Skolars being more realistic with expectations in 2018

James Gordon

London Skolars coach Jermaine Coleman says they are being more realistic with their expectations for 2018.

They kicked off the season with a credible 24-24 draw at North Wales Crusaders on Sunday.

He said: “Everyone enters the league wanting to do well as they can.

“I think maybe we were a victim of our own success over the last couple of seasons, we did well to make the top eight and then maybe overshot ourselves last year and expected too much of ourselves.

“Off the back of that, the harder we tried I think the worse we played.

“We’ve been a little bit more conservative about what we want to do and we’ve spoken about enjoying our time together more and off the back of that we’ll get results.”

A late penalty earned a draw for Skolars, who face tough trips to Whitehaven and Bradford in the coming weeks.

Coleman added: “It was definitely a point gained for us. I think North Wales are a good team and to come away with a point in the first game is important. Obviously I’d have loved two but important to get off the board and start the season well.

“We’ve not had the toughest of preparations in terms of pre-season, we’ve played Wigan and Broncos but their junior teams, and I suppose that’s down to myself to organise better next year!

“The fixtures have not been kind to us this year, it’s a tough start, but it’s good for the boys to spend some time together and it helps with that bonding process at the start of the season and we’ll look forward to it.”

Skolars missed out on the top eight last season, finishing 11th after the first phase of the season, but did at least make the League One shield final where they lost to Hunslet.

It’s the Challenge Cup third round this weekend, Skolars travelling up to Cumbria to face League One rivals Whitehaven.