Wales Rugby League’s General Manager Sash Stosic has expressed his delight about how successful last Sunday was for Welsh Rugby League.
A record Super League points tally for Crusaders in Super League after they beat Bradford Bulls 44-20, with Tony Martin’s try bringing up 4,000 all-time club points in all competitions, was just the headline act of a successful day of rugby league throughout Wales.
In Wrexham before the Crusaders game, Rhyl Exiles won the inaugural North Wales nines, beating Penrhyn Eagles from Bangor 14-4 in final. Mid Wales Marauders from Welshpool, Conwy Celts from Colwyn Bay and Chester Gladiators also competed in a forerunner of the North Wales Merit League which begins next week.
Down south in Neath, it was a record 890 attendance for South Wales Scorpions, who came so close to beating Swinton Lions, losing 12-16 in a game that could have gone either way.
Before that game, Wales Dragonhearts, the representative side from the Co-operative Welsh Conference Premier League, demolished their Irish counterparts 34-8 in the first game in their attempt to win the Cheltenham Regency Trophy for the eighth year out of nine, while the Gnoll also saw the culmination of a two-month Primary Schools rugby league tournament where Parc Y Tywyn School from Burry Port near Llanelli beat Georgetown Primary from Tredegar in the Grand Final after over 500 children had competed.
“Everything that happened today in both north and south Wales showed that there is a massive interest for rugby league in Wales,” Stosic said. “Sunday was an excellent opportunity to showcase rugby league throughout Wales and we proved that and displayed a lot of talent through all of our sides.
“A big highlight was the convincing win for Wales Dragonhearts against Ireland who have been a nemesis for Wales for a few years. For what was a brand new line-up, the win for Wales was outstanding. Also, it was pleasing to see the Primary School children play. Although only one school could win the trophy, there was loads of talent through all teams.
“I’m confident with the way rugby league is progressing in Wales. Going forward, all is looking good. We have the Final of the Co-operative High Schools Cup this Sunday before the South Wales Scorpions v Rochdale Hornets match, while from next week we will have 17 local senior rugby league sides competing in three leagues in both north and south Wales.
“In addition, we have many junior sides taking to the field every week, Crusaders under 15s play their final match of the season next Saturday against Harlequins in Glynneath while Crusaders under 18s play in the Super League Academy for the first time from July 11th.
“We are moving nicely towards the Rugby League World Cup in 2013 and we are developing new players every week which can only assist us in our cause. Right now, rugby league has never been bigger in Wales and I’m pleased that the sport in now encompassing the whole country.”