Eastern Rhinos fight back but lose to London Skolars

Action as Eastern Rhinos face the London Skolars. Picture: KEVIN COOK

Action as Eastern Rhinos face the London Skolars. Picture: KEVIN COOK - Credit: Archant

London and South Premier London Skolars A 32 Eastern Rhinos 10 The Rhinos showed great character to come back from an early 10 point deficit to level the scores but conceded several late tries to give a final score that flattered the home side.

The away side had the better of the early exchanges but on five minutes gave away too much field position with a succession of penalties which Skolars punished with an early converted try.

On 23 minutes the Rhinos conceded a scrum on their 20-metre line from which Skolars extended their lead to 10–0, which is it how stayed until half-time.

After the break, coach Peter Le Marquand’s tactical switch of playing Brendan Cook in the centres rather the forwards paid off handsomely with Cook consistently making good yards and breaking the line.

It was not long before the Rhinos’ work rate was rewarded when the Skolars concede a penalty on 20 metres and Adam Cook scooted over from close range, Jake Boardman converting to bring the score back to 10–6.

From the restart the Rhinos ran the ball back into the Skolars 20 metres area and forced the defense into conceding a scrum from which they spread the ball across the pitch for Sefa Cakacakavakalotu to the level the scores.

At this point all the momentum was with the Rhinos who looked capable of going on to win the game but as the last quarter progressed the Rhinos started to tire and whilst pressing for the win started to leave gaps which allowed The Skolars to run in late three tries for a final score of 32–10.

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The Rhinos have now lost both their opening games but Le Marquand was positive about the results.

He said: “We are in a very competitive division this year, we have had two away games against two very strong sides and shown we can be competitive at this level, I am particularly proud of how the young players have performed having stepped up to this level.”

This week the Eastern Rhinos travel to the London Chargers for another difficult game against a side who have won the division above for the last seasons but have stepped down due a restructuring of the leagues. Rest weeks and cancellations mean the Rhinos’ first game Home game will be 3rd June 2017 at Colchester Rugby Club.

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