Perfect start to the season for Crusaders juniors

The Crusaders’ junior sides completed an outstanding weekend for the club after the under 15s, under 16s and under 18s all beat Salford City Reds at Caerphilly RFC on Sunday.

This gave the Crusaders a quadruple over Salford City Reds in under 24 hours following the 16-10 win in Super League on Saturday.

The under 15s were up first winning 19-14, the under 16s then won 44-26 before the under 18 Academy side won 56-28 which meant that the day that saw 187 points being scored in front of an enthusiastic 200-strong crowd.

Wales Rugby League’s Player Performance Manager Aled James was delighted that the Crusaders had played so well in all the games.

“It was a fantastic achievement for all teams,” said James. “The under 15s kicked off the day, were gutsy and played their hearts out, the under 16s showed a lot of skill and the under 18s showed their continued development with an all-round display. It was a great occasion and all teams showed that they could play good Rugby League.

“We are really happy with how much football we actually played. We didn’t play one-up rugby, we played expansive smart stuff, it’s really good to see the players showcase their skills against experienced opposition. The fact that we won in style in all three games was really good.

“If you think that all four teams have beaten sides from a club like Salford this weekend, it’s something for Crusaders and Wales Rugby League to be proud of.”
Stuart Williams, Head coach for the under 18s was equally as ecstatic at the day’s events.

“It was very pleasing with the manner that all three Crusaders teams performed,” he said. “They looked really comfortable playing Rugby League and that’s the highest credit that I can give to them.

“The highlight of the day for me was the manner that the under 18s played in the first half. We trained extremely well this week and we certainly carried that on in the first 40 minutes. Disappointed to let them cross over the line a few times in the second half as we set pretty high standards for ourselves. At half-time we were 38-0 up but we drifted out of the game a bit when we needed to be more ruthless. We realised that there’s a lot of work to do. There’s a lot to work on in training next week but the lads need to keep their feet on the ground.

“The 16s and 18s won convincingly but the 15s game was a pretty nail-biting affair. It came down to a last minute coolly taken drop-goal that the half-back kicked at the end to win the game, but fully deserved again. They played some entertaining rugby.”

Crusaders 19
Tries: Martin Davies, Festa, Curtis Davies, Griffiths
Goals: Knowles
DG Roberts
Salford 14
Tries: Lomax, Gage, Okey
Goals: Boardman

Crusaders 44
Tries: Smith, Ruben, Farrar, Brown (2), Griffiths, Davies, Smith (2) Howells
Goals Griffiths (2)
Salford 26
Tries Farnell, Houghton, Sargeant (2) Turner
Goals: Kelly (3)

Crusaders 56
Tries: Watkins (2), Lloyd, Davies, Morgan, Mcguire, Ellis (2), Hill, Davies
Goals: Davies (80
Salford 28
Tries: Powell, Wilson (2), Files, Pendlebury
Goals: Stott (4)