London Skolars end two year wait for a home victory
- Credit: Phil Hutchinson/UK Sports Pics L
London Skolars ended a two year wait for a home victory as they sealed a 46-30 win over West Wales Raiders.
Despite scoring eight tries in ending that run, it was far from plain sailing as West Wales mounted an spirted comeback after Skolars had raced into a 28 point lead early in the game.
After the Raiders gained a good position, soon after kick-off, thanks to a 40-20 kick, they lost possession and Skolars were quick to attack, forcing a goal-line drop-out after a Lamont Bryan break.
They moved the ball to right for Paulos Latu to touchdown. They attacked down the right with the next set, Latu going over in at the corner with Neil Thorman kicking a difficult conversion from the touchline.
Bryan added the third try when he crashed over. Another error by the Raiders saw them lose possession on their first tackle, Skolars again advanced down the right flank with Louis Singleton scoring, with Bryan adding his second try three minutes later.
The visitors started their comeback when Jamie Murphy reached out to ground the ball over the tryline after Skolars had started to disengage thinking the tackle had been completed. Then Will Ramsey kicked into the in-goal area, regathering to score on the right.
They added a third try just before half-time when Aedan Coleman took advantage of another lapse of concentration in defence, getting in at full stretch in the left corner to give the Raiders a small glimmer of hope.
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The second half started with West Wales continuing their comeback, Murphy twisting in the tackle on the tryline to score. A break by Callum Merrett saw Murphy in support to complete his hat-trick and his side was now just two points behind.
Skolars started to gain control again when Jacob Thomas darted past the defence from ten metres out, though Thorman uncharacteristically missed an easy conversion.
They increased the lead when Judd Greenhalgh powered his way through the defence from short range, Thorman converting and then he added a penalty soon afterwards.
West Wales were still not out of it, Ramsey kicking short, picking the ball up just as it wen ten metres and was only stopped ten metres from the tryline.
They passed the small quickly out to the left and Murphy came into the line to score his fourth try of the afternoon.
However, hopes of another comeback were halted when they were pulled up for not playing the ball correctly and lost possession in their own half. Skolars took advantage and Latu completed his hat-trick as he raced onto a Thorman grubber kick.
The Under 12s also had good news, winning the London League Grand Final beating Bromley Bengals 26-10.