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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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