With the social media blackout over the weekend I didn’t have Twitter to distract me, and having learnt my lesson in the first warm up match I did my very best to get the try scorers right this week! A couple of the Skolars 4 pointers were no brainers, let’s see how I go with the rest. The game in words and lots of photos.

I didn’t utter my usual words when the 2 teams came on – Coventry weren’t ‘much bigger’ than London, it soon became plain that speed is their thing. A great asset in the game.

The high ball had been an issue for both teams in Skolars first warm up match against West Wales Raiders and the first try for Coventry came from a speculative high ball dropped by the defender. Reece Rance on the wing was the quickest to grab the ball and he went over to score. The conversion was good as Daniel Coates added the extras.

Skolars seemed to be looking for something to happen early in their tackle count and a kick on a second tackle caused the ball to be lost, an attempted interception to try to get the ball back into the hands of Jack Dawson and he ran in to score Coventry’s second

Rugby league is a game of momentum and with the kick off going back to the team that’s just scored it can be hard to switch that round. And so that proves as Kieran Sherratt scored Coventry’s third try. The conversion put them ahead by 18.

Skolars managed to get the scoreboard ticking after Jacob Thomas kicked a ball through for Michael Greenhalgh, 4 points on the board, it’s key not to let the opposition run away.

The kick off from Coventry hit the cross bar then bounced down to Iliess Macani, the ball was lost early in the tackle count again, but an intercept by a man who was once timed as the fastest man in Superleague, Omari Caro, saw him run virtually the length of the pitch for Skolars second, he was nowhere near being caught – he clearly still has it!

Omari Caro at full speed!
Omari Caro’s try took the score to Skolars 10 Coventry 18

Substitutions had been made and one in particular was very noticeable, James Tyas with 15 on his back, has over 100 Championship Rugby Union games to his name. A back row forward in that game, he made ground every time he had the ball. He’s a London Scottish player, available due to the fact they took the decision not to take part in this years’ Championship competition. it’ll be interesting to see how this switch plays out for him.

A kick again caused problems for Skolars and this time it was Hayden Freeman who benefited, A fourth try for the visitors.

Hayden Freeman scores the first try of the second half.

Skolars worked hard for their third try, making their way up the pitch patiently, Lamont Byan did Lamont things, he’s hard to stop from close quarters – sorry for the photo Lamont! At least I didn’t take photos of Iliess when his shorts did a disappearing act at one point!

The next try was probably the best of the lot for me, a great break by Jacob Thomas was made all the better by Iliess Macani taking the ball and completing the job. He had a great game, which was sadly cut short by injury, we wait to see how long he’ll be out. He’s going to be an important player for Skolars in 2021. That try, duly converted evened the score up.

Coventry Bears had the last word, a try made and scored by Jorg=dan Paga, he threw a dummy and ran through to touchdown at get the game won.

Hoping we see Iliess back in action soon

The season proper starts next week with Skolars playing North Wales Crusaders at home and Coventry facing Barrow at home.

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