22nd March 2022

Capital Challenge 18th March 2022

London Skolars 52 British Army RL 18

Skolars made a welcome return to the Honourable Artillery Club for their first Capital Challenge since January 2022. The game saw new opposition; the first time the club had played the British Army RL and we believe the first time the Army had played at the HAC which is still an active military base.

Head Coach Joe Mbu tried out a number of players who’d not featured in the Challenge Cup games earlier in the year and will have been pleased that three of those players scored five of his side’s nine tries.

Skolars started strongly through a break by Jonathan Bell. A penalty close to the tryline saw them shift the ball to the right for Charles Hammond to open the scoring. Bell, making his Sjkolars’ debut on his 31st birthday scored three minutes later after spotting a gap from dummy half.

The Army responded with Petero Canakaivatu, who showed Skolars a clean pair of heels as he raced past them showing an impressive turn of pace as he scored past the defence to score in the corner. The winger almost scored again a few minutes later when he raced onto a Aporosa Bainikoro kick through, but just put a foot in touch.

Bell scooted over for his second try, scooting over before a break by Jerome Yates set up Leighton Ball for his side’s fourth try. Aaron Small was sin-binned when his attempt to jump over a prone defender was adjudged to be dangerous play. The Army were missing a number of players who’d featured in their cup campaign, but although they made some promising attacks, too often they forced too many passes and couldn’t break the defence.

Skolars early second half dominance saw them score fives tries in eight minutes, starting from a piece of good luck with a kick bouncing badly for the Army defence, but perfectly for the chasing Harry Kaufman to score. The restart saw Jarred Bassett, like Bell a signing from Wests Warrior, make a break from just inside his own half to touchdown under the posts. His break set up the next try, with Aaron Small completing the move.

A loose pass saw Hammond twice hack the ball down the wing before regathering to touchdown for his second try of the afternoon. Abevia McDonald added another two minutes later, with Phil Lyon adding his eighth conversion.

The Army kept pushing in attack and were rewarded with two late tries. A round arm pass by Bainikoro gave Liam Lindsay a gap on the left to go over in the corner, before Jake Boardman broke through the defence for the final try of the afternoon, with Kevin Brown adding his third goal.

Skolars take on Hunslet in the first league game of the season at New River Stadium on Saturday, kick-off is 3pm.


1 Jarred Bassett

19 Leighton Ball

3 Jerome Yates

4 Aaron Small

2 Charles Hammond

6 Alex Deery

7 Phil Lyon

8 Christian Gale

9 Jonathan Bell

10 Harry Kaufman

18 Aston Stephenson

12 Lamont Bryan

13 Liam O’Callaghan

Subs (all used)

22 Anthony Cox

21 Kyle Armstrong

11 Luciano Bejandidze

14 Elliott Hutchings

16 Richard Wilkinson

15 Abevia McDonald

20 Connor Flanagan

25 Kayne Chan-Kitchener

23 Jake Tilford

24 Chris Anderson

Tries: Hammond (12,53), Bell (15, 36), Ball (29), Kaufman (47), Bassett (49), Small (51), McDonald (55)

Goals: Lyon 8/9

Sin-bin: Small (29) – dangerous play


1 Jake Boardman

2 Petero Canakaivata

3 Aporosa Bainikoro

4 Michael Hoyle

5 Liam McNamee

6 Kieron Roche

7 Kevin Brown

8 Daniel Pickles

9 Joape Kotobalalavu

10 Ratu Kotobalavu

11 Liam Lindsay

12 Michael Harrison

13 Jordan Kerman

Subs (all used)

14 Ella Tuni

15 Petero Kedrati

17 Ropate Ralawa

19 Robert Bussey

20 Osea Tamani

Tries: Canakaivatu (20), Lindsay (68), Boardman (76)

Goals: Brown 3/3

Penalty count: 7-6

Half-time: 22-6

Referee: James Jones

Att: 525

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 12-0, 12-6, 18-6, 22-6; 28-6, 34-6, 40-6, 46-6, 52-6, 52-12, 52-18

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