The decade is coming to an end and what an eventful one it has been for Wales Rugby League.
To celebrate, we’ve selected our top 20 moments from this last decade and we’ll be asking you, the fans, to vote for your favourite.
In addition to voting, we do ask that you please, if not already done so, make a purchase of our charity publication, “100 Months of Rugby League in Wales” for just £10 plus postage. It makes a great Christmas present and cover almost all of our top 20, and more.
This was published in May this year, so in mid-December, we’ll have a free download for all, the “missing pages” which covers the rest of the year. You can then print them out and insert them into your book. JUST CLICK HERE
The top 20 has been selected by Wales Rugby League’s “#TwoIans” – photographer Ian Lovell and head of media Ian Golden. Together they’ve seen it all over the last two decades with Wales Rugby League and they are the most qualified to make these selections.
So this week, from Tuesday to Saturday, four selections in chronological order, will be revealed along with an explanation from one of the Ians as to why. Here are the fifth four…
NOMINATION 17 – 2019 – Wales Wheelchair win fourth successive Celtic Cup
To win a trophy once is fantastic. To win it four times in a row is just outstanding. The Wales Wheelchair side is just one of our success stories in recent years and their Celtic Cup record really is second to none, and that’s a fact as they’ve never lost a game in this competition. I reported on the Tri-Nations tournament that we hosted later in the year and our side were close to winning that too. Ian Golden
NOMINATION 18 – 2019 – West Wales Raiders win a professional match for the first time
When you’ve lost 44 matches in a row, conceding 3,117 points on the way, your first victory is going to be something special. When this happened, we all thought it would be a close nail-biter. Not a chance. It was 20-0 at the break against Coventry Bears with the final score 44-16, flattering the midlands side as they scored twice in the last ten minutes after Raiders knew they had the job done. There were some sore heads that Sunday morning! Ian Golden
NOMINATION 19 – 2019 – Cardiff Blue Dragons and Rhondda Outlaws play the first open-age women’s match in Wales
2019 has been the year of women’s sport and no more so than in rugby league. This year, after so many false starts, we finally launched competitive women’s rugby league in Wales. It’s okay to have launches, photographs and training sessions, but there had to be match number one, and it was a pleasure to photograph this very event. Cardiff Blue Dragons beat Rhondda Outlaws but the result was immaterial. Women’s rugby league has started in Wales and there’s no turning back. Ian Lovell
NOMINATION 20 – 2019 – Wales Women beat England Lions
This was an absolutely massive result for women’s rugby league in Wales. For nine of the side, their first ever rugby league match was that Cardiff v Rhondda game above. For them it was only their fifth game, for all others bar Vicky Lea of the Armed Forces RL, it was even less. Not only was the game historic, the win was important. Wales have beaten England – that’s all people needed to know. Messages were coming into me about publicity and the coaches were getting requests about how they can start playing. With new sides starting in 2020, potential Challenge Cup matches for Cardiff and Rhondda and perhaps matches against a newly formed Scotland side, women’s rugby league has now taken off in Wales and this result was a massive shot in the arm. Ian Golden