The sun was shining in North London for the visit of Coventry Bears, both teams were looking for their first league win having lost their first 2 games. This will be just a short match report, more of a Phlog.
I’d seen their 2 promising warm up games against a Wigan team and London Broncos but the first half was something of a revelation as a London Skolars fan. They took the lead with a try from Billy Driver and proceeded to dominate the half. Coventry couldn’t live with Lamont Bryan and Eddie Mbaraga and both crossed the line.
The Bears struggled with their discipline in the first half, giving away many penalties , penalties equal possession equals tries in rugby league and Skolars certainly made the most of their possession with Josh Allinson scoring a brace to take the score to 24 nil. This was exciting rugby to watch and Skolars looked like a team who’ll win a lot more games.
As far as Coventry were concerned in the first half nothing went right for them, they had 2 attacks and poor handling meant they came to nothing. Ben Pointer added a 5th try for the home team and Charlie Lawrence added his 4th conversion to take the score to 30 nil at half time.
A very different Bears team emerged after half time, they cut out the errors and played some very good rugby league. Eddie Mbaraga went off injured which weakened the Skolars game, and showed his importance in a dominant first half. Matt Reid made a great run before passing to harden Freeman who ran in to score Coventry’s first points of the game; Brad Delaney converted with a great kick from the touch line.
Skolars hit back after a crazy pass went forward from the Bears, Charlie Lawrence making the most of things scored the try and converted it, stretching the gap back to 30 points. Coventry weren’t to be deterred and scored the try of the match; Joe Prior chipped the ball over the Skolars defenders, the ball was taken by Brad Delaney who ran in to score, he converted his own try.
The first half had been a lively one, with handbags thrown at times, that element of the game didn’t repeat in the second half, although Skolars made a few errors and one of their players (I’m not sure who) was put on report for some reason.
Brandon Pickersgill scored a great individual try to take Skolars to 42 points and to stretch that points difference back to 30. But it was the Bears who had the last word, Michael Russell scoring to take the final score to London Skolars 42 Coventry Bears 16, an emphatic win for the home team, but a second half that gave the Coventry Bears many positives.