Kingstone Press League 1 Preview: London Skolars v Keighley Cougars


London Skolars were beaten 48-6 at Oldham last week.

Assistant coach Matt Lambert said: “In the first half we had a lot of defending to do and hung in there well. The second half probably ran away from us a little bit but in that first half we were pretty positive.”

Looking ahead to the visit of Keighley Cougars he said: “They are one of the teams who came down last year and I know they’ve got quite a few players who played for them in the Championship.

“I’ve still got a couple of friends back at Hemel who have played against them already and have been kind enough to share a bit of information.

“That, along with doing our video on them this week, and I think we’ll be pretty confident that we know what we’re going to get at the weekend. Hopefully we’ll get off to a good start and get ourselves in the game and see what happens.

“They’ve got a couple of experienced halves and I imagine they’ll get some pretty good direction from them. I’ve heard they’ve got a strong pack to lay a good platform but if we match them in the middle who knows what will happen?”

Skolars will have a new half-back pairing this week with former London Bronco Mikey Bishay alongside Josh Kittrick, who is on loan from Doncaster.

Keighley Cougars hung onto their unbeaten record with a one point victory over North Wales Crusaders. Coach Paul March said: “I don’t think we played particularly well in the first half and in the second half we came out and put some things right, played to the death and got our reward.

“We had to re-shuffle in the first half having lost Matty Bailey in the warm up and then Josh Lynam within six minutes with an eye injury and he didn’t return until later in the game. That disrupted us but we got back to how we wanted to play.

“This week we’re on another 4G pitch, a nice wide quick field which I think will suit us.

“The team spirit at the minute is second to none and I think it’s down to those away trips. They get to spend a full day together and there’s banter and the enjoyment after winning especially on the long trips.

“You always want to perform because in these because it’s a long way home if you don’t. We’re using that as a bit of motivation as well.”

Second row Matty Bailey and centre Danny Lawton, who picked up a bicep/elbow injury, will miss out this week but wing Rikki Sheriffe, who has signed a permanent deal with the club, comes into the squad.