Skolars knocked out of cup by Crusaders

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

Coral Challenge Cup third round: London Skolars 18 North Wales Crusaders 31

London Skolars are out of the Coral Challenge Cup after a 31-18 third-round defeat at home to Betfred League One rivals North Wales Crusaders.

Skolars had started strongly with strong tackling keeping Crusaders deep in their own half on the first set of six tackles.

That pressured forced a goal-line drop-out, but the hosts lost possession early in the tackle count.

North Wales were able to capitalise when they earned a drop-out at the other end with Kenny Baker finding a gap on London’s left flank to open the scoring.

Skolars then had to try to defend a man short after Judd Greenhalgh was sin-binned for a crusher tackle on Earl Hurst.

Rob Massam found a gap on London’s right wing before offloading for Karl Ashall to score the visitors’ second try.

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Skolars had to defend another goal-line drop-out after two conceding two penalties in quick succession, but this time held out.

With Greenhalgh back on the pitch, Lamont Bryan went over from close range following Jordan Williams’ initial break.

Crusaders went into the break 18-6 ahead when Baker slipped past a slow defence to score his second try and moved further clear soon after the restart when Callum Hazzard collected a Ben Stead pass close to the posts.

London had to work their way downfield against a strong wind, but forced a drop-out from which Eddie Mbaraga was able to push over the defence to keep the hosts in contention.

Skolars’ Iliess Macani then took the ball from a scrum deep in his own half and showed his pace as he passed the defence and raced away to score under the posts.

North Wales responded with Ben Stead making a 40-20 kick to give them possession close to Skolars’ line, before Steve Roper scored a drop-goal to put the visitors two scores ahead.

There was still time for Crusaders to grab a final try, with Simon Atherton dotting down to seal the victory for the visitors.

Skolars are back in league action next Saturday when they entertain Keighley Cougars at the New River Stadium on Saturday.