London Skolars fall to heavy defeat at Whitehaven

Robert Tuliatu and Lamont Bryan stop Whitehaven's Marc Shackley (Pic: Ben Challis)

Robert Tuliatu and Lamont Bryan stop Whitehaven's Marc Shackley (Pic: Ben Challis) - Credit: Archant

Betfred League One: Whitehaven 32 London Skolars 6

London Skolars suffered a heavy 32-6 defeat against Whitehaven in a top of the table clash despite Skolars leading for most of the first-half.

There were no early signs of the effects of the eight hour journey to the Cumbrian coast when Skolars took the lead in the seventh minute.

Coach Jermaime Coleman played for the first time this season and it was his kick though the Whitehaven defence that Liam Scott ran onto to touchdown under the posts, with Neil Thorman adding the conversion.

Whitehaven put pressure on at the other end, but Marc Shackley lost the ball in a tackle on the tryline.

The home side twice failed to find the touchline with their penalty kicks, giving Skolars opportunity to attack into Haven's half, with some strong runs from Lamont Bryan and Rob Tuliatu.

A deep kick from Jy-Mel Coleman returning for a fourth spell at the club, saw Iliess Macani race down the wing forcing the home side to concede a goal-line drop-out.

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Skolars looked like they might keep the lead into half-time, but an error deep in their own half saw have to defend after a goal-line drop-out of their own and Papua New Guinean international Dion Aiye dived through the defence to score, with Liam Moore's conversion levelling the scores at six all.

The Cumbrians also had a returning ex-player, Carl Foster making a comeback after a short spell at Rochdale and he made a big impact off the bench, putting his side into the lead when he went over on the right flank. Moore kicked the conversion and added a penalty four minutes later.

Skolars had a chance to narrow the gap, but Ronnie Palumbo lost the ball after a good move to the left.

Whitehaven made certain of the win with two tries in four minutes. First James Newton spotted a gap in the Skolars' left, then Aiye capitalised on a Skolars' error for his second try of the evening.

A brawl four minutes from the end saw Skolars' Robert Tuliatu and Haven's Kris Coward sin-binned and, with Skolars starting to tire, Brett Phillips added another try for the home side.

Skolars now have a break before entertaining West Wales on June, 15.