MATCH REPORT | North Wales Crusaders v London Skolars

10th September 2019

BetFred League1 – 7 September 2019

North Wales Crusaders 36 London Skolars 18

Four tries in the last fifteen minutes in the final game of the season put paid to Skolars’ hopes of a win that would have leapfrogged them over North Wales in the league table.

Skolars had piled on the pressure early on, forcing an error from the kick-off, then a goal-line drop-out. It was almost a dream start for Kayne Chan-Kitchener, but he couldn’t quite latch onto an Omari Caro pass when Skolars had made a break down the right.

They opened the scoring when Richard Wilkinson kicked the ball from the right towards the posts and Liam Scott plucked the ball out of the air before diving through the defence to score. They went further ahead when Jordan Williams broke through the defence on the left, with Neil Thorman kicking both conversions.

Crusaders fought back to level the scores at 12 apiece at half-time. Rob Massam brushed off the Skolars’ defence to score in the left corner, with Wilkinson’s effort to stop him forcing him off with a shoulder injury. Then Joe Ryan was stopped close to the tryline, but was able to offload the ball out of the tackle for Stephen Wild to touchdown.

North Wales took the lead after the restart wth Massam scoring his second try aftter Skolars had lost possession close to their own tryline. The winger took the ball kick-off running 50 metres before he was stopped.Skolars had to defend on their own line, but there was no-one going to stop Caro when he intercepted a pass right on his own tryline before sprinting the length of the field, Thorman’s conversion putting his side into the lead again.

Crusaders levelled the scores through a Ben Stead penalty, going ahead when Simon Atherton forced his way over on the left flank. Wild scored his second try of the game three minutes later. With time running out, Skolars threw caution to the wind. They lost possession, North Wales took advantage with Atherton releasing Dave Eccleston who went over the tryline in the left corner, before cutting inside to go behind the posts before passing the ball to Jonny Walker to touchdown in his last game for the Wrexham side. Walker then took up the kicking duties, his kick hitting the bar.

They scored again from the kick-off, Alex Eckley breaking through a tiring defence, before offloading to Wild who then returned the pass. Wild was also playing his last game for Crusaders and he kicked the conversion as the hooter sounded leaving Skolars in eighth place at the end of the season.


 1 Dave Eccleston

 3 Dante Morley-Samuels

 2 Earl Hurst

 4 Alex Thompson

 5 Rob Massam

 6 Karl Ashall

 7 Ben Stead

17 Jonny Walker

 9 Dec Gregory

10 Warren Thompson

11 Matt Reid

12 Simon Atherton

13 Stephen Wild


21 Alex Eckley

 8 James Tilley

18 Joe Ryan

16 Brad Brennan

Tries: Massam (31, 44), Wild (37, 69), Atherton (66), Walker (79), Eckley (80)

Goals: Stead 3/6, Walker 0/1, Wild 1/1


  2 Iliess Macani

  1 Kayne Chan-Kitchener

  3 Omari Caro

  4 Jordan Williams

  5 Jerome Yates

14 Richard Wilkinson

19 Jy-mel Coleman

10 Judd Greenhalgh

  9 Neil Thorman

  8 Michael Sykes

11 Jonathan Magrin

12 Michael Greenhalgh

13 Liam Scott


15 Matthew Davies

  7 Mike Bishay

18 Eddie Mbaraga

17 Tommy Chipchase

Tries: Scott (12), Williams (25), Caro (51)

Goals: Thorman 3/3

Penalty count: 4-3

Half-time: 12-12

Referee: Kevin Moore

Attendance: 421

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 0-12, 6-12, 12-12, 16-12, 16-18, 18-18, 22-18, 26-18, 30-18, 36-18

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