Kingstone Press League 1 Preview: Hemel Stags v London Skolars

Despite losing 32-14 at Rochdale Hornets, Hemel Stags coach Troy Perkins felt it was an improved performance from his side.

“Ten minutes before half-time we conceded three tries but I thought there wasn’t a lot between the two teams for 70 minutes,” he said. “That’s a big improvement from my point of view.

“Defensively, apart from that 10-minute period, I thought we were good. Attacking-wise I thought our backs did extremely well. So overall I wasn’t overly disappointed with the result considering the performances we have been putting in.

“If we can put a performance like that together this week and improve in some areas we’ll give ourselves a big chance of getting the result.

“Skolars will be looking to hit back after last weekend’s loss. All the games against Skolars are tight. It doesn’t matter where both teams are on the table; form goes out of the window.

“I won’t be looking too much at their previous results. We need to improve a little bit but are heading in the right direction.”

London Skolars became the first team to lose to South Wales Scorpions last week, which didn’t please their coach Jermaine Coleman.

“We had a nice little patch in the first half where we should have posted points but ultimately we weren’t clinical enough,” he said. “Reflecting on the season as a whole that’s probably been one of our downsides; we don’t score enough points.

“We’re missing a player who knows how to score a try out of nothing or from an opportunity. If we then score another try or two then we probably win the game quite comfortably.

“But credit to Mike (Grady) and South Wales, they had confidence from having beaten Skolars twice before and knew that if they stuck in the game they had an opportunity to win it and to their credit they did. I wouldn’t go as far to say we gifted them the game, but we weren’t far off it.

“I don’t think we could have asked for a better game this week. The team and the club were disappointed with Sunday. With the number of players who have crossed between the clubs, including me, if we can’t get up for this one, then there are a lot bigger problems than we first thought.”

There is a doubt over centre Aaron Small, who picked up a knee injury.

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