Skolars Juniors Round-Up

16th July 2013

As the London Junior League season reaches its exciting conclusion, Skolars were represented in the play-offs by the U12’s, U14’s and the U19’s. Knockout rugby can provide some real surprises and none of these results were a foregone conclusion.
The U12’s have had a real tough season this year but still managed to make the play-offs and with it left themselves with a fighting chance of making the Grand Final in the same manner they did last year. Unfortunately for this young, talented side is was not to be as they went down at Brentwood 52 points to 10. After the successes of last season and with many players leaving the side to move forward to the U14’s it was always going to be a big ask for a completely new team to gel in time to make any real mark in the competition, however the U12’s have improved with each game and have been noted by many teams in the league for their tenacity and ‘never say die’ attitude. Credit must go to dedicated coach Ian Ackley, who has made this season a great experience for all the boys who have pulled on the U12’s jersey. With many of these lads still at the U12’s age group for next year and now a large group of Mini’s who will progress into the Junior set up in March, the future is most certainly bright for our youngest Junior team.
Unfortunately, due to holidays and personal commitments the 14’s were unable to fulfill their play-off fixture.
The U19’s who, have had a great season carrying on from their fantastic year at U18’s, faced Staines Titans in the play-off Semi-Final. The match was brought forward a week so that the lads could have the opportunity to travel to Halifax to watch the first team in the Northern Rail Bowl Final this coming weekend. With the booked referee not turning up, both teams preparations were disrupted and kick off was put back until 1.30pm whilst a referee was sourced. First Team Assistant Coach Marcus Tobin stepped into the breach and with both teams and the RFL happy the game was allowed to go ahead.
The heat and the late start seemed to rattle the Skolars, who have had a habit of starting really well in most games this season, Staines Titans took advantage of this and pushed the boys in red and green the whole way in the first half. With the whistle sounding for half-time the scores were tied at 16-16. With some stern words by Assistant Coach Dion Chapman and a few positional changes, the Skolars started the second half with a renewed vigour. Again some real dominant defence in the middle, which has been a feature of the Skolars game all year, put Skolars firmly on the front foot, racing in for 3 unanswered tries to stretch their lead to 20 points. Staines as they have in all the previous fixtures this year kept coming at Skolars and sneaked in for a try to make sure that it was not all one way traffic in the second half. However it wasn’t enough and with a final try to give David Ogufere his hatrick, the fulltime whistle was blown and the game finished up 42-22 to the Skolars.
The U19’s now go through to the Grand Final on the 27th June at Hemel. All support will be welcome.
Even though the games are finished for many of the teams, training for the Mini’s and Juniors is still going ahead, and with GB and Leeds legend Jamie Peacock paying New River a visit in August along with the first team involved in some crucial fixtures in the run in to Championship One, there is still plenty of RL action to be witnessed in North London.

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