London Skolars 14-30 Cornwall: Match Report

10th July 2023

Saturday saw London Skolars fall to a second defeat to Cornwall in the 2023 season.

A slightly reshuffled line up, missing skipper Aaron Small & back rower Lameck Juma through bans; saw Phil Lyon return to the side after re-signing in the week.

The match started evenly as both teams looked to get a foothold in the game, however, Skolars gifted the Cornish side an early opportunity, Jacob Thomas penalised for dissent on first tackle in his own 20. From the resulting set, Cullen crashed over, the extras missed by Rusling. 0-4.

Skolars responded with Lloyd-Jones making some strong runs in the middle of the field and the returning Lyon putting in some deft kicks, a marked improvement on previous weeks.

On 14 minutes a high tackle saw Cornwall given another opportunity to attack the Skolars line, with centre Tom Ashton this time powering over to increase the lead, Rusling added the conversion to make it 0-10.

Skolars didn’t seem phased & went back on the offensive. After a kick went dead, hooker Alex Deery was sin binned for knocking the ball out of a Cornwall players hand, delaying the restart of the game, despite a quick tap not being available.

Skolars rallied with 12 men on the field, former Skolars player Errol Carter fluffing his lines catching a high ball, Leighton Ball the grateful recipient to gather and score. Lyon added a superb conversion from wide out. 6-10.

The next phase of the game saw both teams make inroads with no reward. Porter provided some impetus around the ruck for Skolars with Rusling pulling the strings for Cornwall. The next score, however, went to Cornwall as a kick from Rusling wasn’t taken by Yates, eventually seeing Ieaun Badham dot down. In trying to stop the score, Skolars winger Kudangirana was injured, prematurely ending his afternoon. Rusling added the extras from in front of the posts. 6-16.

On loan Oldham Roughyeds forward Sam Bardsley entered the field for his professional & club debut. His afternoon was also ended prematurely as in the first set from the kick off, he was knocked unconscious by an elbow from the ball carrier Badham, the referee only seeing fit to put the incident on report. Skolars were now down to 15 players for the remainder of the game.

After the half time hooter sounded, Skolars prop Lamont Bryan was shown the first of his two yellow cards for putting his hand in the face of a Cornwall player. Skolars would spend the first ten minutes of the second stanza down to 12 men.

The mood was still positive at half time, with Skolars re-enthused by the half time team talk. Three minutes into the second half and despite the man disadvantage, Skolars got on the board again with Ball flying over in the corner for what will be a try of the season contender. Lyon missed the extras. 10-16.

Not long after Cornwall breached Skolars line, again from close in, David Weetman managing to wriggle out of a great attempt at holding up the play from Dan Bristow to register four points. Rusling again converted. 10-22.

Cornwall made a hash of the kick off giving Skolars some field position, the opportunity ending with Bryan knocking on near the goal line. The game then went back and forth, with both sides making nervous errors feeling they needed to score in every set. A late tackle by Wellings then gifted the Choughs an easy 2 points in front of the sticks. 10-24.

The game was then over as a contest when with 13 minutes to go; Bryan was again shown the yellow card for another hand in the face, this time to away full back Whitton. From the resulting set Collins crashed over under the sticks, Rusling adding the two. 10-30.

That wasn’t the end of the action, as with a few minutes left Carter started an all in melee, taking exception to some perceived rough housing from Bristow. The result was a penalty to London with yellow cards for Carter and Punchard, the latter potentially in trouble for manhandling an official, Skolars Yates was also sent to the bin – the fourth of the day for the home side.

In the final set of the game, London full back Thomas was taken off with an elbow injury & with no interchanges left, it became 11 vs 11. Alex Deery managed to score a consolation try after a Lyon kick, Deery missing the conversion on the hooter. Final score: London Skolars 14 – 30 Cornwall.

Skolars Tries: Ball 2, Deery.

Goals: Lyon

Cornwall Tries: Cullen, Ashton, Badham, Weetman, Collins.

Goal: Rusling 5




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