Ian Golden and Andy Morgan review the weekend’s action in matches that featured Wales internationals and hopefuls.
Echoing their performances in last year’s Women’s Super League 9s, Cardiff Demons again finished second in their group, but were close to getting top spot. They beat Salford Red Devils 26-4 and Bradford Bulls 32-8 before narrowly losing 14-7 to Leeds Rhinos. Cardiff captain, the Wales international Leanne Burnell starred in each game, scoring tries in the first two. Also among the scorers were fellow international Amberley Ruck, Charlie Mundy and Rhi Parker, as well as the uncapped Zoe Heeley, who had an impressive hat-trick of tries against Salford, Kaitlin Hubbert and Jasmine Gibbons. Other Wales internationals to take part were Eleri Michael, Rosie Carr, Sara Jones, Katie Carr, Ffion Jones and Joeann McGuire. Cardiff didn’t automatically qualify for a finals place but are likely to be there as the wildcard. Carys Marsh also helped Wigan Warriors qualify for finals day.
In the men’s Super League, Rhys Williams started again for Salford Red Devils. Despite leading World Champions, St. Helens, at half-time, Saints ultimately came out on top to end Salford’s recent winning run. In the reserves match between the two sides, Billy Walkley was on the scoresheet for Salford with their line-up also including Joe Coope-Franklin, Finley Yates, Rhys Davies and Jacob Lee. Elsewhere in Super League Reserves, a horrific injury on 55 minutes halted the Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos match. The score at the time was 16-all with Luis Roberts having scored a try for Leeds. Josh Lynch scored two tries for Warrington Wolves as they beat London Broncos 68-4. In the NRL, two tries from Bradman Best and one for Tyson Frizell got Newcastle Knights back to winning ways against Gold Coast Titans.
In the Championship, Bradford Bulls edged out Swinton Lions in a high-scoring contest. Rhodri Lloyd scored two tries for the Lions, who also included Mike Butt and Ollie Olds. But it was Chester Butler and the Bulls who celebrated a 44-38 success.
TRY, BATLEY!! What a ball Josh Woods! Cut out pass to Elliot Kear on the wing and a forward roll for the cherry on top!
— Batley Bulldogs RLFC (@BatleyRLFC) May 13, 2023
Caleb Aekins and his Featherstone Rovers maintained their merciless pace at the top of the table. Widnes Vikings were the latest side to be beaten, with Matty Fozard and Ant Walker in the Vikings squad. Elliot Kear scored the first try for Batley Bulldogs as they earned a single-point win over Toulouse Olympique XIII, who had Josh Ralph among their try scorers.
Curtis Davies (Newcastle Thunder) and Ben Evans (Barrow Raiders) both ended the weekend on the losing side, but Dan Fleming was in the winner’s circle with Halifax Panthers, who were resounding 60-0 winners against Whitehaven.
In League One, Dewsbury Rams beat fellow high-fliers, Doncaster to strengthen their promotion push. Owen Restall and Connor Davies both started the match for the in-form Rams. Sion Jones also enjoyed success as Rochdale Hornets claimed a narrow win on their travels to London Skolars.
Ewan Badham, Charley Bodman, Jake Lloyd and Harry Boots all featured for Cornwall as they were swept aside by Hunslet RLFC.
The Wales Wheelchair international side were in training so all from the current squad had no game, but there were former internationals and development sides in action. Jason Owen turned out for London Roosters who smashed Warrington Wolves 108-26 in Super League. It was the third time in their four games this season that Warrington had conceded over 100 points. Gary Taylor and John Doyle appeared for North Wales Crusaders A alongside up-and-coming Welsh players at the Inclusion Day festival in York.