In 2013, we wrote of London Skolars how they spoiled you to a standstill and fed off your mounting frustration. Three years on much has changed at the New River Stadium: New coach, new team, new plastic postage-stamp of a pitch - but it seems that the ‘Skolars Way’ prevails.
Having scraped into the eight at the expense of Newcastle, Skolars began their run-in at Hunslet last week with a narrow 30-26 defeat. But it’s what occured betrween the scoring that caught our beady eye.
Not unexpectedly, Skolars shipped over a dozen penalties (twice as many as Hunslet) - six of them in the first quarter alone: the majority for holding down. It left Huslet coach Matt Bramals seething” “The tactic of slowing the game down disrupted our rhythm…” he said. “How many penalties have to be given before something is done?”
Interestingly, Skolars coach Chow-Mein Coleman basically fessed-up to his side’s desire to spoil: “Coaches often seem to complain about attempts tio slow the game down,” he said. “As if no-one should try to do that.”
10-nil down after 15 minutes, Skolars pegged back the Hawks to level the scores at 10-all after half an hour. Two quick fire Hunslet tries before the break gave the home side a 12-point half timne lead.
Skolars out-scored Hunslet in the second-half by three tries to one, but a converted Hunslet penalty gave them just enough breathing room.
Saturday sees Hornets dragged down to the capital for a ridiculous 5pm kick-off - we’ve looked at the New River Stadium events list and can’t find any events listed for the same day.
Whilst we fully appreciate that last week’s car-crash at Barrow was only Hornets’ second defeat of the season, it was the nature of it that was profoundly disappointing. We all appreciate that there’s no disgrace losing to a better team; and that, occasionally, the wheels just refuse to click into place. But when teams are simply hungrier and more enthusastic, it does gall a bit.
As the weeks pass by, the margin of error gets ever slimmer in the race for a top two place. Saturday gives Alan Kilshaw’s side a chance to draw a line under a shocker, get back on the horse and do whatever it takes to come back with the points on Saturday night.
See you there.