The new-look South Wales Scorpions were knocked out of the iPro Sport Cup in the first round, 44-6 by London Skolars on Saturday, February 20.
The Scorpions, who have beaten London in the English capital for the last two years, couldn’t make it a hat-trick, as two big injuries, coupled with some neat play from some of the Skolars debutants, made it tough for the Welshmen.
Scorpions fielded four debutants, but they lost winger Chris Leyshon just five minutes into the game through injury, and fellow back Kyle Scrivens joined him less than half an hour into the game, when the Scorpions were 6-4 up and playing well.
London, and former Scorpion Elliot Kear, were denied an early try after the Welsh international received a forward pass from Sam Nash before touching down.
Scorpions took the lead on 12 minutes when Connor Farrer dived over from dummy half. Emanuelli converted.
Kear wasn’t to be denied a second time, however. Following a good passing move, he grounded in the corner, despite the best efforts of the Scorpions’ players to attempt to push him into touch. Lawrence, a close season signing from Hemel Stags, missed the conversion and the Welsh held onto a two point lead.
Scorpions had been close to the line on a few occasions to try and extend their lead, as did Skolars, when just before the half hour Will Lovell dropped the ball as he was diving for the line.
But they did gain advantage on 34 minutes when, following a penalty, Charlie Lawrence dived over and did better with the conversion to make it 10-6.
And they extended their lead just before the break after substitute Erjon Dollepi dived over from dummy half. Lawrence added the extras to put London ten points in the lead.
It took a good move to get Skolars further ahead. Lawrence kicked a neat chip and Alex Anthony ran onto it to touch down. Lawrence easily converted. They scored again from the next set as Dollapi set up Mbaraga.
Kear, playing on dual registration from London Broncos, notched his second following a fine passing move with Lawrence failing to convert.
Aaron Small got the next Skolars try, grounding in the corner, with Lawrence failing to convert.
Shorlty after, Ben Pointer received the ball from Kear to run over with Lawrence converting.
Sam Nash added another, but Scorpions could have got a consolation near the end. Scott Gregory neatly slipped a pass to Dai Evans but the winger was stopped in his tracks a couple of metres from the line.
South Wales Scorpions will be looking for a better performance next Saturday when they travel to Featherstone Lions in the Third Round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup (kick-off 3pm).