Match Report – London Skolars vs Rochdale Hornets

10th August 2021

BetFred League 1 – 8th August 2021

London Skolars 34

Rochdale Hornets 38

For the second week running Skolars came tantalisingly close to a win, all the more remarkable on Saturday as they played a man down for the last jour of the game.

They got off to a bad start, losing possession when receiving the kick-off. Paul Brearley strode over to open the scoring and his pass opened a gap for Dan Nixon three minutes later. Sean Penckywicz’s pass made good use of the post splitting the defence trying to reach Jordan Syme and Hornets were eighteen points up.

However, Penkywicz was sin-binned along with Aaron Small for their part in a fight. Two minutes later Skolars were down to eleven when Kam Pearce-Paul was red-carded, dropping off a two-man tackle whilst the Rochdale player had been lifted in the air.

Skolars began their comeback when Mal Lloyd-Jones broke the defensive line to score, then Max Clarke dived in at the right corner. When Shaun Ainscough was stopped by two defenders 20 metres out, Hornets’ move looked to have petered out, but Skolars failed to clamp the ball, Brearley racing up to receive the ball to score his second try. Paul Thorman kicked a penalty after the hooter to reduce the deficit back to ten points.

Skolars narrowed the gap soon after the break collecting a short Neil Thorman pass, the conversion hitting the posts. The same thing happened to Reece Dean after Penkywicz slipped the ball out to Tom Ashton.

It was back and forth throughout the second half. Tom Firth returning after a month out took a short pass from Christian Gale. At the other end, Pencywicz again delivered the crucial pass, this time to Luke Fowden. Juma broke from his own half, Rochdale then had to defend a goal-line drop out. When Skolars received a penalty ten metres out, Thorman took it quickly, offloading to Lamont Bryan who was unstoppable from that range.

Hornets had to work hard to get out of their own half, with five tackles taking them twelve metres from their tryline, but Dean’s kick went 80 metres and Skolars then had to start from deep in their half. Myles Harrison took a high ball close to Hornets’ line, but broke the defence and Luke Littlewood continued the break to score, Dean again hitting the post.

There was still a slim hope for Skolars when Juma went over with two minutes to go, but they lost the ball on the next set and Hornets held on to stay in play-off contention.

LONDON SKOLARS

7 Iliess Macani

16 Max Clarke

3 Aaron Small

24 Kam Pearce-Paul

5 Lameck Juma

6 Jacob Thomas

11 Jermaine Coleman

10 Lamont Bryan

9 Neil Thorman

18 Matt Ross

21 Paulos Latu

12 Chris Ball

13 Mike Greenhalgh

Subs

19 Judd Greenhalgh

15 Malakhi Lloyd-Jones

14 Tom Firth

20 Christian Gale

Tries: Lloyd-Jones (26), Clarke (32), M Greenhalgh (43), Firth (52), Bryan (67), Juma (78)

Goals: Thorman 5/7

Sin-bin Small (18) – fighting

Dismissal: Pearce-Paul (20)- tip tackle

HORNETS

29 Cian Tyrer

26 Alwyn Towse

27 Dan Nixon

8 Tom Ashton

2 Shaun Ainscough

31 Paul Brearley

40 Reece Dean

10 Gavin Bennion

9 Sean Penkywicz

22 James Connaughton

11 Josh Jordan-Roberts

16 Todd Warren

12 Jordan Syme

Subs (all used)

28 Luke Littewood

18 Luke Fowden

25 Myles Harrison

24 Ben Forster

Tries: Brearley (2,31), Nixon (5), Syme (12), Ashton (49), Fowden (57), Littlewood (76)

Goals: Dean 5/7

Sin-bin: Penkywicz (18) – fightiing

Penalty count: 9-7

Half-time: 14-24

Referee: James Vella

Att: 208

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 0-12, 0-18, 6-18, 12-18, 12-24, 14-24; 18-24, 18-28, 24-28, 24-34, 30-34, 30-38, 34-38


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