18’s Rue Missed Kicks as Eastern Rhinos claim the Win

14th June 2017

Last night saw London Skolars U18’s take to Perth Road in what was an extremely competitive fixture against Eastern Rhinos.

With the limited opportunity for fixtures this year due to there being no recognised U18’s League, it’s been a frustrating start to 2017 for the Skolars U18’s, however with some hard-work from the club and the support of other teams in and around the London Junior League who have a number of youngsters at this age group, we have secured a competitive fixture list to supplement the boys training and development as they approach Senior Rugby.

Eastern Rhinos, ably coached by London RL stalwart, Pete Le Marquand and including several players from the education programme at Colne College were a strong and well organised outfit, whilst the Skolars could call on many experienced players from last season’s Grand Finalist U17’s team, along with young players who have stepped up from our U16’s and Community Programmes in local schools and colleges, so a fantastic prospect was in store.

The game was extremely physical from the first whistle, with the Skolars large forward pack proving a handful in the middle of the park. Strong runs from James Napier, Rodell Reid and new-comer Aaron Osademe set a solid platform, for experienced half-backs Tom Hamer and Joel Bateson to challenge the Eastern Rhinos defence on the edges.

Skolars struck first with a fantastic try from hooker Mitchell Youngs, he took the opportunity to scoot at a broken defence and beat numerous defenders to force his way across the line for the opening score. Eastern struck back with the next set with a well worked try in the far corner, despite full-back Jerome Yates best efforts he couldn’t stop the Eastern centre from grounding the ball.

The first half saw a similar pattern with Skolars and Eastern trading hits in the middle in an effort to gain a stranglehold on the game, both sides capitalising on errors to cross for tries, with Skolars going into the break with a slight advantage.

The second half took its toll physically on the young players, with both Eastern and Skolars players being forced out of the game with injuries, this meant a disjointed half, however the momentum was certainly with Eastern, as they crossed for some quickfire tries against a tired Skolars defence. However, Sean Scott’s charges weren’t finished yet and galvanised themselves to begin to claw themselves back into the game. Strong finishes from Clem Harrison and Jerome Yates left them within a score, however half-back Joel Bateson who had an outstanding game overall, was just off with his kicking game and as the final whistle blew on what had been a rip-roaring game, the Rhinos were winners as 26-22.

Head Coach Sean Scott was delighted with the quality of the game and the effort shown by his players ‘it was a great performance from all the players today, a narrow loss is really hard to take, but it was a gutsy effort and I’m proud of the way the players battled right to the final whistle.

‘I felt we controlled the majority of the game, however credit to Eastern they punished our mistakes and made it count when they had opportunities.’

The Skolars U18’s will resume training next week before they are back into competitive action which sees them enter a fixture list which have an opposed training session against London Broncos U19’s, play SW Ironmen at home as a warm up for the First Team fixture, travel away to Eastern Rhinos again and then finally finish the season against Scotland in what should be a fantastic end to the season for the young players.


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