Saturday, 30 March 2013

Easter Monday's Coming: London Skolars

In the Rugby League press, there's much been made of London Skolars rampage through the NRC's  Pool B this season. Three wins from three, 100 points scored, only 16 conceded - the caasual RL fan could be forgiven for thinking that the capital's second team has somehow transformed into a lean, mean, red & green winning machine. But wait…

Closer examination shows that, unlike Pool B's 'Group of Death'-style inclusion of the three likely KPC1 promotion candidates, the Skolars have hardly been stretched thus far. A 26-4 home win over new-boys Hemel Stags, a 54-12 thumping of South Wales Scorpions at the Gnoll and an unconvincing 20-nill mudbath win over makeweight university side the All Golds (of whom coach Brad Hepi this week said "Most of them are writing dissertations at the moments, so their minds are elsewhere" - very professional) are hardly the stuff of legend.

Indeed, bar the win in Wales Skolars havent really been tested thus far. Something Joe Mbu recognises.

In this week's League Express he says: "I'm looking forward to how the team goes, because it will be another step up and we will need to raise our game. Hopefully we'l go there and do outselves justice because for ther last two years our trips to Rochdale have not been easy."

And they come to Spotland with their plans for the 2013 KPC1 season already requiring some adjustment. A cursory glance at Good Friday's results show that, under genuinely testing conditions when it really mattered, Skolars got an Easter thumping at home from Hemel Stags by 26 points to 8.

Here at TLFRF80mins towers, our experience of Hemel Stags is that they're a bit of a blunt instrument - big across the park and playing simple direct football, so it'll be interesting to see how Skolars react against a 'footballing' side like Hornets.

Whilst this game is a dead competition rubber, it does offer Ian Talbot - and Hornets fans - an opportunity to cast an eye over some of our emerging talent. And, let's face it, a Hornets game on Easter monday of any type has to be significantly better than any of the alternatives. So wrap up warm, bring a friend and give the lads your support.