REPORT | London Skolars 18-42 Dons

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6th May 2018

London Skolars 18 Doncaster RLFC 42

Saturday 5th May 2018

New River Stadium

Betfred League One

The Dons bounced back from last week’s defeat against Bradford with a hard-fought victory over London Skolars at the New River Stadium.

Following a tough opening 40, the Dons rallied after half-time to take home the two points from the capital in tough conditions.

It looked as though it would be a comfortable afternoon for Richard Horne’s side when the Skolars coughed up possession in their own half after a poor opening set. The Dons took full advantage by sending loose forward Brandan Wilkinson through the line to open the scoring with just two minutes on the clock. Hakim Miloudi duly converted.

The Dons came close to increasing their lead in the 8th minute only for the effort to be ruled out by the referee. Miloudi’s grubber kick was touched down by Liam Welham but the centre had unfortunately strayed offside.

It was a moment of magic which did eventually increase the Dons lead in the 15th minute. Frenchman Miloudi threw a sublime dummy to break the line and then outwitted the Skolars’ full-back Elliot Hall with some fine dancing feet to score a magnificent try.

Due to the heat, the players took on drinks breaks every 20 minutes, and it was after the first break when the game turned.

Powerful forward Lamont Bryan powered over from close range to bring the home side back into the match. Neil Thorman converted to narrow the score line to just four points.

Ten minutes later Thorman was in the thick of the action, throwing a lovely pass to Hall who finished the move off under the posts to put the Skolars in the lead for the first time in the afternoon.

It was the Dons who had the final say in the half though as Kieran Cross dummied the defence to glide through and regain the Dons lead.

HALF-TIME | London Skolars 12 Doncaster RLFC 16

Dons fans will have been hoping for a much improved second half but when an error allowed the Skolars to gather up the ball from their own kick-off the nerves set back in.

They didn’t last long though as Cross produced a stunning try in the 46th minute, breaking the line forty metres out, dummying the oncoming defenders and racing home under the sticks.

A few minutes later it was another local lad who bagged a four pointer. Zac Braham rolled off his man and forced his way over from close range.

The Dons had found an element of control, but the home side had other ideas.

Just after the hour mark Billy Driver went close to scoring for the Skolars but he found a wall of blue and gold waiting to stop him short of the line.

Then in the 69th minute the Skolars eventually closed the gap. Hall grabbed his second of the afternoon after finding a gap in the Dons defence. Thorman converted to bring the score within ten points.

It was looking like a tense finish to the match until in the 73rd minute Aaron Jones-Bishop flew over in the corner after some fine hands from the Dons.

Five minutes later, Quinn Ngawti threw a loose pass as the Skolars desperately searched for a way back into the game. Miloudi gratefully scooped up the ball before racing 60 metres downfield to all but secure victory.

With seconds to go the Dons sealed the win. Miloudi popped the ball up to a determined Welham. The centre burst through the line to make amends for his earlier disallowed effort and to round off a big win for the Dons.

FULL-TIME | London Skolars 18 Doncaster RLFC 42

DONS XIII | Owen, Sanderson, Welham, Tali, Jones-Bishop, Miloudi, Harris, Scott, Kesik, Spiers, Martin, Downs and Wilkinson

DONS INTERCHANGE | Muranka, Mariano, Cross, Braham

DONS TRIES | Wilkinson (2’), Miloudi (15’, 78’), Cross (39’, 46’), Braham (49’), Jones-Bishop (73’), Welham (80’)

DONS GOALS | Miloudi (5)

LONDON XIII | Hall, Finigan, Caro, Brown, Burroughs, Coleman, Thorman, Sykes, Driver, Martin, Ngawati, Bryan and Chester

LONDON INTERCHANGE | Mbaraga, Davies, Butler and Williams

LONDON TRIES | Bryan (23’), Hall (33’, 69’)

LONDON GOALS | Thorman (3

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