Match report: SKOLARS 6 NORTH WALES 54 at New River

17th April 2022




Skolars fell to a heavy home defeat against an experience North Wales Crusaders’ side.

The home side had a scoring chance early on after Crusaders had lost possession in the first set with Aarom Small being held up. However, North Wales showed their potential for attack as they advance upfield to force a goal-line drop-out. They then switched the ball to the left to create a two man overlap for Patrick AhVan to open the scoring. They pushed the ball out left again soon afterwards, Rob Massam went over but had put a foot in touch as he caught the pass.

The visitors extended their lead when Jordan Gibson backed up a Tommy Johnson break. Skolars were quick to react when Crusaders made a rare error on the half-way line, Alex Deery pushing the ball to the left before Leighton Ball raced around the defence before sprinting away to score.

Both sides played expansive rugby with Skolars putting in a series of deep high kicks and good chases that forced North Wales to start their sets from deep in their own half. Johnson’s passed infield on his own line looked risky, but Gavin Rodden broke to the half-way line. With the defence on the backfoot, Paul Nash continued the run before the ball moved left for Rodden to touchdown.

Crusaders next venture into Skolars’ territory saw them kick the ball into the in-goal area, Jarred Bassett evading the tacklers, getting to halfway before he was downed. Skolars received a repeat set 20 metres out but lost the ball on the next tackle. The response was ruthless as Kieran Sherratt broke before release the supporting Gibson for his second try just before half-time.

It took a little luck for Crusader’s fifth try, a chip through taking a ricochet with Rodden being the first to reach the ball. There was no luck about the next, an inch perfect Brad Biilsborough kick to the left for Massam to outleap Charles Hammond, after Sherratt had been held-up over the line.

With few errors or penalties from either side, the young Skolars’s side had little respite from the Crusaders’ attacks.

Prop Brad Brennan got close to the line before twisting in the tackle to score.

Skolars kept trying to create chances on the few occasions when they did have the ball, but Crusaders defence was always alert, particularly to Phil Lyon’s chip kicks. The Londoners’ cause wasn’t helped by a clash of heads in a tackle that saw Jonathan Bell taken off for a head assessment.

A Gibson chip was gathered by Tommy Johnson to score soon afterwards, He added another six minutes later, after the defence made the mistake of giving him the chance to go wide on the right. He raced past them to go over in the corner, before adding his ninth conversion.


  1 Jarred Bassett

  2 Charles Hammond

  3 Jerome Yates

  4 Aaron Small

  5 Leighton Ball

  6 Alex Deery

  7 Phil Lyon

  8 Christian Gale

  9 Jonathan Bell

22 Anthony Cox

20 Harry Kaufman

12 Max Allen

13 Liam O’Callaghan

Subs (all used)

14 Doug Chirnside

15 Rob Oakley

19 Aston Stephenson

17 Kyle Armstrong

Tries: Ball (24)

Goals: Lyon 


  1 Tommy Johnson

  2 Scott Turner

 20 Jack Holmes

  2 Patrick Ah Van

  5 Rob Massam

  6 Jordan Gibson

  7 Brad Billsborough

10 Callum Hazzard

  9 Callum Wood

  8 Chris Barratt

11 Gavin Rodden

12 Kieran Sherratt

13 Matt Fletcher

Subs (all used)

14 Paul Nash

15 Brad Brennan

16 Jack Houghton

30 Jono Smith

Tries: Ah Van (5), Gibson (19,39), Rodden (35,47), Massam (50), Brennan (60), Johnson (64,70)

Goals: Johnson 9/9

Penalty count: 1-3

Half-time: 6-24

Referee: Matt Rossleigh

Att: 186

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 0-12, 6-12, 6-18, 6-24; 6-30, 6-36, 6-42, 6-48, 6-54

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