London Skolars vs Wigan Warriors: Match Report

25th January 2017

London Skolars 26 Wigan Warriors 22

 

Ten years after the first annual Capital Challenge game at the Honourable Artillery Club on the edge of London’s financial district, Skolars won for the first time, but they were pushed hard by a determined young Wigan side, comprised predominantly of the Under 19s side that reached their Grand Final last season.

 

In their first pre-season game of the year, Skolars took the lead early, gaining a penalty close to their tryline then firing the ball to the wing for Sam Nash to score, Mike Bishay adding a goal line conversion. They went further ahead after another extended period of possession, this time after forcing a goal-line drop out. The ball went out to the right again, but this time Eddie Mbaraga took the ball to the line and powered his way through the defence.

 

The visitors hit back taking adavantage of a Skolars’ error from a high kick, with Callum Wood hacking the ball on 30 metres out for James Barran to win the chase to the tryline, Oliver Russell adding the extras.  However, Skolars continued to dominate and were rewarded when Billy Driver went over from dummy half. Mike Bishay forced another goal line drop out, but Wigan held out and it was 14-6 to Skolars at the break.

 

Skolars started the second half the way they had left off. After a period of domination, Lamont Bryan using his physical advantage to brush past the defence. A kick to the wing saw Callum Whitcombe pat the ball back and Bishay was in support to race to the tryline, Charlie Lawrence kicking his second conversion of the half.

 

However, with the game approaching the hour mark, Wigan started a comeback. A flighted pass from Tom Maloney struck a Skolars’ hand before Joe Brown caught the ball to score on the left. After Maloney was held-up over the line, Barran went over in the corner.

 

After a melee that saw Joe Pilling and Aaron Small receive red cards, Wigan were able to find more gaps in the defence. First Tom Maloney finished off a move by Sam Grant and James Worthington down the right. Six minutes later Joe Brown touched down from a Sammy Kibula pass, but having missed all four conversions in the half they were still four points behind with two minutes remaining. They pushed the ball to the right, but Skolars got a hand to it and the clock wound down. After the resulting scrum, Louis Robinson caught a short kick and Skolars could start to celebrate.

 

Their Head Coach Jermaine Coleman was cautious in victory, mindful of the long season ahead. “I’m pleased with the fantastic result but slightly disappointed with the second half, we let in too many points, but that’s down to game fitness, fatigue and player rotation”.

 

LONDON SKOLARS

20 Jake Melling

2 Sam Nash

3 Aaron Small

4 Lameck Juma

5 James Hill

7 Mike Bishay

9 Charlie Lawrence

8 Louis Robinson

9 Billy Driver

10 Dave Williams

11 Lamont Bryan

12 Eddie Mbaraga

13 Ryan Chester

 

Subs (all used)

15 Kazeem Faturoti

16 Will Fairhurst

18 Michael Greenhalgh

21 Callum Whitcombe

22 John Paxton

23 Will Martin

24 Michael Brown

25 Michael Sykes

27 Josh Allinson

28 Jordan Williams

29 Dan Ljazouli

 

Tries: Nash (8), Mbaraga (16), Driver (30), Bryan (48), Bishay (53)

Goals: Bishay 1/3, Lawrence 2/2

 

WARRIORS

1 Craig Mullen

2 Joe Brown

3 James Barran

4 James Worthington

5 Sam Grant

6 Harry Smith

7 Oliver Russell

8 Caine Barnes

9 Callum Wood

10 Kyle Shelford

11 Joe Pilling

12 Liam Paisley

13 Patrick Casey

 

Subs (all used)

14 Nico Rizelli

15 Oliver Partington

16 Liam Byrnes

17 Aidan Rodan

18 Aidan Sutton

19 Tom Maloney

20 Nathaniel Marshall

21 Sammy Kibola

 

Tries: Barran (21,61), Brown (57,77), Maloney (71)

Goals:  Russell 1/1, Barran 0/1, Smith 0/1, Brown 0/2
Penalty count: 7-6

 

Half-time: 14-6

Referee: Matt Rossleigh

Attendance: 675

 

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 10-0, 10-6, 14-6, 20-6, 26-6, 26-10, 26-14, 26-18, 26-22

 

By: Andrew Jackson


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