Ian Golden, Harry Jones and Andy Morgan review the weekend’s action in matches that featured Wales internationals and hopefuls. Pic: SW Pix
In the third of Wheelchair Super League’s “Magic Rounds”, four tries from Scott Trigg-Turner helped London Roosters to a 38-30 win over Wigan Warriors in Manchester with Jason Owen kicking five goals. This was the first of three games shown live on “The Sportsman”. Welsh international Mark Williams crossed in the corner for the opening try of the game, and Martin Lane, fresh from his Celtic Cup debut also crossed for a Warriors try. In the day’s second game, Warrington Wolves had a boost coming into the game with internationals Mason Baker, Stephen Halsey and Stuart Williams all being drafted in on dual-registration from North Wales Crusaders, all starting on the bench. Hull had the better of the early exchanges, however, the three Welsh stars gave the Wolves a bit of a boost and whilst they didn’t win, 60-24 was their narrowest defeat of the season. Halsey and Williams were instrumental in all of the Wolves’ scores, with the former scoring a try and conversion, whilst the latter squeezed over for a brace of tries. The final game of the day saw Jodie Boyd-Ward captain Leeds Rhinos to a 34-28 win over Halifax Panthers in a repeat of last year’s Grand Final.
On Sunday, North Wales Crusaders further extended their winning streak after beating Rochdale Hornets 88-4 with the Welsh international stars shining. Mason Baker, playing his second game of the weekend, crossed for the opening try of the game, Lucie Roberts secured a first-half hat-trick, breakthrough star, Johnny Gill crossed for his first of the afternoon, Harry Jones scored a brace whilst Stephen Halsey crossed for a solitary try and seven conversions. This took the Crusaders to a 46-0 lead into the break. The second half was much of the same with Roberts scoring her second hat-trick of the game, taking her total to six tries. Halsey and Gill both completed their hat-tricks, with the former slotting a further seven conversions. Ricki Davies showed why he should be back in contention for another Wales cap as he finished the game with eight assists. Before this, North Wales Crusaders A beat Warrington Wolves A 18-16 in a thriller. Wolves went ahead early on, but the experience of Jess Booth showed for the Crusaders as they crossed for their side’s only try of the first half, with Martin Turner, fresh from playing for Chester Gladiators Masters on Saturday, added two goals with the Crusaders going into half-time with a narrow 8-6 lead. Crusaders A were 16-8 down going into the last ten minutes. Crusaders youngster, Jack Atkins, playing his first game of the season showed signs of brilliance but when Matthew Turner (son of Martin) squeezed his way over and his dad added the extras with just minutes remaining, Crusaders looked for the winner. With less than 15 seconds on the clock, they got it. Captain Wyatt Jones opted to take a fresh set from a penalty rather than tying the scores, and this stroke of pure genius led to some swift play as Matthew Turner crossed in the corner on the full-time hooter.
Crusaders’ men’s recent run of good form came to an end at the hands of Hunslet. Josh Hughes-Lynch scored a brace of tries in their 30-20 defeat, Rob Massam was on the wing for Crusaders and Owain Abel was in at full-back. Betfred League One leaders, Dewsbury Rams continued to set the pace. Connor Davies scored a try for the Rams, who had Owen Restall at full-back in their win over Oldham. Connor’s twin, Curtis Davies, picked up a yellow card as his Newcastle Thunder team went down to Sheffield Eagles.
𝐇𝐎𝐌𝐌𝐄𝐒 𝐃𝐔 𝐌𝐀𝐓𝐂𝐇 🔥
— Toulouse Olympique XIII (@TOXIII) June 27, 2023
Caleb Aekins was once again at stand-off for Featherstone Rovers as they maintained their position at the top of the Betfred Championship with victory against York Knights RLFC. Josh Ralph starred with a hat-trick for Toulouse Olympique XIII as they saw off a Bradford Bulls team containing Chester Butler.
Dan Fleming was among the interchanges for Halifax Panthers in their win over Barrow Raiders, who had prop Ben Evans in their starting line-up. Elliot Kear couldn’t help Batley Bulldogs to an eighth successive win, with London Broncos claiming an impressive 20-18 success. When Widnes Vikings hosted Swinton Lions, Ant Walker grabbed a try for the home side, with Rhodri Lloyd getting across the try line for the Lions as they earned a valuable win. Matty Fozard (Widnes) and Gavin Bennion (Swinton) also featured in the match.
In the men’s Betfred Super League, Luis Roberts made his home debut for Leeds Rhinos as they thrashed Huddersfield Giants, 54-0, but Gil Dudson couldn’t help Warrington maintain their good run as they went down 23-14 at Castleford Tigers.
In the Reserves competition. Luke Thomas scored a try for Warrington Wolves in their 30-28 win against Castleford Tigers. Salford Red Devils included Billy Walkley, Joseph Cooper-Franklin, Jacob Lee, Mason Phillips and Finley Yates in their team that lost out to Wigan Warriors.
Leeds Rhinos’ women were also successful last weekend as they won the Women’s Super League Nines, but they had to it without Bethan Dainton who was watching from the stands due to a failed HIA the week before. They beat Wigan Warriors in the final, a dress rehearsal for the forthcoming Challenge Cup semi-final, with co-incidentally Carys Marsh on the sidelines with exactly the same issue. Keira McCosh did play for Warrington Wolves, who failed to get out of the group stages. Cardiff Demons were also eliminated in the group stages but they did nearly beat St Helens, thanks to two Leanne Burnell tries. Welsh internationals Ffion Jones, Lauren Aitken, Sara Jones, Rhi Parker, Joeann McGuire and Charlie Mundy were also in the Cardiff squad who were pushing Saints all the way but eventually fell 16-8.
In Australia, Bradman Best and Tyson Frizell were on the losing side for Newcastle Knights in the NRL clash with Penrith Panthers.