The final round of the regular season of the inaugural WRL Wheelchair Invitational League saw two dominant performances on Sunday at Glyndwr University in Wrexham with three finals day places being decided.
Click on the links below to watch the games and see the stats
In the first game, North Wales Crusaders secured their place in the Cwpan Sialans Cadair Olwyn (Welsh Challenge Cup) after seeing off Torfaen Tigers 68-18. That match will form the first half of finals day on Saturday 25 November at the same Wrexham venue.
Crusaders took the lead on seven minutes when Stephen Halsey went in under the sticks. Martin Turner converted, and they soon went 22-0 up. Martin’s son Matthew Turner went over for their second try, Jakub Wasieczko the third and Jonathan Gill the fourth with Martin Turner adding two goals.
Torfaen got on the board on 24 minutes when Leighton Morris scored in the corner. Lee Sargent couldn’t land the kick, but a Fionn McCabe try restored the balance for Crusaders with Martin Turner converting.
In the last ten minutes of the first half, Halsey added three more tries, with Turner improving two of them and there was still time for Wasieczko to notch his second. Turner converted again to put the home side 48-4 up at the break.
Mason Baker scored another for Crusaders four minutes into the second half then kept the score ticking along by adding a penalty on 53 minutes.
Torfaen hit back again a minute later through a Sian Morris-Parker try that Leighton Morris converted to put the score onto 54-10 before adding a try of his own.
Crusaders were next on the board with Lewis Lawrenson needing two attempts to score with player-coach Gary Taylor converting.
Torfaen weren’t finished yet and a good set ended with Sian Morris-Parker scoring out wide, but Jonathan Gill and Lewis Lawrenson added further tries for Crusaders to complete the scoring.
Crusaders were temporarily elevated into second place in the table and needed Cardiff Blue Dragons to pull off what would be a shock win over Hereford Harriers to remain there.
However, that didn’t happen as Hereford won 92-8 to join Argonauts in the league’s Grand Final, with Cardiff’s loss giving Torfaen the second place in Cwpan Sialans Cadair Olwyn.
They were 42-0 up on 28 minutes after a hat-trick of tries from Gary Preece, who also kicked five goals, two from Alan Sheriff and one each from Andrew Holley, Phillip Davies and Jacob Robinson.
The biggest cheer from the fans came on the half hour when Robert Carpenter went over in the corner to get Cardiff on the board but failed to land the conversion.
Hereford scored again through Sheriff, that Preece improved, and if was Cardiff who ended the half on a try, coming from Nathan Hudson, restricting Hereford to a 48-4 lead at the break.
A Seb Groves try early in the second half brought up the 50 and Hereford, now revitalised, kept up the scoring. Robinson scored three more tries, whilst Holley and Preece each went over for two more tries apiece. Preece landed five more conversions and Groves one.
Finals day on Saturday November 25 at Glyndwr University in Wrexham will open with Cwpan Sialans Cadair Olwyn between North Wales Crusaders and Torfaen Tigers at 11.30am, with Crusaders looking to defend the trophy they won last year, before Argonauts face Hereford Harriers in the first ever WRL Invitational League Grand Final at 1.40pm.
2023 WRL Wheelchair Invitational League Table
|Argonauts Skeleton Army||4||4||0||0||290||104||186||8|
|Hereford Harriers Wheelchair||4||3||0||1||270||182||88||6|
|North Wales Crusaders Wheelchair||4||2||0||2||196||178||18||4|
|Torfaen Tigers Wheelchair||4||1||0||3||140||264||-124||2|
|Cardiff Blue Dragons Wheelchair||4||0||0||4||92||260||-168||0|