Ian Golden and Harry Jones review the weekend’s action in matches that featured Wales internationals and hopefuls. Pic: Andrew Cudbertson
North Wales Crusaders produced a memorable performance at Workington Town on Sunday as they qualified for the second round of the Betfred League 1 play-offs. The Crusaders recovered from a half-time deficit to the delight of their travelling supporters. Rob Massam was in the Crusaders’ side who now travel to Oldham on Sunday 10 September, in a game that will be streamed live on The Sportsman (3pm).
In the Betfred Championship, Featherstone Rovers overcame Bradford Bulls 18-6 helped by a Caleb Aekins try to secure top spot. London Broncos also kept up their charge for Super League as they won at Sheffield Eagles, with Dalton Grant in the Broncos’ side. He’ll face competition from Widnes Vikings and Matty Fozard as they beat Batley Bulldogs 12-4 at home. Elliot Kear was in the Bulldogs’ side. Dan Fleming came on as sub for Halifax Panthers in their victory at Whitehaven, for whom Connor Holliday started. Ben Evans‘ came off the bench for Barrow Raiders in their defeat at Keighley Cougars, with Curtis Davies also suffering defeat with Newcastle Thunder at home to Toulouse Olympique XIII. Mike Butt and Gavin Bennion were in the Swinton Lions’ side who lost 26-22 at York Knights.
Luis Roberts was in the Leeds Rhinos’ side as he helped them to a crucial men’s Super League win at Hull FC. In the Women’s Super League, Rhinos were also winners, tasting revenge for their Cup Final defeat as they beat St Helens 34-22 away. Bethan Dainton was in the Leeds side. Wigan Warriors and Carys Marsh beat Huddersfield Giants at home.
In the NRL, Newcastle Knights prepared for finals footy with a big win at St George Illawarra Dragons. Bradman Best was in the Knights’ side, whilst in Canada, two former Wales internationals faced each other as captains – Matty Barron with Toronto Wolfpack and Peter Lupton with Boston 13s.
In Saturday’s only Wheelchair Championship fixture, Sheffield Eagles took on second-place Wigan Warriors ‘A’. Mark Williams, in his first of two Wigan appearances of the weekend, helped secure his team a 64-46 victory, scoring five tries in the process. This result now means that North Wales Crusaders will host Bradford Bulls on October 8 for a place in the Championship Grand Final on the October 15 at Manchester’s National Basketball Centre.
In the weekend’s Betfred Wheelchair Super League, Mark Williams looked to help inspire the Wigan first team as they looked to regain some of their positive form. However their opponents Leeds Rhinos were cheered on by a raucous home crowd and managed to come away the 68-36 victors with captain and international, Jodie Boyd-Ward crossing late in the proceeding for her only try. Warrington Wolves, in what realistically should be their final Super League game, looked to end their miserable season on a high as they took on title contenders London Roosters. The Roosters opted to rest all of their England stars, leaving Scott Trigg-Turner the only current international in their side. He scored seven tries and a handful of conversions in a 104-0 win.
Finally, history was made in the WRL Invitational Wheelchair League as father and son faced up against mother and daughter. Paul Sargent and his son Lee Sargent, both Wales internationals, lined up for eventual 62-34 winners Torfaen Tigers, with former Wales head coach Alana Sargent and daughter Libbie playing for Cardiff Blue Dragons. Stephen Halsey and Mason Baker were in action for North Wales Crusaders in their defeat to Argonauts.