Skolars u19s in international clash with scotland

7th September 2017

This weekend saw London Skolars U19s bring their season to a close with the visit of Scotland U19s who were into the second week of their U19s representative programme for 2017.


Watched by a good crowd including members of the London Skolars 1st team, it was an exciting game. London Skolars showing no signs of being over-awed by the class that was evident in the Scotland ranks, which included players of the calibre of Will Kerr, who spent time in the U20’s NRL competition with the Canterbury Bulldogs and the London Broncos U19’s pairing of Caley Gray and Alfie Edwards.


Skolars certainly started the brighter of the two sides, matching the well organised and tough Scottish forwards in the early exchanges. The young London Skolars pack which included Barnet & Southgate Academy players Will Prior & Adam Green along with U19’s stalwarts Christian Gale and Rodell Reid were well marshalled around the field by half-backs Tom Hamer and Alfie Lawrence, who had dropped down to his age group following his impressive League One debut at Friday Night Lights. Hooker Mitchell Youngs was a constant threat and his calm and solid performance in the middle epitomised the Skolars in the first period.


It was Young’s replacement, Tom Scott who struck first for the Skolars however as he powered his way over for a close range try which was converted by Lawrence. Scott added a different dimension at hooker, exploiting any poor defensive efforts by the Scottish and laying a fantastic platform for replacement prop’s Aaron Osademe and Fraser Piercy Farley to continue to travel hard into the Scottish defence.


As the end of the first half approached, the Scottish held a slender lead and would have been well aware that they were in a game.


After half-time Head Coach Sean Scott made a number of changes as he looked to give everyone the opportunity to face the Scots, this seemed to disjoint the Skolars as their defensive efforts became sloppy around the ruck and the ruthless Scots exposed this running in some fine tries. However, the Skolars did hit back and built up some incredible pressure, but could not breach a Scottish defence that had been well prepared, the Skolars threw everything at them, but were limited in their attack and could not force their way over the goal-line to claw themselves back into the game.


The fantastic defence gave the Scots a morale boost and they went up another gear as the game neared its conclusion and as Skolars began to slip off some tackles in the middle, the Scottish exploited the quick play the balls and ran in some fantastic tries, the pick of which being an effort by the wonderful Will Kerr who took on a broken field and showed off some fantastic footwork to race away under the posts to the delight of his team-mates and coaches.


The Skolars kept going until the final whistle however and were rewarded late on in the game, as Alfie Lawrence capped off a fine individual performance as he dived over for a consolation try to bring the final score to London Skolars 12 – Scotland 32.


Credit must go to both sides for producing such an entertaining game, defensively both sides gave their all, with the more inventive Scottish attack ultimately being the difference. Head Coach Sean Scott was proud of his players and commented


I don’t feel like the end score-line really reflected how close the match was at times and we most certainly made the Scottish work hard for their tries. I was really proud of the players and exposing them to high levels of Rugby League like they experienced today is a fantastic development opportunity for them, I’d like to thank the Scottish players and coaches for their involvement and everyone at London Skolars for putting on such a fantastic event today.

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