Ian Golden and Andy Morgan review the weekend’s action in matches that featured Wales internationals and hopefuls.
The first Wheelchair Rugby League match of the year in South Wales took place on Saturday, when Torfaen Tigers lost to Hereford Harriers 44-14. Refereed by new Wales coach Alan Caron and former head coach Alana Sargent, Hereford’s two World Cup players Mark Williams and Gary Preece proved to be the big difference between the sides. Preece ended with three tries and five goals and Williams with two tries and one goal. Fellow Wales international player Phillip Davies was also on the Hereford side. Wales international Lee Sargent was among the try scorers for Torfaen, appearing alongside his 14-year old sister Libbie Sargent for the first time. Jason Reynolds was also in the Tigers side and a number of other international hopefuls were amongst the scorers with Julian Osborne and Anthony Pennell also grounding and Alex Powell landing a goal.
North Wales Crusaders beat Sheffield Eagles 92-4 in the Championship to extend their winning streak to eight games, which includes a 100 per cent record in last year’s middle 5 play-offs. Stephen Halsey scored a hat-trick of tries and kicked 13 goals with his first score taking him to over 100 points this season in just three games. Wales captain Stuart Williams also went over three times as did Ricki Davies, with Harry Jones‘ treble giving him 100 tries for the Crusaders in what was his 99th club game. Mason Baker went over twice and added a goal with Jonathan Gill and Jakub Wasieczko each scoring once.
In the Championship North, North Wales Crusaders A recorded a comprehensive opening day 68-0 victory over Sheffield Eagles A. Wales’ oldest Wheelchair international John Doyle, five months short of his 70th birthday, scored a hat-trick of tries, as did Jess Booth and Martin Turner, who also notched two goals. Lee McCabe and Wasieczko each scored twice with Wyatt Jones, Ffion McCabe and Halsey completing the try count.
Wheelchair Super League held the first of its “Magic Days” on Saturday, where all six sides assembled in Birmingham with all matches streamed live on “The Sportsman”. Opposing each other in the first of the three games were Jodie Boyd-Ward at Leeds Rhinos who scored two tries in their 64-32 win over Scott Trigg-Turner‘s London Roosters. He went over for the one try.
The Women’s Super League Group 1, Carys Marsh helped Wigan Warriors battle to a 22-all draw with Warrington Wolves in both clubs’ first game of the season. Also experiencing a draw was Keira McCosh on her Leigh Leopards debut, on dual-registration from Warrington Wolves, as they were held by Bradford Bulls in a Group 2 match.
Pictures of our PDRL team who took part in a Festival in Leeds yesterday
They played the World champions Warrington and Bradford but were defeated.
we go again next game 👹🏉💪
— Devil In The Detail (@ditdsrd) April 16, 2023
The latest Physical Disability Rugby League festival took place in Leeds last Sunday. Paul Jones, Tyma Hughes, Conor Rice and Justin Martin starred for Salford Red Devils as they suffered a 22-16 loss to Bradford Bulls and a 24-12 defeat to Warrington Wolves. Jones and Hughes each scored a try and a goal against Bradford, with Hughes kicking a goal against Warrington. Chris Young and Dylan Hughes were involved in the Leeds Rhinos side who lost to Warrington Wolves 16-10 but beat Hull Kingston Rovers 26-0.
In the NRL, Tyson Frizell was a try-scorer for Newcastle Knights as they pushed reigning champions, Penrith Panthers all the way. Bradman Best was also in the Knights side who ultimately lost 16-15 in golden point extra time. In the NSW Cup, Harry Hayes starred in Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs’ 28-6 win over Parramatta Eels.
Featherstone Rovers maintained pole position in the Betfred Championship with a comfortable win against London Broncos. Caleb Aekins scored a brace of tries in the 40-10 win. Josh Ralph also scored twice as Toulouse Olympique XIII looked to keep pace at the top with victory over Keighley Cougars.
Elliot Kear started for Batley Bulldogs as they claimed an impressive win against Bradford Bulls at Odsal, but Bailey Antrobus was on the losing side for York Knights RLFC as they were beaten by Halifax Panthers. Curtis Davies was unable to help Newcastle Thunder to a positive result from their trip to Whitehaven. Widnes Vikings continued their impressive start to the season with a win against Barrow Raiders. Matty Fozard and Ant Walker both featured for John Kear’s side. Both Rhodri Lloyd and Ollie Olds were in the team for Swinton Lions as they lost out to Sheffield Eagles in the Monday night offering from the Championship.
Dewsbury Rams continued their League One charge with a huge win over Cornwall. Owen Restall and Connor Davies both started for the Rams who ran in 14-tries in a 78-10 win to maintain their 100% record. Jake Lloyd and the reunited Ewan and Ieuan Badham were in the Cornwall side along with Harry Boots who scored his first try for the club.
Sam Bowring was in the Midlands Hurricanes side who were comfortably beaten at Hunslet RLFC, with Sion Jones coming off the bench for Rochdale Hornets as they suffered a narrow loss to Workington Town.
In the Reserves competition, Luis Roberts scored twice for Leeds Rhinos as they beat a Hull FC side containing Jude Ferreira. Jack Billington was on the winning side as Huddersfield Giants defeated James McGurk‘s Newcastle Thunder in a match refereed by James Jones. Luke Thomas started for Warrington Wolves as they were heavily beaten by Wigan Warriors.
It was at Salford Red Devils where the largest Welsh contingent of the weekend could be found. Billy Walkley, Joe Coope-Franklin, John Hutchings, Charlie Glover, Jacob Lee and Mason Phillips were all in our Super League partner’s team that hammered London Broncos, 60-24.
Salford’s U16s side fielded Jake Nottingham, Henry Parker and Kade Woodward as they beat Warrington Wolves 20-14.
For full details on men’s Super League, Challenge Cup, Championship and League 1, plus Women’s and Wheelchair Super League, can be found at https://stats.rugbyleaguerecords.com/