Stags successfully hunted in the Derby

30th March 2016

Kingstone Press League 1
Hemel Stags 12 London Skolars 38

Skolars won their Good Friday derby game, though it wasn’t until midway through the second half that they pulled away from their Hertfordshire rivals.

Both halves saw Hemel score early tries, with the initial try scorer going on to get sin-binned in the last minute of the first half and the latter second off at the end of the second. Rhys Bowdich opened the scoring racing through a gap in the defence. Skolars had to withstand heavy pressure with Ben Stead forcing a goal line drop-out. But Skolars began to control possession more effectively and after John Paxton had gone close, Alex Anthony came into the attacking line to score on the right. Charlie Lawrence adding his second conversion.

Skolars went into the lead when Mike Bishay put in a grubber kick, close to the line. The Stags fumbled the ball and Bishay was able to gather the ball and dive under the posts. Bowdich was sin binned for the hosts late in the half and Bishay slotted over a penalty.

Hemel were right back in contention early in the second half with James Delaney opening up the defence for BJ Swindells to score. Skolars re-established an eight point margin with Sam Nash taking a long pass from Ryan Chester to score in the corner.

Head Coach Jermaine Coleman rejoined Skolars last season after a spell at Hemel and two of the former Skolars he brought back with him were instrumental in the fourth try. Forward Eddie Mbaraga surprised the opposition with a kick through and his follow-up forced an error close to the tryline. The ensuing set of six tackles saw the ball moved out wide for Aaron Small to force his way over the line. Mbaraga scored himself four minutes later after Coleman had jumped high from a Bishay kick to pass the ball back to his supporting team-mates, Joe Price offloading to Mbaraga even though he had a good chance to score himself in his 100th game for Skolars.

Despite faultless goal kicking throughout the game, Skolars chose to run a penalty close to the tryline and were rewarded when Sam Nash powered over in the corner, Bishay kicking his fifth goal of the day.

At the end of the game Skolars superior quality and class shone through and the win could have been more comprehensive. Evidence of this was visible as the hosts vented their frustration through ill discipline. Head Coach Jermaine Coleman, as ever the perfectionist stated ‘While we were very good in parts of this game, with our completion rate and physicality particuarly impressive, we still started slowly and this is something we need to rectify. We can not afford to start sloppily against some of the stronger teams, we will also have to show more attacking potency.’

1 Reece Rance
2 Jordan Aichimson
3 BJ Swindells
4 Oli Toms
5 Simon Hrbek
6 Chad Isles
7 Ben Stead
8 Malakhi Lloyd-Jones
9 James Delaney
10 Matt Ross
22 Tala Petelo
12 Luke Patterson
13 Rhys Bowdich
Subs (all used)
21 Kyal Green
17 Mike Stewart
16 Liam O’Callaghan
18 Victor Coker

Tries: Bowdich (2), Swindells (48)
Goals: Stead 2/2
Sin-bin: Bowdich (40) – high tackle, Swindell (80) – punching

1 Alex Anthony
2 Sam Nash
3 Aaron Small
4 Joe Price
5 John Paxton
6 Jermaine Coleman
7 Mike Bishay
8 Michael Sykes
9 Charlie Lawrence
13 Dion Chapman
11 Eddie Mbaraga
12 Will Lovell
10 David Williams

Subs (all used)
14 Ben Pointer
15 Ben Grey
16 Ryan Chester
19 Erjon Dollapi

Tries: Antony (18), Bishay (24), Nash (51,67), Small (60), Mbaraga (64)
Goals: Lawrence 2/2, Bishay 5/5

Penalty count: 7-10

Half-time: 6-14
Referee: Jack Smith
Attendance: 425

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 6-6, 6-12, 6-14, 12-14, 12-20, 12-26, 12-32, 12-38

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