London Skolars 52 Gateshead Thunder 24

8th July 2013

Skolars won their fourth game in a row and moved into fourth place in Championship 1, scoring seven tries in a dominant second half.

They went into an early lead when Mike Bishay followed up a kick from Andy McLean. Thunder levelled the scores when Ben Harcastle intercepted a Dylan Skee pass racing 70 metres to score.

Thunder took the lead after the hardworking James Green released the ball for Danny Nicholas to score. But their lead was shortlived as Joe Price got the ball out to Ade Adebisi who ground the ball in the corner.

Gateshead won a scrum from the kick-off after finding touch with a undefendable kick. They went down the right but a forward pass to Jason Payne denied them a chance of going into the break in the lead and the sides went in at 12 apiece.

The game was played in sweltering heat and both sides chose to stay outside at half-time under cover of the trees that surround the New River ground. Skolars turned the game their way with three tries in the first eight minutes of the second half. They won possession from the off after Skee’s kick blasted into Jason Payne and into Skolars’ hands. Thunder then gave away a penalty and Skolars took advantage with Skee twisting his way over the line.

Three minutes later Skee found Anthony coming up in the line to score, soon followed by a try for Louis Robinson. Skee and Anthony combined again to give the full-back his second try of the afternoon.

Thunder then narrowed the gap to ten points; first Caro out jumped Smokie Junor to take a Nicholas kick in the corner, then Luke Hardcastle finished off a break by the half-backs.

Skolars made sure of the game when Mike Worrincy scored from an Anthony break but they also had to defend when they lost the ball backwards, Gateshead kicked through, but Smokie Junor kicked the ball backwards giving himself more time to gather the ball to give Skolars another set of six. Skee was once again involved in the next try with Dave Williams stretching over the line to score.

The final points came three minutes later from another break by Anthony, the Skolars full-back setting up Sam Wellings for his first try for Skolars. Skee kicked his eighth conversion to give him 20 points in the game.

It’s the first time Skolars have won four games in a row since entering the professional ranks in 2003.

With five forwards scoring tries, the pack’s efforts were rewarded further when Mike Worrincy was named The Mall, Wood Green Shopping City Man of the Match.

1 James Anthony
2 Smokie Junor
4 John Paxton
3 Joe Price
5 Ade Adebisi
26 Andy McLean
7 Dylan Skee
13 Olly Purslow
32 Mike Bishay
10 David Williams
27 Sam Wellings
12 Mike Worrincy
33 Jamaine Wray

Subs (all used)
9 Martyn Smith
8 Rob Thomas
16 Louis Robinson
30 Michael Sykes

Tries: Bishay (5), Adebisi (29), Skee (41), Anthony (44,54), Robinson (48), Worrincy (64), Williams (75), Wellings (78)
Goals: Skee 8/9

1 Luke Hardcastle
2 Nick Johnson
5 Jacob Blades
14 James Haynes
22 Omari Caro
6 Danny Nicholas
7 Benn Hardcastle
15 James Green
19 Paul Stamp
26 Lee Fewless
17 Chris Heil
12 Callum Cockburn
11 Jason Payne

Subs (all used)
13 Ricky Hough
10 Stephen Welton
20 Josh Stoker
3 Brad Krebs

Tries: B Hardcastle (10), Nicholas (26), Caro (58), L Hardcastle (60)
Goals: B Hardcastle 4/4

Penalty count: 7-4

Half-time: 12-12
Referee: Jamie Bloem
Attendance: 349

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 6-6, 6-12, 12-12, 18-12, 22-12, 28-12, 34-12, 34-18, 34-24, 40-24, 46-24, 52-24

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