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 third four…
NOMINATION 9 – 2014 – Wales take bronze in the Commonwealth Championships
No doubt that this was a very memorable long weekend for all concerned. With Glasgow being the venue for this year’s Championships, it was a long minibus drive up for the team, only to realise we were staying at the Glasgow Airport Hotel! Shrugging all of this off, our young side recorded wins over Scotland and Jamaica in Day 1 before beating Canada for the bronze on Day 2. Celebrations (and the odd three-man lift) went on long into the night. Ian Golden
NOMINATION 10 – 2014 – Valley Cougars win the Conference League South
Another great away trip and the Cougars were up against the odds on this one. After being beaten by Sheffield Hallam Eagles three times during the regular season, one being a record 120-6 reverse when the Cougars were massively understrength. This final had the feel of classic overconfidence from the Yorkshire side. Their fans were vociferous and sometimes aggressive but the Welsh side held on for a 19-10 win. Arguably, but in my opinion, this was the biggest Welsh community RL win of the decade. Ian Golden
Whilst the first trophy in 2013 was called “Northern Rail Bowl”, this final was essentially the same and it’s a remarkable achievement that the Crusaders basically retained the trophy as they competed in the Championship in 2014. It was a close game against Swinton Lions in Blackpool and was played as the opening game for the Summer Bash, but sadly, despite it being the only game of the weekend that ended in a presentation, was the only match not transmitted by Sky Sports. Ian Golden
It was an honour to photograph at Wembley for the second time, and what an occasion it was. This Cardiff school had reached the final of a national competition and were facing Wade Deacon from Widnes. Their win made history as the first RL side from Wales to win at the stadium and was an outstanding achievement. I drove a minibus full of fans down to the stadium, photographed the Glantaf lads and celebrations and happily got the photos to the Goldens who were reporting, Sian being a former pupil of the school and naturally emotional. Their achievement was later a focus of a documentary on S4C. Ian Lovell