U17’s Taste Semi-Final Success at Elmbridge

3rd May 2016

Our U17’s continued their impressive form in 2016 as they dug in for a gritty win against a strong Elmbridge outfit. In what was the best contest that the Skolars had found themselves in all this year, they had to fight back from a 14-6 halftime deficit to record a 32-20 win.

A strong Elmbridge start really seemed to shock the boys from North London and before they knew it they were under their posts and facing a 14-0 scoreline. Some poor discipline and bad control in the contact area, allowed Elmbridge to gain easy yards and put themselves in some great attacking positions.

The only glowing light of the first half was a close range try by hooker Mitchell Youngs which gave the Skolars some much needed points on the board going into the half-time break.

After some positive talk at half-time from the U17’s Coaches, Skolars began to gain control in the second half and exerted some dominance. Prop’s Ben Woodward and Nicky Grimes were a handful for Elmbridge to handle with their strong and direct runs and off the back off that Jordan Rhoden, Johnathon Kpoku and Alex Pentecost were sent across the whitewash.

Elmbridge however refused to back down and despite some injuries to key personnel, kept Skolars working hard in defence, crossing for another try of their own to bring the scoreline back to within 8 points. However two late tries by impressive centre Olly Clague, who run some fantastic lines all game, sealed the win for Skolars and confirmed their place in the final of the Junior League Challenge Cup for the 2nd year in a row.

Head Coach Matt Cuss spoke of his delight at the win ‘everyone involved with this squad was delighted with the manner of our victory today, credit to Elmbridge they provided us with the best test we have had all year, and you want these sort of games every week. The boys made lots of errors in the first half, but what was pleasing was the maturity and control of the game they showed throughout the second half to play some smart rugby and come away with the win.’

‘We suffered Cup Final heartbreak last year, losing 18-16 to a last minute penalty so the boys this year will want to really make up for that and secure the 2nd piece of silverware to add to the 9’s they won at the beginning of the season.’

The U17’s return to League action this weekend as they travel away too much improved Eastern Rhinos. They’ll be looking to continue their current form and keep themselves at the top of the London Junior League.



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