U16’s March into Junior League Semi-Final

11th July 2017

This weekend saw our U16’s secure a place in the London Junior League Play-Off Semi Final after a convincing win over Elmbridge Eagles.

Despite missing some key players Cameron Giwa Mcneil, Fraser Farley and Adam Green from the forward pack, Skolars named a strong side that was more than capable of producing a result.

Elmbridge had finished 3rd in the notoriously strong South Division, so the Skolars were expecting a solid test and this proved true, as Elmbridge brought with them an expansive game of Rugby League, moving the ball at every opportunity and shifting the big Skolars forwards around the pitch. It took a while for the Skolars to get control of the game, however once they did, they played a far more effective game of Rugby League and forced Elmbridge to tighten up their play.

Not for the first time this season some strong performances by half-backs James White and Alex Deery and a fantastic kicking display by Tommy Fraine saw the result go beyond Elmbridge’s reach. However, performance of the day must go to prop forward Will Prior, who in the absence of some of his fellow pack members led from the front all game and really set the platform for the exciting Skolars backs to begin to move the ball around. Will is a player who we are really excited about here at Skolars, and a player who has all the natural attributes to make a career out of Rugby League.

Assistant First Team Coach and Community Development Manager Matt Cuss spoke of Will ‘we first spotted Will when he was playing for Finchley Catholic School around 3 or 4 years ago in a Champion Schools Tournament, and we urged him to come down to join the club. Luckily his parents were supportive and have continued that over the years and he has been ever present for us through the age-groups.

Cuss continued ‘When I watch Will play I am always impressed, for a big bloke he has explosive pace, he is powerful in both attack and defence and has a controlled aggression that really makes him a force to be reckoned with in the middle of the field. He has fantastic tackle technique and has really kicked on well this year under the leadership of U16’s Head Coach Dion Chapman, who has undoubtedly had an influence on Will’s overall game.’ I fully expect Will to continue to develop over the next few years and hopefully one day he along with a good number of our current U16’s will be making the step up into our First Team Squad.

Chapman’s U16’s will be in action this weekend as they play Bromley Bengals for a place in the London Junior League Final, Chapman will be hoping that he has a full squad available for selection, as Bromley will prove to be the biggest challenge yet for our young Skolars.

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