London Skolars suffer heavy defeat at Doncaster
- Credit: Phil Hutchinson/UK Sports Pics L
Hopes were high as London Skolars led for most of the first half at Doncaster, but they were hit by eight unsanwered tries on the way to a 46-12 loss.
Doncaster demonstrated why they are one of the sides near the top of the league this season, but after preventing an early try by holding Brad Foster up over the tryline, Skolars took the lead when Richard Wilkinson broke from halfway and passed to Varela, then collected the return pass to score against his old club.
Neil Thorman converted and the Skolars defence held strong again when Greg Johnson dislodged the ball from Jason Tali’s grasp close to the line.
Christian Gale, James Tyas and Will Blakemore were making good yards with each run and after Tyas went close, before Oli Leyland forced a goal-line drop-out with Lameck Juma crashing over.
Thorman converted again to put the visitors further ahead but Wilkinson had to leave the field after sustaining an injury and as Skolars re-organised, Doncaster seized the opportunity to get on the scoreboard.
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A break on the right saw Tom Halliday bundled into touch by Error Carter, but two penalties in quick succession saw the pressure tell and Misi Taulapapa stepped from side to side 10 metres out before finding a small gap and offloading to Jason Tali to go in on the left.
They levelled the scores six minutes before the break when Ben Johnson broke through the middle from halfway before releasing Matty Beharrell to the line.
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But Skolars had a chance to regain the lead early in the second half when Kam Pearce-Paul’s pass was too high for Greg Johnson to collect.
A late shot on Beharrell saw the Dons get a penalty 20 metres out and when Beharrell was stopped short of the line, he was just able to offload as he went down, Liam Johnson taking the pass to put his side in the lead.
Another late shot on Beharrell saw Doncaster take a tap penalty and a short pass from Ben Johnson saw Danny Bravo touch down.
Skolars tried to put pressure on the Don’s defence and saw a set end with Taulapapa taking the ball on his own tryline. A short pass found a gap that saw his side advance to halfway and with Skolars on the backfoot, Oilver Greensmith finished off in the left corner.
Ben Johnson helped extend the lead four minutes later, setting up Halliday who made the decisive pass back inside to Smeaton.
And the Dons enjoyed a large spell of possession, with Skolars defence desperately trying to prevent another try before Beharrell rounded the game off, ducking under the tacklers to go in under the posts, before adding his seventh conversion.
After four weeks on the road, Skolars are in action on Saturday when they take on Hunslet at New River at 3pm. It will be the first time since last March that spectators will be able to attend.