Rugby League: London Skolars 64 South Wales Scorpions 6
By Ian Golden
Both South Wales Scorpions and North Wales Crusaders will both be going into next Sunday’s big Welsh derby game at The Gnoll in Neath on the back of a defeat after the Scorpions lost 64-6 to London Skolars this Sunday.
The Crusaders lost at Rochdale Hornets last week but have had a weekend off, giving them extra time to brush themselves down for the encounter.
The Scorpions only have themselves to blame for this defeat which is a first team record in regards to margin and the most points they’ve ever conceded in one league match.
Errors and indiscipline cost them when the home side kept their heads and produced some free-flowing Rugby League, led by Dylan Skee who scored a Skolars club record 24 points in one game.
It was also a match that was interrupted by injuries, especially in the first half, stopping the flow from each side, but again, the Skolars seem to handle that better.
Scorpions started confidently and looked like they were going to take control of the game. They took a third minute lead when following a penalty, Rhodri Lloyd stormed over the line. Shaun Owens converted.
Skolars quickly levelled after Scorpions completed their next set by almost scoring a second, just centimetres short on the final tackle. From the restart, Lamont Bryan made the metres and was too strong for anyone in the Scorpions back-line. He laid off to Welshman Matt Thomas to ground. Dylan Skee kicked the goal, his 100th for the London club.
From then, it was always looking like a London win. Straight away it was 12-6 when Skee broke through to ground under the sticks, converting himself.
While Scorpions tried to pull off a few tricks to score tries, the Skolars’ wiry play had started to show. They quickly cleared up a cheeky Scorpions grubber that Lloyd looked to run on to and within seconds were threatening the away side’s line.
In the middle part of the first half, the match developed into an end to end battle with neither side being able to break the others’ line with errors and penalties starting to dominate. Scorpions’ Dalton Grant was close to scoring but was beaten to the ball by John Paxton.
Skolars extended their lead on the half-hour when Bryan stretched well to out-jump his markers, catching McLean’s high bomb to ground under the sticks with Skee converting.
With the score 18-6 at half-time, Skolars took less than two minutes to extend their lead when Skee forced his way over for a second try, again converting himself.
It was another outstanding move for their fifth. Winger John Paxton picked up Skee’s kick to run home. Skee goaled.
Brad Hopkins soon followed him over with a try on the opposite wing. Skee kicked well and the score was 36-6. Ben Bolger added another before Skee missed his first of the day.
Hopkins dived over the corner for an eighth try with 12 minutes remaining, Skee converting again.
They brought up the 50-point mark on 74 minutes when Dave Williams dived over from close range. Skee converted before an excellent individual run and try from Smokie Junior, converted by Skee, made the score 58-6.
And Paul Thorman’s try in the final seconds, converted by Skee brought up the record that no Scorpions fans wanted to see.
South Wales Scorpions’ under 16 side also suffered defeat on Sunday losing 44-4 at London Broncos in Aldershot.
But the under 15s produced the cheer of the day for the Welsh side as they beat their Broncos counterparts 30-6.
The win from the club’s youngest players completed a double over the Super League club. It was their third victory of the season in just four games played to show that despite a poor outing from the first team on this occasion, that there are quality youngsters being produced for the future.