Skolars Match Preview
Bears face in-form Skolars
Match Preview by Mike Hyde
This Sunday, August 20th sees the Bears take on London Skolars at the Butts Park Arena with a 3pm kick-off.
The Bears will be wanting to make it two home wins in a row after beating Hemel Stags 29-26 in their last home game, just clinging on to the lead as the Stags fought back.
They will be wanting to bounce back quickly after last week’s defeat at Gloucestershire All Golds, where they again built up a lead but faded at the end to lose by just two points, 30-28.
London Skolars will provide strong opposition. They are one of four clubs out of the eight in the League 1 Shield who have a strong chance of being in the final, and they are currently sitting in second place and will be determined to remain there, or even higher after Sunday’s game.
Whilst the Bears were narrowly defeated last week, the Skolars were in excellent form, beating Oxford 66-0, which was the Skolars’ biggest victory since joining the ranks of semi-professional rugby in 2003.
Five of their players scored tries last week, with Melling scoring a hat trick, so the Bears need to be wary of threats from different directions. Their kicker Jy-mel Coleman was also in good form, scoring eleven out of twelve attempts and getting himself a try, for a 26 point personal haul.
When the Bears played Skolars earlier this year down in North London, the final score was 42-16 to the home side, but beneath that scoreline lies a story.
The Bears had a very poor first half that day, entering the dressing room 30-0 down at half time, with the home crowd no doubt expecting more of the same in the second half.
Tom Tsang’s team talk must have been pretty powerful, because that final score line shows that the Bears’ points haul was greater than the Skolars’ in the second half. But there is no prize for winning the second half, or indeed for being the best team for 70 minutes and still losing.
The Bears need to be at their best for 80 minutes this Sunday, and if they can do this then they need fear no team in this competition.
Coventry Bears v London Skolars. Sunday 20th August, 3pm kick-off at the Butts Park Arena.
1. Mikey Russell
2. Hayden Freeman
3. Matt Reid
4. Jason Bass
5. Jamahl Hunte
6. Paul Emmanuelli
7. Brad Delaney
8. Brad Brennan
9. Billy Gaylor
10. Paddy Jones
11. Kieran Sherratt
12. Chris Barratt
13. Zak Williams
14. James kelly
15. James Geurtjens
16. Jack Morrison
17. Alex Beddows
18. Harry Chapman
19. Jacob Jones