Skolars v Thunder Match Report

13th March 2018

BetFred League 1: 3pm, Saturday 10th March 2018

London Skolars 16 Newcastle Thunder 60

Skolars crashed to a heavy defeat in their first home league game of the season, with Newcastle running in 9 unanswered tries after Skolars had been in the lead at the half-hour mark.

In the early stages, there was little indication of what was to come. Thunder enjoyed some early possession and Liam McAvoy took the ball from dummy and twisted around in the tackle to ground the ball over the line.

Skolars had brought in three dual registration players from Wigan, but it was  another Wiganer that made the first real break for them. Jake Melling made a weaving run to put his side in a good position. Two of the dual registrations then combined to level the scores; Tee Ritson waited for Josh Ganson’s kick to roll dead, but Callum Field raced through to get the ball just before the dead-goal line.

Three minutes the other member of the trio. Craig Mullen, came into the line on the right to split the Thunder defence, Neil Thorman adding his second conversion.

With a gap in the defensive line, quick hands saw the ball move out to the left for Tuoyo Egodo to put Newcastle into the lead.

Newcastle levelled the scores when Lewis Young took a short pass at speed to score under the posts. Then Lameck Juma and Evan Simons were yellow carded for fighting. Newcastle took advantage of a gap in the defensive line, passing the ball quickly to the left for Tuoyo Egodo to put the visitors into the lead.

Two minutes later Omari Caro was harshly sin-binned for tripping, perhaps more a careless tackle than an intentional act. Thunder pounced with Young making a jinking run to the line just before half-time.

By the time both sides were back to 13, Thunder had scored two more tries. Mo Agoro taking advantage of an open space to score in the right corner. Skolars’ kick-off went out on the full, but when they got the ball back they make good yards, only for Field to spill the ball close to the line.

Egodo set up Tom Shaw for the visitors’ sixth try. Both sides were back to thirteen at that stage, but Newcastle continued their domination. Tee Ritson dodged his way past the defence to score, then Ben Pointer scored against his former colleagues, going over from dummy half.

The visitors passed the half-century when Aaron Ollett went over unopposed on the left. Maybe it was the Thunder fan’s chant of “Are you Hemel in disguise” that spurred Skolars into action, the last ten minutes saw them attack with the vigour they’d showed in the opening quarter. That led to a consolation try for Skolars when Charlie Lawrence kicked the ball to the right where Mullen did well to take the ball and pass it out to Billy Driver to score in the corner.

Driver, who was named Skolars’ man of the match, had played on both wings and at hooker after coming off the bench and he then made a try saving tackle on Ali Blair who ran 70 metres. But, with the defence getting back, Ryan Lloyd scored Thunder’s tenth try with Tom Shaw adding his tenth conversion.


1 Craig Mullen

2 Sam Nash

3 Jake Melling

4 Lameck Juma

5 Elliott Hall

6 Charlie Lawrence

7 Neil Thorman

20 Callum Field

14 Josh Ganson

18 Lamont Bryan

12 Omari Caro

12 Jordan Williams

13 Ryan Chester


Subs (all used)

9 Billy Driver

10 Michael Sykes

18 Louis Robinson

12 Eddie Mbaraga


Tries:  Field (20), Mullen (23), Driver (72)

Goals:  Thorman 2/3

Sin-bin: Juma (34) – fighting, Caro (37) – tripping



1 Theerapol Ritson

5 Mo Agoro

4 Joe Brown

33 Tuoyo Egodo

2 Ali Blair

6 Lewis Young

16 Tom Shaw

13 Jack Aldous

9 Evan Simons

14 Vincent Rennie

26 Ryan Lloyd

12 Aaron Ollett

8 Liam McAvoy


Subs (all used)

11 Harry Aldous

20 Conor Fitzsimmons

21 Ben Pointer

24 Ben Calland


Tries: McAvoy (13), Young (30,39), Egodo(35), Agoro (42),  Shaw (47), Ritson (55), Pointer (60), Ollett (12), Lloyd (78)

Goals: Shaw 10/10
Sin-bin:  Simons (34) – fighting


Penalty count: 5-10

Half-time: 12-24

Referee: Andy Sweet

Attendance: 373


SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 6-6, 12-6, 12-12, 12-18, 12-24, 12-30, 12-36, 12-42, 12-48, 12-54, 16-54, 12-60

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