Words: Ian Golden, Pic: Mark Stringer
Super League kicked off last weekend and Rhys Williams helped Salford Red Devils to a 20-10 win at the newly promoted renamed Leigh Leopards. Luis Roberts made his Leeds Rhinos debut in the competition’s opening match, but his side lost 42-10 at Warrington Wolves.
Three Welsh-qualified players were on the North Wales Crusaders side in their opening game of the season and two were on the scoresheet as they lost 38-18 to Dewsbury Rams at Widnes, played there because of a fixture clash in Colwyn Bay. Owain Abel and Josh Lynch both scored on their Crusaders’ debuts and for Abel it was his first-ever professional game. Lynch has previously played a game for Warrington and scored a try. Rob Massam was also part of Welsh dominated back-line. Owen Restall scored two tries for the Rams.
Also in League 1, London Skolars lost 58-16 at home to Workington Town. Shane Lee made his Skolars debut and kicked a goal, whilst two other former West Wales Raiders players, Charley Bodman and Harry Boots, were in action for Cornwall as they lost 40-6 at Midlands Hurricanes.
There were Welsh players on each side in three Championship games. Swinton’s Welsh trio of Mike Butt, Ollie Olds and Rhodri Lloyd all started as they kept up their fine start to the season as they beat Barrow Raiders 20-18. Ben Evans was in the Barrow side. Bradford Bulls edged out Widnes Vikings at Odsal, winning 14-12. Chester Butler played for Bradford with Ant Walker and Matty Fozard lining up for Widnes. Josh Ralph was in the Toulouse Olympique XIII side who beat York Knights 36-0. Bailey Antrobus was in the York line-up.
Also losing 36-0 was Elliot Kear, on his Batley Bulldogs debut, as his side lost at Sheffield Eagles, Curtis Davies was in the Newcastle Thunder side as they lost 44-24 at Keighley Cougars, but Caleb Aekins and Craig Kopczak were winners, each scoring a try as Featherstone Rovers beat Whitehaven 76-4,
Finally, in the NRL Pre-Season Challenge, Bradman Best was on the scoresheet for Newcastle Knights, with Tyson Frizell also playing, but they lost 36-14 to Parramatta Eels.