Junior Round-Up

17th June 2013

This weekend’s fixtures were arguably the toughest set that the Skolars Juniors would face all year and the quality of games did not disappoint.

First up on the Saturday were the U14’s, where Staines Titans were the visitors to New River. The U14’s were in a determined mood and started with a bang, racing into a 22 point lead after only 25 minutes of the first half. Attacking shape was much improved from previous weeks and the support of the big runners through the middle, was creating havoc within the Titans ranks. As the second half resumed, Staines were obviously fired up and came out of the blocks in the same manner Skolars had at the start of the match, crossing for 2 tries within a few minutes of each other. Coach Fred Pentecost acted quickly to stop the rot and with a few choice words and the introduction of some fresh legs ensured that normal service was resumed and the match ended with a superb 36-22 win for the Skolars, this victory lifts Skolars right into the play-off mix now and they will be pleased that they are hitting form at exactly the right time.

Next up on Saturday were the U12’s, who once again showed massive signs of improvement against a strong Medway outfit. What Skolars lacked in size and experience they more than made up for in attitude and energy. They managed to restrict Medway to only 40 points over the 2 halves with some superb defence. With coach Ian Ackley having 20 players to pick from this weekend and with many of these lads still eligible to play U11’s it bodes really well for the future.

On Sunday all of the Gloucestershire All Golds rolled into London – U16’s, U19’s and First Team. The U16’s lifted by the fact they were playing on the New River Stadium infield before the first team game, competed well against a strong All Golds outfit. Maybe a little over-awed by the occasion they started the slower of the 2 teams and this ultimately cost them the win as the All Golds were ruthless in the first half. As the half-time whistle sounded it was a chance for Skolars to catch their breath and with some wise words from coach Paul Thorman the u16’s emerged with a renewed vigor, resulting in a much improved second half performance, scoring a great try. The final score ended up All Golds 44, Skolars 6.

Across the road in the familiar setting of Perth Road, the U19’s produced their most mature performance of the season against their All Gold counterparts. The U19’s knew they would be in for their toughest test of the season and the boys from the South-West did not disappoint, crossing the whitewash first to go 6-0 ahead. Again though as the Skolars began to get into a rhythm and an arm-wrestle of a contest their big powerful forward pack proved to be a handful, and this coupled with some intelligent kicking meant that the Skolars went into halftime with a 16-12 lead. The second half was an equally tense affair as both teams showed some superb defence to keep each other out, Skolars crossed for a try that put them 20-12 ahead going into the final 10 minutes, a missed kick at goal gifted the All Golds possession and they broke free to cross underneath the posts to set up a tense final few minutes. A huge bomb into the Skolars half threatened to force a repeat set for the All Golds but it was expertly fielded by Skolars fullback Aston Stephenson and the final whistle was blown with a superb game of rugby league finishing 20-18 to the Skolars.

Finally the ‘A’ Team travelled to Hammersmith and came away with an agonizing defeat by 18 points to 16.

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