London Skolars face punishment after failing to fulfil League One fixture

TROUBLED London Skolars are facing a fine and potential points deduction after failing to fulfil last Wednesday’s League One fixture at Rochdale Hornets, who were awarded a 48-0 win.

The match had been rearranged after a waterlogged pitch at the Crown Oil Arena forced a late postponement on the original date of Sunday, July 23, with Skolars en route to the ground.

With the play-offs running from this weekend until that of September 23/24 (the exact date of the final is yet to be confirmed), and no mutually- convenient Saturday or Sunday slots available, midweek was the only option.

It’s believed bottom-of-the-table Skolars had previously indicated their concern over the logistical difficulties posed by the rearrangement.

And the RFL confirmed last Monday that they had been told by the North London-based club that they would be unable to fulfil the fixture and that it was therefore called off.

The governing body then issued a statement on Thursday, confirming: “The postponed Betfred League One round-17 fixture between Rochdale Hornets and London Skolars has been awarded to Hornets.

“Skolars had informed both the club and the RFL that, with no free weekends available before the end of the regular season, they would be unable to fulfil the fixture during a midweek.

“RFL Board has decided, in line with operational rules, that the game be awarded to Rochdale Hornets by a score of 48-0.

“The Betfred League One table will be adjusted to reflect this decision. London Skolars will be referred to RFL Compliance.”

It meant Rochdale went into the final regular-season round on the same twelve-points mark but with a vastly inferior points difference to North Wales Crusaders, who were occupying the final play-off place.

Crusaders hosted Skolars, who were aiming to avoid becoming the first club since West Wales Raiders in 2018 to lose every league game in a season, while Hornets played at Cornwall, losing 18-12.

Skolars, who entered League One in 2023 and have only once finished above seventh (they were fourth in 2013), also lost their sole Challenge Cup tie, coincidentally away to Rochdale, in February.