London Skolars 14 North Wales Crusaders 20

27th August 2013

Skolars gained a valuable bonus point on Friday Night and moved into third place. A win next weekend against Oxford would ensure they finish in third place and gain home advantage in the first round of play-offs.

However, they couldn’t quite stop North Wales Crusaders moving one step closer to the league title, in a high intensity game and the largest crowd of the season at New River were treated to an uncompromising and entertaining game on a very humid night.

Skolars dominated the opening twenty minutes. Crusaders rarely had meaningful possession in the early stages. Dave Williams offloaded to James Anthony on the 20 metre for Skolars’ first try, one of several decisions for the video referee.

Skolars went over the line again soon afterwards after Andy McLean picked up a loose ball from a Dylan Skee bomb but was ruled out due to Tommy Johnson having been tackled in the air.

A Gareth Raynor break gave Skolars good field position from their next set, Skee’s bomb landed over the tryline and went dead, but he had been hit by a late tackle that went on report. The penalty was awarded on the 10 metre line and whilst games at New River have been high scoring this season, Skolars were mindful that this game was going to be tight and Skee kicked the penalty.

Skolars missed out again when John Paxton’s pass to Smokie Junor two metres out went forward.

Crusaders also had to contend with Adam Scott limping off soon after having replaced Simon Stephens and so Stephens had to return to the field for an extra stint. He and Jono Smith were probably the hardest grafting forwards for the Welsh as they worked their way into the game.

They finally opened their account on the half hour when Jono Smith pushed his way over the line. They took a narrow lead into the break. Although most of the crowd saw a clear forward pass on the right, the touch judge saw otherwise. Skolars didn’t play to the whistle and a short pause within the defence gave Crusaders the chance to advance down the centre. They were then in a good position to move the ball to the left and Leon Brennan went over. Tommy Johnson kicked his second conversion with Jamie Dallimore missing a drop goal attempt as the hooter sounded.

Skolars regained the lead when Dylan Skee snook under the defence from close range. But they had to withstand some continued pressure as Crusaders forced two goal line drop outs, though they had to well to stop the second Skee restart finding touch on the halfway line.

The pressure told and finally Crusaders went ahead again when Dave McConnell slipped the ball out for Toby Adamson to score. Johnson again converted and Dallimore again missed with a drop goal attempt soon afterwards. With tension rising both sides started to make handling errors. Skolars were in good position when Anthony’s pass to Skee went astray and then a Jono Smith break saw Jonny Walker lose the ball just short of the tryline.

Crusaders steadied things with a Johnson penalty. As they reached the halfway line, Raynor put in a hard tackle that dislodged the ball, but the touchjudge ruled that he had knocked the ball down. Skolars were unhappy with conceding the scrum and then conceded a penalty for dissent.

That gave Crusaders some breathing space, but whilst they missed two drop goal attempts, through Smith and Dallimore, their defence stood firm to seal the vital win.

James Anthony won the Man of the Match award sponsored by The Mall, Wood Green Shopping City

1 James Anthony
2 Smokie Junor
4 John Paxton
3 Joe Price
33 Gareth Raynor
26 Andy McLean
7 Dylan Skee
30 Michael Sykes
31 Jermaine Wray
10 David Williams
27 Sam Wellings
12 Mike Worrincy
13 Olly Purslow

Subs (all used)
9 Martyn Smith
14 Oliver Bloom
Tries: Anthony (3), Skee (47)
Goals: Skee 3/3

1 Tommy Johnson
32 Dan Birkett
3 Christiaan Roets
4 Leon Brennan
5 Rob Massam
6 Andy Moulsdale
33 Jamie Dallimore
8 Johnny Walker
14 Dave McConnell
21 Simon Stephens
15 Toby Adamson
12 Gary Middlehurst
29 Stephen Bannister

Subs (all used)
13 Jono Smith
19 Adam Scott
16 Ryan MacDonald
25 Owain Griffiths

Tries: Smith (29), Brennan (36), Adamson (60)
Goals: Johnson 4/4

Penalty count: 5-5

Half-time: 8-12
Referee: Peter Brooke
Attendance: 1,276

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 8-0, 8-6, 8-12, 14-12, 14-18, 14-20

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping cart 0 Items

Club Shop

APX-Performance are proud partners of London Skolars Rugby League’s Official Online StoreAPX-Performance are proud partners of London Skolars Rugby League’s Official Online Store

Match Tickets

CLICK below for ticketsCLICK below for tickets

Play mini and junior rugby for Skolars

Call: 020 8888 8488 | Email:
Ages 7-17


Be part of London, be part of London Skolars