Rugby League: London Skolars rue first-half flurry from Whitehaven in defeat

The latest rugby league news (pic: Mike Egerton/PA)

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

Betfred League One: London Skolars 26 Whitehaven 44

London Skolars were left to rue a first-half blitz from Whitehaven after losing 44-26 at home in Betfred League One.

Skolars went close twice in the first quarter, when first Sam Nash was held up over the tryline, before Lamont Bryan lost control of the ball as he tried to score.

It was Whitehaven’s Carl Forster that broke the deadlock midway through the half, twisting in the tackle to squeeze through the defence and open the scoring.

A good defensive set by London saw the Cumbrians still in their own half at the final play, only for Skolars to infringe.

With the opposition on the backfoot, Dion Aiye scorched past the defence to touchdown and four minutes later, he kicked short down the right, regathered and offloaded for Danny Green to go over in the corner.

London won a penalty themselves, but on the second tackle, Matt Fleming’s pass to Ryan Burroughs was forward.

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Whitehaven took full advantage soon after, with Josh Eaves making a break and Aiye in support to race to the tryline.

Aiye was involved in the next try, his pass putting Connor Holliday over and Skolars’ problems worsened when Fleming was sin-binned for obstruction.

With half-time approaching, Forster put in a short pass for David Thompson to score for the Cumbrians.

London responded straight after the break, with Sam Nash slipping the ball out to the right to Omari Caro.

When Haven were penalised as they stopped Rob Butler short of the line, the visitors were not prepared for his tap restart and he simply reached out and put the ball down for an easy try for the hosts.

Two tries for Haven put them out of reach, with first Chris Taylor breezing through a gap on Skolars’ left, before Callum Phillips finished off a break.

London kept going and scored three late tries, starting with fullback Elliot Hall joining the attacking line on the left to create an overlap to score in the corner.

A Neil Thorman pass then opened space for Fleming to touchdown, before Burroughs also went over, but the visitors rounded off their victory with a penalty.