23rd July 2019

Betfred League 1 – 20 July 2019

Newcastle Thunder 34 London Skolars 16

Skolars dropped out of the play-off spots after falling to a strong Newcastle side lying second in the league.

Skolars kicked early in the tackle count in the first half, pinning Thunder back in their own half. They had a good chance to score when Ronnie Palumbo’s passed to Jerome Yates with space on the wing, but the pass was ruled forward.

It took a solo effort by Thunder to open the scoring. Mikey Lewis making a break from 40 metres out before rounding the defence to score. The scrum-half, on loan from Hull KR, created the second try, a cut-out pass opening up the defence for Samoan international Matty Wright to touchdown.

The heavens opened before the end of the first half, but the rain had cleared when the sides returned to the field. Thunder went 16 points ahead when Rhys Clarke offloaded in a tackle close to the tryline and Wright was in support for his second try.

Skolars fight back started when they forced a Newcastle error on their own 20 metre line. They moved the ball to the right, with Omari Caro getting the ball down before the defence closed on him. 

When Thunder broke early from a scrum and were penalised a second time for disputing the decision, Skolars advanced upfield and James Barran moved the ball quickly to the left for Jerome Yates to leap to the tryline. 

Jordan Williams intercepted a Newcastle pass on his own ten metre line, the second row forward pulling away from the chasers as he raced under the posts. Thorman’s conversion levelled the scores and suddenly Skolars were back in the game at 16 all.

However, when Elliot Jennings caught the ball from the kick-off, his back foot crossed the touchline and Newcastle had a scrum 20 metres from the tryline. They took immediate advantage, Muizz Mustapha pulling in  four defenders to stop him, leading to a large gap on the right for Nick Newman to stroll over.

A Skolars’ hand deflected a pass on the sixth tackle of the next set giving Thunder another set. Lewis Young came into the line to set up Wright’s hat-trick and there was no stopping Mustapha from close range with Wright adding his fifth conversion to round off the scoring.


 1 Lewis Toung

19 Misi Taulapapa

11 Matty Wright

 4 Kieran Gill

 5 Alex Clegg

 7 Nick Newman

 6 Mikey Lewis

10 Joel Edwards

 9 Keal Carlilie

 8 Liam McAvoy

18 Rhys Clarke

17 Conor Fitzsimons

13 Jack Aldous

Subs (all used)

27 Jared Blanke

14 Evan Simons

12 Sam Luckley

20 Muizz Mustapha

Tries: Lewis (17), Wright (29,42.68), Newman (63), Mustapha (75)

Goals: Wright 5/6


 2 Iliess Macani

 5 Elliot Jennings

  3 Omari Caro

 4 Lameck Juma

 1 Jermome Yates

 6 James Barran

18 Judd Greenhalgh

 9 Neil Thorman

22 Mike Greenhalgh

12 Rob Tuliatu

11 Jordan Williams

13 Mike Bishay


17 Liam Scott

15 Matt Ross

20 Ronnie Palumbo

 8 Eddie Mbaraga

Tries:  Caro (48), Yates (52), Williams (60)

Goals: Thorman 2/3

Penalty count: 7-6

Half-time: 12-0

Referee: Cameron Worsley

Attendance: 1,098

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

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