12th March 2019


Coral Challenge Cup Round 3 – 10 March 2019

London Skolars 18 North Wales Crusaders 31


Skolars were knocked out of the Coral Challenge Cup by fellow League 1 side North Wales Crusaders, paying the price for not taking advantage of a strong wind in the first half.


They had started strongly, strong tackling keeping Crusaders deep in their own half on the first set of six tackles, then forcing a goal-line drop-out. However, they lost possession early in the tackle count.


Crusaders were able to capitalise when they earned a drop-out at the other, Kenny Baker finding a gap on the Skolars’ left to open the scoring. Skolars then had to try to defend with a man short after Judd Greenhalgh was sin-binned for a crusher tackle on Earl Hurst. Rob Massam found a gap on Skolar’s right wing before offloading for Karl Ashall to score the visitors’ second try.


After conceding two penalties in quick succession, Skolars had to defend another goal-line drop-out. They held Crusaders out this time and, with Greenhalgh back on the pitch, Lamont Bryan went over from close range after a Jordan Williams run.


North Wales went into the break 6-18 ahead when Baker slipped past a slow defence to score his second try and went further ahead soon after the restart when Callum Hazzard collected a Ben Stead pass close to the posts.


Skolars had to work their way downfield against a strong wind, forcing a drop-out and Eddie Mbaraga was able to push over the defence to keep Skolars in contention. He went close with a similar attempt a few minutes later, but the next try was much more impressive. Iliiess Macani took the ball from a scrum deep in his own half, showing his pace as he passed the defence and raced away to score under the posts. Neil Thorman raced to kick his third conversion. Skolars were now just six points behind with ten minutes remaining.


However, Crusaders responded, with Ben Stead making a 40-20 kick to give them possession close to Skolars’ line. They went for the drop-goal early in the tackle count, Steven Roper making sure that Skolars would need to score twice to win the game.


With time running out, Skolars went for a short kick-off, but it failed to go 10 metres. Crusaders then won another penalty within easy kicking range, but chose to run the ball and wind the clock down. Ashall was held-up after a Massam break, before Simon Atherton brushed away the defence for Crusaders’ final try with Baker adding his fifth conversion of the afternoon.



1 Iliess Macani

2 Jerome Yates

4 Omari Caro

3 Sam Grant

5 Lameck Juma

6 James Barran

7 Neil Thorman

8 Judd Greenhalgh

9 Mike Bishay

10 Lamont Bryan

12 Michael Greenhalgh

11 Jordan Williams

14 Xavier Rice


Subs (all used)

13 Isaac Ah Kuoi-Atmore

17 Eddie Mbaraga

15 Malakhi Lloyd-Jones

16 Will Martin

Tries: Bryan (30), Mbaraga (52), Macani (72)

Goals: Thorman 3/3

Sin-bin: J Greenhalgh – crusher tackle (14)



1 Ryan Smith

22 David Eccleston

3 Matt Reid

4 Earl Hurst

5 Rob Massam

6 Steven Roper

7 Ben Stead

10 Warren Thompson

15 Karl Ashall

23 Callum Hazzard

11 Jack Houghton

12 Simon Atherton

13 Kenny Baker


Subs (all used)

17 Brad Brennan

14 Kenny Hughes

18 Jonny Walker

21 Alex Eckley


Tries: Baker (10,39), Ashall (17), Hazzard (45),Atherton (79)

Goals: Baker 5/5

Drop-goal: Roper


Penalty count: 10-9


Half-time: 6-18

Referee: Billy Pearson

Attendance: 170


SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 0-12, 6-12, 6-18; 6-24, 12-24, 18-24, 18-25, 18-31

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