Ian Golden and Andy Morgan review the weekend’s action in matches that featured Wales internationals and hopefuls. Pic: Ian Lovell.
Cardiff Demons gave Wigan Warriors a fight in the opening weekend of the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup, but in the end the northern side were comfortable 38-20 winners. Missing eight players from their Super League South Grand Final win last year and fielding five debutants, Cardiff struggled in the first half and were 26-6 down at the break. Debutants Kaitlin Hubbert and former Wales rugby union international Amy Price were try scorers, in addition to Wales RL internationals Ffion Jones and Eleri Michael. Shaunni Davies, playing her first rugby league in 20 months after returning from injury, added two goals. Captaining Cardiff for the first time was Leanne Burnell, with most of the rest of the Demons side Wales internationals or Welsh qualified. Carys Marsh was in the Wigan side. In other Challenge Cup matches, Bethan Dainton scored two tries in Leeds Rhinos’ 72-0 win over Bradford Bulls, whilst Emily Hughes and Kathryn Salter were in the London Broncos side who were beaten at home by St Helens.
The men’s Betfred Challenge Cup entered the fifth round stage, with Elliot Kear and Batley Bulldogs progressing to the last 16 thanks to a comfortable home win against Keighley Cougars. Bailey Antrobus can also look forward to more Cup action after York Knights overcame a Newcastle Thunder team that contained Curtis Davies at hooker. There was similar disappointment for twin brother Connor, who was in the Dewsbury Rams team alongside Owen Restall as they lost out to London Broncos. Chester Butler’s Challenge Cup campaign also came to an end as Bradford Bulls were beaten by Halifax Panthers, who last week signed prop Dan Fleming.
Rhys Williams returned to the Salford Red Devils team as they earned a hard-fought home win over Catalans Dragons to continue their positive start to the Betfred Super League campaign.
Tyson Frizell and Bradman Best were once again in the Newcastle Knights side who suffered a narrow 18-16 defeat to North Queensland Cowboys in the NRL. Harry Hayes went over for a try for Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs reserves but he and Sam Hughes couldn’t prevent a 28-10 loss at home to Newtown Jets.
Just one Wheelchair Super League match took place last weekend. Scott Trigg-Turner scored a try for London Roosters as they lost 36-26 to Hull FC.