Pre Season Friendly: Cornwall 14-34 London Skolars – Match Report

7th February 2023

Saturday 4th February saw the Skolars complete their pre-season fixtures with a match at a neutral venue against fellow League One side Cornwall RLFC.

The travelling Skolars squad was a mixture of established first team players alongside some youngsters, triallists and new faces, including half-back Jack Ryan who arrived in the country on Wednesday from Australia.

Four minutes into the game it was Ryan who registered the first try, racing away to score under the posts after a break from hooker Doug Chirnside.

Seven minutes in, new signing Dan Bristow, unfortunately, injured his ankle returning a deep Cornwall kick, forcing Skolars into an early reshuffle at the back.

The next period was evenly contested with Cornwall going close to scoring in both corners, only a try saving tackle from winger Leighton Ball stopping them from securing their first points and in the process pole-axing the unfortunate touch judge!

With half time approaching and Cornwall tiring, Skolars took advantage with both Captain Aaron Small & Louis O’Sullivan going over on the left edge after some strong runs from Jimmy Morgan & Malachi Lloyd-Jones.

Half Time Cornwall 0-16 London Skolars.

The opening of the second half was stop start from both teams but it was Skolars who again got over the line first, a penalty for a high tackle on Lloyd-Jones resulting in the ball being shipped left to Abevia Mcdonald who crashed over in the corner.

After a handful of Skolars changes, Cornwall hit a purple patch scoring three quick tries, started by impressive prop Jack Ray cutting a lovely line and going over to the left of the uprights, two more quickly followed with Cornwall taking advantage of Skolars errors’ and some poor defence.

With the teams suddenly only two points apart, Skolars rallied to post two more scores in the last ten minutes. The first, after some good work by Todd Peut, an eight point try was awarded by the officials, as Shane Lee was adjudged to have been impeded in the act of scoring.

The final act of the game saw triallist George Moore dive over from dummy half near the Cornwall line, leaving the final score Cornwall 14-34 London Skolars.

Head Coach Joe Mbu was pleased with the effort saying “There were lots of positives for both teams, hopefully this can become a regular pre season fixture in the future, it is definitely important to have some League One opposition heading into the season. We got to see some combinations today and for some of the boys it was their first time playing at this level. We have now got two important weeks to get ready for Workington on the 18th February!”

On the injury to Dan Bristow, “Its not as serious as we first thought, it will be assessed this week and fhe should be available for selection in two weeks time!”

On Jack Ryan’s debut, “Considering he got to the UK on Wednesday & has had one session with the squad, I thought he looked good, kicked well, scored a good try and he was already starting to boss things.”

Skolars League One campaign starts on the 18th February at home to Workington Town, tickets are available through Eventbrite.


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