North Wales Crusaders 12 London Skolars 40: Skolars start League One Shield with crushing of Crusaders
- Credit: Archant
Kingstone Press League One Shield: North Wales Crusaders 12 London Skolars 40
London Skolars started the Kingstone Press League One Shield in the best possible fashion with a 40-12 win at North Wales Crusaders.
The victory saw Skolars leap-frog Crusaders in the table with a dominant display of rugby over the border.
London started boldly, with Ryan Chester being held up over the line.
After a Mike Bishay chip kick had forced a goal-line dropout, Eddie Mbaraga went over on the right.
A Charlie Lawrence kick forced another dropout, from which Skolars added a second, switching the ball to the right for Sam Nash to score in the corner.
Mbaraga scored his second try after London capitalised on a North Wales error close to their line.
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That was soon followed by a Jake Melling break, finished off by Louis Robinson scoring with his first touch of the ball after coming on as substitute.
Crusaders finally managed to attack and though James Hill managed to get a hand to deflect a pass to the wing, he could not prevent a crossfield kick finding Danny Price who opened the hosts’ scoring.
With the rain starting to beat down, Skolars scored their fifth try two minutes before the end of the first half when Jy-Coleman followed up a kick into the in-goal area.
In damp conditions, it was hard for either side to dominate the second half.
After earning a penalty after five tackles, London used the extra possession well, with Michael Sykes bursting through the defence.
Joe Bate went in under the posts for Crusaders with ten minutes remaining, but Skolars had the last say.
Phil Lyon dived under the defence to score his first try for the club, while Jy-Mel Coleman added his sixth conversion of the afternoon to finish with a 16-point haul.
The triumph moved London up to second in the league standings of the Shield, just a point behind early leaders Hunslet.
It looks set to be tight at the top, though, with Skolars level on points with Crusaders, who are currently third, and just four points ahead of Gloucestershire All-Golds in fourth.
London have a break this weekend before entertaining Oxford, who are currently fifth, on 12 August.