Ian Golden, Harry Jones and Barry Andrews review the weekend’s action in matches that featured Wales internationals and hopefuls. Pic: Tracey Lintern
Cardiff Demons were back in action in the Women’s Super League South, as they beat The Army 32-10 to go top of the table. Welsh international Charlie Mundy led the way with two tries whilst former Wales skipper Shaunni Davies was one of the goal-scorers. Also on the Demons’ team list were Wales internationals Eleri Michael, Leanna Maybank, Rhi Parker, Lauren Aitken, Sara Jones, Ffion Jones and Joeann McGuire as well as a whole host of other Welsh-qualified players.
In the north, Wigan Warriors warmed up for their Challenge Cup semi-final with an important Super League win, beating Warrington 20-12 with Carys Marsh starring for Wigan. Kiera McCosh and Fern Davies were in the Warrington side. They’ll take on Leeds Rhinos this Sunday, and they drew with York Valkyrie 12-12. Bethan Dainton was again in the Rhinos line-up.
On Saturday in Hull, the annual Betfred Wheelchair Challenge Cup festival took place. The day saw each Super League team along with French Champions and potential Super League side, Catalans Dragons face each other in short 10-minute games.
Jodie Boyd-Ward captained her Leeds Rhinos side to an undefeated day, claiming a 16-4 victory over Wigan, 12-4 over Hull FC, 11-0 over title rivals Halifax Panthers, 32-0 over strugglers Warrington Wolves, a 4-4 draw with Catalan Dragons before closing the day out with a 2-0 victory over London Roosters, securing their place the final in August.
Fellow internationals Scott Trigg-Turner and Mark Williams also featured in the day’s festivities as Williams, back in the Wigan Warriors first team following playing for their A side a week prior, seemed to be one of their shining players, managing to score against Leeds and Warrington, whilst Trigg-Turner featured for London Roosters as they aimed to continue their strong run of league form into the Cup.
This year’s final will once again be a repeat of the 2022 encounter with Leeds Rhinos taking on Catalan Dragons. The match will be played on Sunday, August 20 at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
Also on Saturday, the Harry Jones Testimonial Day took place in Wrexham, with Stuart Williams, Ricki Davies, Mason Baker, Stephen Halsey and Lucie Roberts amongst the Welsh internationals who played for North Wales Crusaders. Gary Preece and Martin Lane were again the stars for Hereford Harriers when they took on the Crusaders’ first team, whilst Lee Sargent and Paul Sargent were in the South Wales Barbarians side, a team made up players registered with Cardiff Blue Dragons and Torfaen Tigers.
Hear from the man of the moment on his special week and backing up 💪
— Newcastle Knights (@NRLKnights) July 15, 2023
Down under in the NRL, Welsh-qualified Bradman Best topped off a successful week after scoring two tries in game three of State of Origin, by adding to his try tally for Newcastle Knights. Best has now scored nine in the league, alongside 11 try assists. Tyson Frizell also played in the Knights victory over West Tigers. In the NSW Cup, Sam Hughes and Harry Hayes were in the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Reserves side that lost to North Sydney Bears.
In the Betfred Super League, prop Gil Dudson was part of the Warrington Wolves starting XIII that suffered a fifth defeat in a row in all competitions as they were beaten by Challenge cup semi-finalists Wigan Warriors.
Caleb Aekins and retired international Craig Kopczak were part of the team that continued Featherstone Rovers dominance at the top of the Championship table against Barrow Raiders. Josh Ralph opened the try scoring for Toulouse Olympique XIII as they got the better of Batley Bulldogs.
Rhodri Lloyd, Ollie Olds and Gavin Bennion all started in Swinton Lions defeat to London Broncos. Widnes Vikings secured back-to-back victories with Ant Walker and Matty Fozard playing a vital role, with Fozard getting himself a try. Chester Butler was involved in Bradford Bulls thumping of Whitehaven. Bailey Antrobus inspired York to a five-point victory over Sheffield Eagles. Unfortunately, Curtis Davies was part of a thrashing for Newcastle Thunder at the hands of the Halifax Panthers.
In Betfred League One, George Mitchell, Jake Lloyd and Ewan Badham were part of Cornwall history as they recorded back-to-back victories for the first time in their history with a win against Midland Hurricanes. Rob Massam was on the scoresheet, but it was not enough as North Wales Crusaders suffered defeat at the hand of Workington Town.