Challenge Cup Round 2 Rochdale v Skolars Match Report

28th February 2023

BetFred Challenge Cup Round 2 – 26th February 2023

Rochdale Hornets 42 London Skolars 4


Skolars were knocked out of the Challenge Cup at Spotland, in one of two all League 1 ties.


They enjoyed a good spell of possession deep in the opposition half. After Jacob Thomas had been held up over the line, they chose to tap a kickable penalty, with Matt Ross also being held up on the next set. They then had to defend and Dan Nixon was denied a try in the left corner for Hornets as he put a foot in touch before diving over the tryline. Skolars attacked again and when Luciano Bejandize followed up a kick that the home side allowed to bounce, he offloaded to Jerome Yates, who drew the defence before passing to Leighton Ball to score in the corner. Shane Lee missed a difficult conversion.


However, it wasn’t long before Rochdale took the lead through Will Cooke, after Skolars had conceded a penalty late in the tackle count. Then Joe Purcell finished off a Cian Tyrer break. Skolars then had a couple of opportunities, Yates being forced into touch, then Bejandize stole the ball, but lost possession as he was tackled. Lewis Else split Skolars defence for Ben O’Keefe to touchdown, with Dave Hewitt kicking one of several conversions from the touchline. It was Nixon and Else who combined for Hornets’ fourth try, with Else scoring two minutes before the break.


Hewitt added a try as the home side went further ahead and they scored again from their next set, with Cooke scoring his second try. Both sides went down to twelve players when Jerome Yates and Jack Arnold were sin-binned for their part in a fight. Despite there being more space on the field, Skolars defence improved, but after being penalised for offside twice in quick succession, Ben Killen scored Hornets’ final try with Hewitt adding his seventh conversion.



1 Joe Purcell

2 Cian Tyrer

3 Will Cooke

4 Ben O’Keefe

5 Dan Nixon

6 Lewis Else

7 Dave Hewitt

8 Zac Braham

9 Cameron Berry

10 Ben Killan

32 Duane Straugheir

12 Dan Brewin

17 Anthony Boardman


Subs (all used)

14 Aiden Roden

18 Jack Arnold

19 Ewan Badham

27 Ewan O’Hanlon


Tries: Cooke (13,53), Purcell (17), O’Keefe (24), Else (38), Hewitt (51), Killen (71)

Goals: Hewitt 7/7

Sin-bin: Arnold (63) – fighting



1 Jacob Thomas

2 Leighton Balll

3 Jerome Yates

4 Aaron Small

5 Louis O’Sullivan

6 Alex Deery

7 Jack Ryan

8 Christian Gale

9 Shane Lee

20 Todd Peut

11 Luciano Bejandize

12 Jimmy Morgan

13 Matt Ross


Subs (all used)

14 Elliott Hutchings

15 Ed Brown

21 Delaine Bedward

19 Fraser Piercy-Farley


Tries: Ball (9)

Goals: Lee 0/1

Sin-bin: Yates (63) – fighting


Penalties: 11-6

Half-time: 24-4


SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-4, 6-4, 12-4, 18-4 24-4; 30-4, 36-4 ,42-4

By Andrew Jackson

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