Crusaders open League 1 campaign with a win – Gwylio’r Cymry

Ian Golden looks at how the Welsh internationals and hopefuls all around the world performed in elite rugby league competitions last weekend.

North Wales Crusaders opened their League 1 campaign last weekend as their fans made a 750-mile round trip to cheer them onto a 40-16 victory at Cornwall. Superfan Paula Evans, who hasn’t missed a North Wales Crusaders game home or away in the history of the club, is pictured wearing a cap and red shirt at the front of the picture above. Owain Abel kicked six goals in the Welsh side’s victory. Matt Ross and Harry Boots were playing for the home side.

Also in League 1, Jude Ferreira scored two tries in Hunslet’s close win at Rochdale Hornets, George Birch also scored a try, but couldn’t prevent Newcastle Thunder’s defeat at Midlands Hurricanes, and Billy Walkley helped Keighley Cougars to victory over Workington Town.

There was Challenge Cup action for men and women last weekend. Cardiff Demons cruised to a 58-0 victory over Salford Red Devils to qualify for the women’s quarter-finals where Zoe Heeley was the star, scoring five tries. Five of the players who were called up in last week’s extended squad, also went over the line – Charlie Mundy scored two tries, whilst Brittony Price, Leanne Burnell, Megan Whittaker and Lucia Davies all scored one. Shaunni Davies kicked five goals. Other Wales squad players turning out for the Demons were Katie Carr, Tara Finnegan, Jasmine Gibbons, Ffion Jenkins, Hannah Jones, Sara Jones, Rhi Parker, Amy Price and Sioned Young.

Other Wales women’s squad members were also in action. Bethan Dainton was a try scorer for Leeds Rhinos as they had the biggest win of the day, recording a 90-0 victory at Hull Kingston Rovers. Ashlea Prescott helped Featherstone Rovers to a win over Agnes Wood‘s Sheffield Eagles. Beci Davies made her comeback from injury for Salford. Brogan Evans made an appearance for Wigan Warriors in their tight win at Barrow Raiders. Kathryn Salter kicked a goal for London Broncos but couldn’t stop defeat at home to Warrington Wolves. 

None of the Wales men’s players managed to win in the Cup this week. Connor Davies‘ Halifax Panthers side fell to Catalans Dragons, Caleb Aekins‘ Featherstone Rovers side lost at Leigh Leopards, whilst Gil Dudson was also involved in Salford Red Devils’ defeat at Hull Kingston Rovers.

In Super League Reserves, Charlie Glover made an appearance for Salford Red Devils in their loss to Leigh Leopards, whilst in Australia, Bradman Best starred in Newcastle Knights’ close NRL win over Melbourne Storm.

And in their final friendly match before their European Club Challenge match against Catalans Dragons on April 6, Wheelchair Super League champions Wigan Warriors lost a tight game to Leeds Rhinos in what was a friendly but in reality a grudge Grand Final rematch. Martin Lane and Mark Williams were on the Wigan side, with Williams grabbing a try, with Jodie Boyd-Ward getting a try for Leeds as they won 62-40.