Capital Challenge – Full Match Report

28th January 2016

 

London Skolars v Wigan Warriors

Skolars firebrand, Ben Gray charges at the Wigan Defence

Match Report

London Skolars   6

Wigan Warriors   10

 

Skolars’ pre-season opened with the now traditional Capital Challenge game, taking on Wigan for the third time. It was the tenth Capital Challenge game to be played at the The Honourable Artillery Company Grounds and was the closest result of the games played in those historic surroundings on the outskirts of the City of London.

Whilst the opposition might have been youthful, with a predominantly under 19 side, there were seven England academy internationals in their ranks, so there was no shortage of talent, all keen to impress ahead of their season, no doubt mindful of the rapid progress made by George Williams and Dom Mandfredi, who played two years ago.

Despite heavy rain until half-time, both sides were eager to move the ball around to create chances even if that meant a few errors. Skolars had an early chance to capitalise when Joe Price intercepted on his own 20 metre line. The Wigan defence raced back to chase him down, finally dislodging the ball 10 metres from the tryline.

Liam Marshall opened up the scoring midway though the first half as the Warriors created an overlap down the left flank, Jake Moore converting from the touchline. He added a second soon after racing onto Lewis Heckford’s grubber kick to touchdown.

Skolars then started to attack a little more and a high bomb by half-back Ben Pointer, a youngster on loan for the season from London Broncos, they forced an error close to the tryline. Will Lovell drew the defence on the right before slipping the ball out to Joe Price, who just managed to ground the ball despite the efforts of Marshall. Charlie Lawrence added the goal to narrow the deficit to 6-10 at half-time.

That score late at the end of the first half seemed to lift Skolars in the early stages of the second half as the rain subsided. The young Wigan side, applied themselves well to keep out a large London pack, with the bulk ofthe action being in the Warriors half. Chances were few for both sides, but Price had another opportunity late in the game, but was forced into touch close to the tryline. The Warriors held out to retain the trophy.

Skolars’ Jermaine Coleman was upbeat in defeat. “We’ve kept the majority of the team from last season and have had a good pre-season together; today you saw the fruits of that labour. I was very pleased with the way we muscled up in defence. Wigan may have been a very young team, but they are full-time and probably train more than us. So to go so close it’s almost a little frustrating that we didn’t see it out.”

Wigan played a Super League game at Millwall last September and are keen to repeat a high profile trip to the Capital. Their first team Head Coach Shaun Wane was enthused about the day at the HAC.  “It was what we wanted and far more. This was the first time that the majority of the team had played against men. It was a great experience for them. We love coming to London and we are trying to get the best of the talent. If London kids want to play Rugby League we want them to think of Wigan and we want to spread the word”.

London Skolars

1 Alex Anthony

2 Sam Nash

3 Aaron Small

4 Joe Price

5 Lameck Juma

6 Charlie Lawrence

7 Mike Bishay

8 Erjon Dollapi

9 Ben Pointer

10 Ben Gray

11 Mike Worrincy

12 Will Lovell

13 Ryan Chester

 

Subs (all used)

14 Billy Driver

15 Eddie Mbaraga

16 Sam Druce

17 Michael Greenhalgh

18 Will Martin

19 Jimmy Morgan

20 Mike Benson

 

Tries: Price (40)

Goals: Pointer 1/1

 

Wigan Warriors XII

1 James Worthington

2 Tom Davies

3 Liam Paisley

4 Patrick Casey

5 Liam Marshall

6 Lewis Heckford

7 Josh Woods

8 Sam Brady

9 Craig Mullen

10 Patrick Jones

11 Jake Moore

12 Callum Field

13 Greg Burke

 

Subs (all used)

14 Joe Pilling

15 Sam Kibula

16 Caine Barnes

17 Max Dudley

18 Oliver Russell

19 Sam Adejumo

20 Tyler Spence

21 Oliver Partington

 

Tries: Marshall (20,29)

Goals:  Moore 1/2

 

Penalty count: 5-5

 

Half-time: 6-10

Referee: Jamie Bloem

Attendance: 576

 

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 0-10, 6-10


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