Skolars start campaign with success at Raiders

The latest news from the local rugby league scene (pic: Mike Egerton/PA)

The latest news from the local rugby league scene (pic: Mike Egerton/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Betfred League One: West Wales Raiders 18 London Skolars 28

London Skolars kicked off their Betfred League One season with a 28-18 win away to West Wales Raiders.

Though they came away with a success, Skolars were made to work hard for a win by a much-improved Raiders side.

The visitors scored in the second minute with Sam Grant touching down after Richard Wilkinson had gone close and the try was converted by Neil Thorman.

An error at the restart, though, saw Raiders with a scrum close to London’s line and a penalty saw the hosts pile the pressure on further, before Michael Connor went over from close range in the fifth minute.

Both sides went over the line in the next 20 minutes, with first Robert Tuilatu being held up for West Wales after a good break by Rinaldo Palumbo.

Dan Hindmarsh, a former junior player making his senior debut for Skolars after joining on loan from Betfred Super League side London Broncos, was also held up over the line.

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Raiders created gaps on London’s left side, but, first the final pass went into touch, then another chance saw Grant intercept the ball on his ten metre line, sprinting to the other end of the field for his second try converted by James Barran.

It took some strong defence to force Palumbo into touch just before half-time, with Skolars leading 12-6 at the break.

West Wales levelled the score early in the second half when Dalton Desmond-Walker crashed over the line.

However, London regained the lead when young centre Grant, on dual registration from reigning Super League champions Wigan, stretched out to ground the ball for his hat-trick.

Skolars went further ahead five minutes later when Omari Caro finished off a break down the right wing.

Mike Bishay’s pass opened up a gap for Jordan Williams to score their fifth try with eight minutes remaining, with Barran kicking his third goal of the afternoon.

Raiders gained some consolation when Palumbo scored with two minutes remaining, but Skolars never looked in danger.

London host North Wales Crusaders in the Coral Challenge Cup on Saturday.