London Skolars v. Workington Town
Listening to the commentary on the Bradford Bulls v. Hull FC Challange cup quarter final, I overheard the commentators discussing whether both teams had been wise to opt to kick for goal when awarded panalties in the opponent's half, rather than taking the set to push for a try.
The near certainty of 2 points, versus the possibility of 6 is a tough call.
Workington gave a master class answer to that question at Skolars' on Saturday.
Skolatrs scored first in a tit-for-tat run of tries in the first half; but Town stole the advantage before half time, and went into the second half ahead by one try. Early in that next half, they chose to kick for 2, and got it. That meant Skolars' needed and additional score to make back the deficit - and taking two would cost them a re-start kick and more time. It was an excellent call to add pressure on the home side - a neat way of consolidating a lead.
The London side put on a spirited show, clawing their way back to near the Cumbria side's score, when they opted to knock in a cheeky drop kick for a point to retain their edge.
The tries were too easy on both sides, running through their opponents line, and often through or next to the posts. Workington clearly had the edge on that, and exposed Skolars' tackling on occaision. Towards the end, the Skolars' were let down by a couple of dropped passes.
Once sad point, a fight broke out on the pitch, during the tense closing part of the match, leading to one player from each team being sent off, after an unecessarilly rough tackle.
Skolars kept the score close enough to gain the point for a near loss, and to gain on Hunslet in the division - further, they proved that at least they belong in the same divison as their victors.
London Skolars 38 - 45 Workington Town