Club of the Week: London

Love Rugby League recently caught up with London Skolars head coach Joe Mbu, to talk about what has been a promising season for the Championship One side.

LRL: How do you think the season has gone so far?

JM: From the start of the season I said we were not going to know where we would end up in the table until everybody had played each other once.

My belief back then was that there would be no guarantee of where teams would finish in the table, despite the fact that a lot of people were saying that the newcomers would be the weakest.

I thought they would be able to pull a few surprises – and they have.

As far as we’re concerned, we’ve had some good performances and some bad performances. The happiest thing for me is that when we haven’t been at our best, we’ve managed to still sneak some wins, and that is a sign of a side going somewhere.

LRL: A top-six finish is already secured, what are your aims for the play-offs?

JM: My hopes for the play-offs are to get to the final, if we get to the final anything can happen.

Look at football and Wigan in the FA Cup last year against Manchester City. Before the game no one gave them a chance but they got to the final and gave themselves the opportunity, that’s what we want to do.

Winning and losing is what it is, but if you get to a final anything can happen on the day.

LRL: Who has been your player of the year?

JM: Given what Smokie Junor was a couple a years ago, to what he is now, he has shown great improvement. He is now one of our best backs and he is a real Skolars lad.

John Paxton would have to be my player of the year though, has been outstanding. I’ve played him in a few positions and on both sides of the pitch, but his performance level never drops.

He has the ability and attitude to be consistent every week and you can’t ask for anymore. If I had 17 players like that we would win the league.

Also, I don’t get to say this enough but I really appreciate the help I get from coaches Marcus Tobin and Matt Cuss. They have been great this season and their efforts have contributed a lot to where we are. They deserve as much recognition as the players.

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