Newcastle Thunder got their 2019 Challenge Cup journey underway successfully as they beat League One rivals West Wales Raiders.

The match started very even with creative attacking pieces being met with solid defensive patterns and it wasn’t until the 15th minute until the deadlock was broken.

Keal Carlile made two sniping runs which saw him dive over the line twice today from close range as well as captain Misi Taulapapa slicing between the Raiders defence giving Newcastle Thunder the early lead.

Raiders demonstrated glimpses of skill throughout the game with winger Dai Evans with the showpiece of the day. Demonstrating his co-ordination, he managed to flick a dipping pass back into his hands while on the run but shortly followed it up with a kick downfield that bounced straight into touch, a play that represented the Raiders day at Kingston Park.

Later tries in the half came from Aaron Ollett and Lewis Young and through the boot of Remy Marginet, Thunder found themselves with a healthy lead going into the half time break.

Half Time: Newcastle Thunder 24 – 0 West Wales Raiders

The second half started very evenly once again as both teams increased the intensity of the game and resulted in both sides struggling to score.

But after 15 minutes of intense battles it was new signing Carne Doyle Manga who crossed over the line. Making his debut today from the bench he made a number of big hits on the Raiders and managed to get himself over the whitewash with a huge crash ball underneath the sticks.

It wasn’t until the final ten minutes where Thunder’s experience settled in as they ran in three tries. Niall Sidney scoring off the back of a well strung set piece play. His fellow winger Mo Agoro also added to his spectacular tally this year as he scored a quick brace to cement Thunder’s name into the round four.

Full Time: Newcastle Thunder 48 – 0 West Wales Raiders

Newcastle Thunder Squad:
Lewis Young
Mo Agoro
Joe Brown
Misi Taulapapa
Remy Marginet
Jy-mel Coleman
Jack Aldous
Keal Carlile
Liam McAvoy
Conor Fitzsimmons
Aaron Ollett
Harry Aldous
Connor Clayton
Jared Blanke
Alex Rowe
Carne Doyle-Manga

Tries: Keal Carlile 2, Mo Agoro 2, Misi Taulapapa, Lewis Young, Aaron Ollett, Carne Doyle Manga, Niall Sidney.
Goals: Remy Marginet (6/9)

West Wales Squad:
Liam Clark
Dai Evans
Rowland Kaye
Morgan Jefferies
Mickael Sabour
Alex King
Tyler Hunt
Robert Tuliatu
Liam Rice-Wilson
Sam Herron
Mike Connor
Ronny Palumbo
Ash Bateman
Archie Snook
Dalton Desmond-Walker
Morgan Rowlands
Paddy Jennings