Match Report – Bears vs Skolars

27th May 2021

BetFred League 1 – 23 May 2021

Coventry Bears 26 London Skolars 44

Skolars came back from behind three times for their first win of the season, scoring four unanswered tries in the last quarter of the game. The game at Butts Park Arena marked a return of spectators to League games in England and those present saw a match that could have gone either way until the last ten minutes.

The game didn’t start for Skolars, with Coventry running the ball at the end of the first set of the game, with Liam Welham edging past the defence to score on the right. The visitors soon had a chance to attack and regained possession close to the tryline after Neil Thorman had gone close. Skolars moved the ball out for Paulos Latu to score on his debut. They went further ahead when full-back Richard Wilkinson came into the attacking line to score on the left.

The lead was shortlived, when Kieran Sherratt scored for the Bears. Dave Scott’s conversion hit the post, but the home side soon extended their lead after Skolars conceded a penalty early in the tackle count. Jack Dawson breaking through the defence for Scott to touchdown. When Matt Welham and Nathan Hill combined to put Dan Coates it looked bad for Skolars, but Judd Greenhalgh’s crashover try in the last minute of the first half left Skolars just two points behind.

They regained the lead through Jonah Varela, but Coventry came back with Scott pausing his run close to the line, wrong footing the on-coming defence to slip through for his second touchdown.

Skolars fought back with Will Blakemore being held up over the line, before Wilkinson again joined the attack for Luma to touchdown in the left corner. Thorman missed a difficult conversion leaving the scores level at 26 apiece. Christian Gale made a strong run from the restart and Mike Greenhalgh finished off the attack to put Skolars ahead on the hour.

The try of the game came when Coventry kicked high in a swirling wind, Wilkinson catching the ball deep in his own half, then running towards a gap on the wing and slipping the ball out to Omari Caro, who raced 50 metres before offloading to the supporting Varela for his second try.

With just one league game last season, it’s been almost two years since their last win, so Skolars were keen to make sure of the victory. Some intelligent kicking by Jy-Mel Coleman (returning on loan from Hunslet) ensured Coventry were having to start their attacks deep in their own half and when Caro intercepted a Bears pass on the half-way line, there was no stopping him, Thorman adding his sixth conversion of the afternoon to seal a long awaited win.

COVENTRY BEARS

1 Nathan Hill

2 AJ Rance

3 Matt Welham

4 Liam Welham

23 Reece Rance

6 Dan Coates

7 Dave Scott

8 Peter Ryan

9 Chris Collimore

10 Brad Ho

11 Jed Charlton

16 Sam Bowling

12 Kieran Sherratt

Subs (all used)

10 Stefanos Bastas

25 Jack Dawson

21 Josh Dunne

13 Ryan Langton

Tries: L Welham (2) Sherratt (18), Scott (21,56), Coates (26),

Goals: Scott 3/5

LONDON SKOLARS

1 Richard Wilkinson

5 Omari Caro

4 Louis Sheriff

3 Jonah Varela

2 Lameck Juma

21 Jy-Mel Coleman

6 Jacob Thomas

15 Mal Lloyd-Jones

9 Neil Thorman

10 James Tyas

12 Mike Greenhalgh

11 Paulos Latu

13 Christian Gale

Subs (all used)

8 Eddie Mbaraga

14 Louis Singleton

22 Judd Greenhalgh

17 Will Blakemore

Tries: Latu (8) , Wilkinson (12), J Greenhalgh (40), Varela (52,68), Juma (60), M Greenhalgh (64), Caro (74)

Goals: Thorman 6/8

Penalty count: 5-4

Half-time: 20-18

Referee: Liam Staveley

SCORING SEQUENCE: 4-0, 4-6, 4-12, 8-12, 14-12, 20-12, 20-18; 20-22; 26-22, 26-26, 26-32, 26-38, 26


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