Aaronson Predicting Tough Skolars Encounter
June 1, 2022
Cornwall RLFC star Harry Aaronson is predicting a physical encounter as his side welcome London Skolars to the Memorial Ground this coming Saturday – 3.00pm.
Aaronson tops the Choughs’ try scoring charts in 2022 by crossing the whitewash five times so far in Betfred League 1. And the former Oldham, Swinton and Keighley flyer is also hoping for an upturn in fortunes on home soil.
In three games at the Mem so far this season, Cornwall have been well beaten by Midlands Hurricanes, Rochdale Hornets and West Wales Raiders.
In their most recent match, Neil Kelly’s side performed admirably at promotion chasing Swinton but still went down 54-16. Skolars, meanwhile, picked up a morale-boosting first win of the campaign in their round nine clash with Oldham Roughyeds defeated 38-16 in the capital last Friday.
“They have got some big bodies and their outside backs are real athletes,” Aaronson said when asked what to expect from Joe Mbu’s London outfit. “Skolars are similar to ourselves really in the sense that they haven’t had that League 1 experience and they haven’t been around rugby league in general all that long.
“But you look at the size of them as I have played against London a couple of times, they have got some really big lads. We will be looking at the video from the Oldham game and the weeks before and analyse what they do well. As I said, they have big bodies so if we are going to compete we have to match London in terms of physicality and not let them go through the middle of us.
“It didn’t happen too much at Swinton but they did still gain good field position through the centre of the pitch and we know that is something to fix up before the London game.
“It will be a challenge because they will look at our results so far and think they can come to our patch and turn us over. For us, we will be looking to show that we can perform at home.
“Our home form has to change and I can’t put my finger on why it hasn’t been great so far this season.
“We have a massive advantage playing at Penryn with the pitch like it is and the other teams’ travelling time. We haven’t capitalised on that at all this season and we need to change it.
“In patches we went well against Midlands and Rochdale but the West Wals performance was unacceptable.
“If our first win could come at home this Saturday, in front of another crowd of over 1,000 would be amazing. It is what we as a squad are wanting to achieve and look forward to also.”
Looking for pre-game advantages, Cornwall have enjoyed an extended break period due to the Betfred Challenge Cup taking place last weekend.
London, on the other hand, have had a shorter preparation time due to their match with Oldham taking place less than 24-hours before the showpiece event, which acted as an unofficial curtain raiser to Wigan Warriors’ win over Huddersfield Giants at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Aaronson had mixed views on the two week break his side have been handed with the positive being time off to give injured players such as prop Jack Ray (broken hand) and fellow pack man Aaron Thomson (knee ligaments) time to recover. However, Aaronson, 23, revealed that with recent results in mind, the Choughs were keen to play as much football as possible.
“I think the break week was probably needed from an injury point of view to get some of the busted players back,” he added. “Hopefully Jack Ray will be in contention this week and Aaron too as both of those are key players for us.
“A near full-strength squad for London Skolars will be good but after the disappointment of West Wales and after going okay at Swinton in patches, the lads want to try and play as much as possible.
“We want to build on the positive aspects of our performances so far and because of that, there are pros and cons to a break in the season. It hasn’t been a week off entirely for us because I know a lot of the lads have been doing their own things.”
From a personal perspective, Aaronson has been one of Cornwall’s stand out performers during the club’s maiden professional campaign.
And despite results not yet matching endeavour or promise, Aaronson revealed that he is revelling in new and unfamiliar surroundings.
“Away from the tries and the other individual bits, it has been the most enjoyable rugby I have played for the past five or six seasons,” he enthused. “I am in a great team with a great bunch of blokes and a great coach.
“I feel like I am enjoying my rugby again and it has been a few years since I have been able to experience that. Once you have a happy player, the performances look after themselves.
“It’s okay for me to score tries but we must start winning games, starting this Saturday against London Skolars.
“And if we can get two competition points this weekend, I will happily give up all my efforts for that.”