22nd January 2019

Match report

Capital Challenge 18 January 2019
London Skolars 6 Wigan Warriors 34

Skolars’ annual pre-season opener at the Honourable Artillery Company grounds on City Road saw them up against Super League champions Wigan. The Warriors’ side contained a mix of players from their Super League and Under 19 squads and fielded a stronger side than in recent Capital Challenges. The

Former Great Britain international and coach Ellery Hanley MBE was the guest of honour at the pre-match hospitality. With changes of coaching staff at first team and development level at the Warriors, it was a chance for several players that might be on the edge of the club’s first choice 17 to make an early impression. Also running their eye over the squad were Wigan coaches past and future, with Shaun Wane and Shaun Edwards both in attendance.

Both sides’ packs made strong runs early on, but when Mike Greenhalgh was sin-binned for a crusher tackle, Skolars’ defence couldn’t hold out. They conceded a goal-line drop-out and Wigan’s Joe Bullock forced his way through the defence, with Morgan Escare adding the conversion.

The French international went close to scoring a few minutes later, but he couldn’t quite follow up his grubber kick into the in-goal area before it went dead. Harrison Brough took a high ball out side to deny Wigan, but a few minutes thought another grubber kick would run dead. It didn’t and Craig Mullen touched down inches from the dead ball line.

Skolars again made some good yards through Mike Greenhalgh and Lamont Bryan, but there was no way through the Wigan defence. Just before half-time, Samy Kibula made a break from inside Skolars’ half before offloading for Liam Byrne to score under posts. They extended their lead soon after half-time when Morgan Smithies evaded the Skolars’ right hand side defence to score out wide

Skolars conceded a penalty in denying Mullen when he took a high ball, but their defence was then stretched to breaking point as Callum Field ran under the posts to score through the middle of a stretched defence. Three minutes later, they scored their sixth try of the afternoon, when Kibula again slipped a short pass to Bullock to score.

With six weeks to the start of the season, Head Coach Jermaine Coleman was encouraged by his side’s energy level in the closing quarter of the game, as they defended a series of attacks from Wigan’s left side. The scored their only try of the game when Jordan Williams made an angled run after Bryan had made inroads into the visitors’ defence, with James Barran kicking the conversion from Skolars.

1 Iliess Macani
2 Jerome Yates
3 Omari Caro
4 Sam Grant
5 Harrison Brough
6 James Barran
7 Mike Bishay
8 Judd Greenhlalgh
9 Neil Thorman
10 Michael Greenhalgh
11 Jordan Williams
12 Lamont Bryan
13 Liam Scott

Subs (all used)
14 Charlie Lawrence
15 Will Martin
16 Michael Sykes
17 Tommy Chipchase
18 Sam Davis
19 Matty Davies
20 Xavier Rice
21 Malakhi Lloyd-Jones
22 Matt Ross

Tries: Williams (64)
Goals: Barran 1/1
Sin-bin: Mike Greenhalgh (11) – crusher tackle

1 Morgan Escare
2 Craig Mullen
3 Chris Hankinson
4 Liam Forsyth
5 James Worthington
6 Jake Shorrocks
7 Harry Smith
8 Romain Navarette
9 Josh Ganson
10 Joe Buillock
11 Joe Shorrocks
12 Morgan Smithies
13 Olly Partington

Subs (all used)
14 Liam Byrne
15 Ryan Forsyth
16 Samy Kibula
17 Ben Kilner
18 Max Roberts
19 Aiden Rodwn
20 Jake Sculthorpe
21 Sam Halsall
22 Joe Brown
23 Callum Field

Tries: Bullock (15,61), Mullen (30), Bryne (36), Smithies (46), Field (58)
Goals: Escare 1/2, Smith 4/4

Penalty count: 9-4

Half-time: 0-16
Referee: Andy Sweet
Attendance: 712

Scoring Sequence: 0-6, 0-10, 0-16; 0-22, 0-28, 0-34, 6-34

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