The rugby league season is moving closer and so on a chilly Sunday in January a friendly between 2 of the teams I support – London Skolars and London Broncos beckoned.
Skolars spent the bulk of last season playing in Enfield while a new 4G pitch was being laid. The ‘friendly’, if there is such a thing in rugby league would be Skolars first game there.
A trip to Tottenham/Wood Green means of course a short hop on the M25 – not enough to get annoyed with other drivers so a shout free journey! Apart from Essex Cricket this is the nearest sport for me. a mere 50 minute drive.
A sing on the way to the game, 606 on BBC Radio 5 on the way home. So, a favourite song for the journey? Emergency on Planet Earth – Jamiroquai – a tune!
I arrived in plenty of time, and found my parking spot in the road, the 1st time I visited the home of London Skolars – The New River Stadium – I got myself a £30 ticket when I parked in the car park! So I now park quite safely in the road.
The facilities at the stadium are very dated but serve their purpose – Skolars are known to be a club who serve a decent Real Ale – There were 3 barrels today – but being very shoddy I didn’t get prices or details!
The non-alcoholic stuff was served from a van outside. In common with the other clubs I have season tickets for I know a fair few people at Skolars and Broncos so it was nice to see friendly faces.
I climbed up the stairs to the seating area – it is a bit of a trek – but no oxygen needed. I picked a seat near the halfway line to get the best view, not really considering that the new lights might block my view a bit. The seats are basic but do their job perfectly well.
I was joined by a rugby league friend Richard and his Dad, we met a few years ago when Broncos beat Warrington quite heavily at home a few years ago! We were all ecstatic a few friendships were formed that evening!
I’d picked a seat close to where a whole group of non-playing Broncos Players (if that makes sense) were siting, so was able to chat to a couple during the game and at half time. It was nice to hear that a good vibe is building at the club. Joey Grima the Head Coach is a man I would describe as – Sunshine on Legs – I can imagine his players wanting to do the best for him.
And so to the game – Both sets of players are to a degree still getting to know each other, Broncos were giving a run out to a fair few of their younger players. A couple of Broncos certainly shone – with Ilies Macani playing at full back was the star of the show at times. He’s put on size in the off season and it’s really added to his game.
The game was competitive and finished with the score on London Skolars 14 London Broncos 36 – both teams can take positives from the afternoon as they look to their new seasons.
Facts & Figures
- Ticket Price £10.00 (£12.00 on the day)
- Bacon Roll £4.00
- Beef Burger £4.00-£6.00
- Chicken Burger £4.00
- Veggie Burger £4.00
- Chips £2.50
- Tea £2.00
- Coffee £2.00
- Soft Drinks – Can £1.50
- Water £1.50
I believe work is planned to improve facilities for the new season.
- Ladies toilets – not the nicest – but, clean with toilet paper, plenty of hot water and soap
- Safety – a small crowd in a venue I know – so, totally safe
- Nicest moment of the day – chatting to Joey Grima after the game – a truly nice man!
- Best moment of the game – in this case a few to pick from there were some great tries, but a try saving ankle tap by James Anthony gets my pick!
It was a bit odd shouting for both teams again – it’s all getting very confusing! An easy journey home in good time for 606 which is always good! The rugby league season is nearly here!