5th March 2019



BetFred League 1 – 2 March 2019

London Skolars 12 Newcastle Thunder 48


The Newcastle side were widely regarded as favourites for promotion, but had sacked their coach Jason Payne earlier in the week after two defeats and Skolars felt the backlash.


However, the nature of the defeat was disappointing. Skolars were leading 12-10 at half-time, but were blown away as Thunder ran in seven tries in the second half.


In windy conditions, the early stages saw Liam Finn repeatedly sending high bombs to Gideon Boafo’s wing, but the youngster on dual registration from Broncos was calm under pressure.. They were more successful when they moved the ball to the other wing, though it took a salmon leap from Mo Agoro to touch down in the right corner.


A James Barran kick into the in-goal area forced Newcastle to concede a goal line drop out. The resulting set saw James Meadows cut past the defence to score under the posts. The low kick at the end of the next set saw Newcastle just get to the ball, but Skolars’ captain Iliess Macani was alert and was able to steal the ball. Skolars then moved the ball to the right, Meadows’ pass finding Mike Greenhalgh who powered over from ten metres out, Neil Thorman adding his second conversion.


After a few punches thrown in a off-the-ball incident, Sam Luckley and Lamont Bryan both received ten minutes in the sin-bin. Newcastle tried to make the most of the reduced numbers in defence, but, along with several dropped passes, Agoro lost the ball in a tackle out on the wing, then Misi Taulapapa’s pass went behind Agoro after Evan Simons had been held short of the line.


Newcastle narrowed the deficit just before half-time after Macani had been penalised for not rolling away after a tackle. The recently introduced Keal Carlile went over from close range. When the ball went to ground on the halfway line as the hooter sounded, Skolars shifted the ball out to their right. Boafo couldn’t keep hold of the pass and, in stretching to regather, suffered a possible hamstring strain and played no further part in the game.


Newcastle moved into the lead soon after the restart when Carlile’s short pass saw Jack Aldous burst through the defence and they went further ahead when Max Jowitt finished off a Joe Arundel break down the left for Max Jowitt to finish off. Finn kicked the conversion from the sideline into a strong wind.


That wind helped Skolars regain possession from the kick-off, with the ball crossing the ten metre line in the air before being blown back into their hands.  Lameck Juma made break down the left, but the inside pass to Sam Grant went to ground. Thunder attacked again with Carlile opening up a gap for Taulapapa to touchdown. This time Richard Wilkinson’s short restart kick was blown directly into touch. The resultant penalty for Newcastle saw them pressurise the defence again another short pass from Carlile saw Luckley touchdown.


Aaron Olett scored when Skolars failed to get to a grubber kick and Arundel raced through a gap to score soon afterward, before Jowitt blazed down the right for his second try off the game.



14 Richard Wilkinson

2 Gideon Boafo

1 Iliess Macani

3 Sam Grant

5 Lameck Juma

6 James Barran

7 James Meadows

8 Judd Greenhalgh


9 Neil Thorman

10 Liam Scott

12 Michael Greenhalgh

11 Jordan Williams

13 Daniel Hindmarsh


Subs (all used)

15 Isaac Ah Kuoi-Atmore

20 Mike Bishay

16 Matt Ross

17 Lamont Bryan


Tries:  Meadows (15), M Greenhalgh (18)

Goals: Thorman 1/2

Sin-bin: Bryan – fighting (23)



11 Max Jowitt

2 Mo Agoro

3 Misi Taulapapa

4 Joe Arundel

5 Alex Clegg

6 Remy Marginet

7 Liam Finn

8 Liam McAvoy

9 Evan Simons

27 Jared Blanke

15 Conor Fitzsimons

12 Aaron Olett

13 Jack Aldous


Subs (all used)

14 Keak Carlilie

19 Harry Aldous

20 Sam Luckley

10 Jordan Crowther


Tries: Agoro (10), Carlile (36), J Aldous (42), Jowitt (47,79), Taulapapa (55), Luckley (60), A Olett (68), Arundel (75)


Goals: Finn 6/9
Sin-bin: Luckley – fighting (23)


Penalty count: 5-8

Half-time: 12-10

Referee: Andy Sweet

Attendance: 302


SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-4, 6-4, 12-4, 12-10; 12-16, 12-22, 12-28, 12-34, 12-40, 12-44, 12-48

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