22nd May 2019

Betfred League 1 – 18 May 2019

London Skolars 22 Doncaster 6

Skolars’ fifth consecutive win put then top of the League 1 on Saturday night, though Whitehaven’s win on Sunday saw then drop back to second place. 

It is the first time that Skolars have been top of the league table since joining the professional ranks in 2013.

Both sides were missing a Greek international, with Rob Tuliatu and Stephanos Bastas playing in the day’s opening game, a 2021 World Cup eliminator that saw Greece defeat Norway 56-26.

Doncaster build pressure in the first five minutes of the game, but when Iliess Macani intercepted a pass 15 metres from his own line, there was only going to be one winner of the race to the other end of the field. The visitors levelled the scores half-way through the first period, when they moved the ball to the right for Brad England to force his way over the tryline. At the point of the game Macani’s breakaway try had been Skolars’ one visit into the Doncaster 20 metre area.

A Neil Thorman penalty put Skolars back into the lead, with Doncaster attacking again soon afterwards, with Levy Nzoungou being held up over the tryline after a good run by Jack Brown. After Papuan international Watson Boas foul Richard Wilkinson as he made a break, Thorman added another penalty.  

Doncaster had a late chance to score after Macani was penalised for moving off the mark close to his line, but when Jason Tali tried to go through on the short side from the scrum, he was bundled into touch.

The start of second half saw Skolars defending again, Brandon Douglas being stopped short after catching a high kick to the left wing. They were also alert when the ball went loose close to the tryline, James Barran racing to gain possession. They won a penalty in the subsequent set, giving then some time in Donacaster’s half. The visitors seemed stunned by the Londoner’s defence, too often making solo efforts in the hope that the defence would split – it didn’t. Whilst the visitors’ management may have referred to the narrow New River pitch, it was round the edged that Skolars found the gap, Macani breaking down the right for Jacob Ogden to touchdown behind the posts, Thoeman’s conversion giving his side a ten point lead.

James Barran’s 40-20 kick gave Skolars an opportunity to put pressure on Doncaster’s line, with Richard Wilkinson forcing a goal-line drop-out. Wilkinson made a break from his own 20 metre line, but the try was disallowed for a knock-on in the build up. Brad England was held-up over the line before Doncaster passed the ball to the right wing, Sam Doherty drawing the defence as he came inside before flicking the ball out to Connor Bower. Jerome Yates stopped him in his tracks and the supporting defence helped bundle him into touch, one of many great defensive performances in the game

Skolars made certain of the win when Ronnie Palumbo took advantage of Tali’s error from a high kick with Barran taking over kicking duties from Thorman. Doncaster’s restart failed to go 10 metre and, although the second had been played under a heavy shower, there way no raining on Skolars’ parade when the hooter sounded the celebrations for an important and historic win could begin.


 1 Joe Brown

 2 Iliess Macani

 3 Jacob Ogden

  4 Lameck Juma

  5 Jerome Yates

  6 James Barran

14 Richard Wilkinson

15 Matt Ross

 9 Neil Thorman

10 Liam Scott

11 Jordan Williams

12 Rinaldo Palumbo

13 Dan Hindmarsh

Subs (all used)

 7 Mike Bishay

17 Malikhi Lloyd-Jones

16 Jon Magrin

20 Lamont Bryan

Tries: Macani (5), Ogden (58), Palumbo (70)

Goals: Thorman 4/4, Barran 1/1


 1 Watson Boas

 5 Sam Dohertry

 3 Connor Bower

  4 Jason Tali

19 Matty Chrimes

13 Jordie Hedges

 7 Matty Beharrell

 8 Russ Spiers

 9 Kyle Kesik

10 Ryan Boyle

22 Brad Foster

11 Brad England

31 Levy Nzoungou

Subs (all used)

27 Jack Brown

17 Brandon Douglas

20 Callum Ogden

26 Menzie Yere

Tries: England (19)

Goals: Beharrell 1/1

Penalty count: 4-7

Half-time: 10-6

Referee: Tom Crashley

Attendance: 608

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 6-6, 8-6, 10-6; 16-6, 22-6 

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