play-offs, but that’s down to missed points earlier in the season, not just today. We should have beaten Oldham away, but ended up losing to a last minute drop goal. Had that not gone over, we’d be in the play-offs.

Despite today’s defeat, I’m pleased with the way the guys have come on this season.”

“Two years ago we were seen very much as easy beats. We’ve proved this season that we can compete against anyone in this league, even Doncaster had to be at the top of their game to win today. We’ve got to build on this progress next year – the planning for that starts in earnest tomorrow.”

 

LONDON SKOLARS

1 James Anthony

2 John Paxton

3 Joe Price

4 Dave Arnot

5 Smokie Junor

6 Andy McLean

7 Dylan Skee

8 Olly Purslow

9 Neil Thorman

10 David Williams

11 Brad Hopkins

12 Matt Thomas

13 James Roche

 

Subs (all used)

14 Rob Thomas

15 Michael Sykes

16 Martyn Smith

17 Austen Aggrey

 

Tries: Paxton (28,40)

Goals: Skee 0/2

 

DONCASTER

1 Lee Waterman

2 Dean Colton

3 Chris Spurr

4 Dam Cowling

5 Stu Sanderson

6 Paul Cooke

7 Craig Fawcett

8 Russ Spiers

9 Mike Emmett

10 Mark Castle

11 Lucus Walshaw

12 Mike Kelly

13 Carl Hughes

 

Subs (all used)

14 Kyle Kesik

15 Grant Edwards

16 Craig Lawton

17 Craig Robinson

 

Tries: Hughes (7), Fawcett (11), Walshaw (15,35), Cowling (38), Colton (45) Waterman (57,74), Spurr (67)

Goals: Cooke 6/9

 

Penalty count: 7-6

 

Half-time: 8-26

Referee: Peter Brooke

Attendance: 578

 

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-4, 0-8, 0-14, 4-14, 4-20, 4-26, 8-26, 8-32, 8-36, 8-42, 8-48


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