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Wales RL World Cup 2013/General News

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North Wales Crusaders head coach Clive Griffiths predicts an extremely tough game when his side face London Skolars on a small pictch on Friday night (6.30pm kick-off). It is the first time that Crusaders have taken part in the Friday Night Lights fixture, which is part of the Challenge Cup weekend in the capital, with the final taking place at Wembley Stadium at 3pm on Saturday, and Griffiths’ men head in to the clash in good form and with automatic promotion in sight.“I’m not taking anything for granted with this game”, Griffiths said. “With the travel and the pitch – which is the smallest in the league – we know it’s going to be a tough place to go to.“They know their own patch and with us beating them in the final, and them now wanting revenge, we know it’s going to be a difficult one.“But we’re aiming to go down there and get the win, and if we do that, it’ll make our job against Scorpions a lot easier on the last game of the season.“We want to win all of our games, but we know that we’ve got to aim to get at least four points on the board from the remaining two games.“We could have only dreamed of being in this position when we first started out as a club.“It’s all in our own hands. There’s still a lot of water to go under the bridge yet, but we know exactly what we’ve got to do.”A familiar face to Crusaders fans on Friday night will be former Super League player and recent Skolars recruit, Gareth Raynor – and Griffiths is fully aware of the threat that he and his team mates at Skolars can pose.“I’m always confident and that’s the case going into this game, but they’ve got some dangerous players in their side”, he said.“Gareth Raynor was a very good player in his day, although I haven’t seen him play for a while. But he’s obviously going to bring a wealth of experience to the side.“It’s similar to us signing Stuart Reardon in some respects; both players have played at the highest level and their experience at this level is going to bring a lot to any side.”North Wales picked up a few knocks in the 54-10 win over Oxford, and although all will have to be assessed in training, Griffiths feels that there won’t be any problems.“We’ll check on the injuries in training”, he said. “Jamie Clarke, Andy Moulsdale and Gary Middlehurst all picked up little knocks last Sunday and will have to be checked.“None of them were serious so I’m hoping that they will all be fine for the game on Friday night.” - See more at:

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The Rugby League World Cup 2013 is coming to a community near you!


A specially-branded RLWC2013 van will be making its way across Wrexham in the lead up to the town hosting two matches at this autumn’s tournament.

Wrexham’s mobile library has been given a RLWC2013 makeover to help promote first major global sporting event to be held on British soil since the Olympics.

The RLWC2013 branded van will visit over 70 locations across the country borough in the lead up to the tournament. It provides a very popular service to those areas of the county borough which are not within easy reach of a branch library.

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That's it, it's official according to the RLWC 2013 website, Wales is a fully independent nation ;)

"The Tomahawks will be venturing to the UK and Wales in October to take part in their first ever Rugby League World Cup."

Got your passports ready for Cardiff ??

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The North Wales Conference final was played last night at Colwyn Bay Rugby Club between Conwy Celts and Flintshire Falcons. A great game to watch with scores even at 30 - 30 with 15 minutes left to play. Eventually the Celts team upped the tempo and the pressure and the final score was 50 - 30 to the Conwy Celts.  A fantastic game with two fully committed teams with some excellent rugby on display.  Well done to both teams and congratulations to Conwy Celts on their win.

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The North Wales Conference final was played last night at Colwyn Bay Rugby Club between Conwy Celts and Flintshire Falcons. A great game to watch with scores even at 30 - 30 with 15 minutes left to play. Eventually the Celts team upped the tempo and the pressure and the final score was 50 - 30 to the Conwy Celts. A fantastic game with two fully committed teams with some excellent rugby on display. Well done to both teams and congratulations to Conwy Celts on their win.

It was a fantastic game.

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I see a number of Cardiff buses are now carrying posters regarding the World Cup.


Inside the bus or on the outside? They should be do the same in Swansea, Newport, Bridgend and elsewhere over the Valleys plus putting at least one flyer in the local papers each week; the same with London!

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Defeat in warm-up match for under 16s


BARLA Great Britain Emerging Lions 28 v Wales RL Under 16’s 14

At Wigan St Patricks ARLFC


The BARLA Great Britain Lions emerged as winners over a young resilient Wales side scoring five fine tries including a quartet from their flying winger Liam Marshall (Wigan St Patricks) and a superb touchline kick from the youngster to see his side home, after the game had been tied at 10 all at half time.


The Welsh dominated by players from the South Wales Academy had the arduous task of travelling up from the valley during the day, gave their all in a mighty clash between the packs and in attack showed some glimpses of their flair none more so than a length of the field effort from Regan Grace (South Wales Academy) which at that stage gave his side a 6-4 lead.


In an agreement before the game the whole Wales squad had game time in preparation for their forthcoming clash with England Youth with a fresh side after twenty minutes and a mixture of both in the final twenty and in red hot conditions sensible referring by Tom Owen allowed regular water breaks for both sides.


The Lions on their first get together from their historic tour of Germany two months ago had the first chance of the game from the kick off following a Wales knock on but there was no-one in position to take control of a Joe Prior (Wigan St Patricks) crossfield bomb to the corner. The skipper gave a man of the match performance for his side taking his side around the field with probing passes and an astute kicking game with three conversions into the bargain.


The Lions thought they had opened the scoring on thirteen minutes following a penalty when Marshall went in at the corner but the score was ruled out for a forward pass. But he wasn’t to be denied three minutes later as the Lions pressed he drove over in the corner from close range but his touchline conversion hit the post.


Dominating territory the Lions Curtis Edwards Hampson (Wigan St Patricks) was held up after a Prior pass on the fifth tackle and from the turnover Wales took the lead from nothing. A quick tap saw Grace break through a gap and leave the Lions for dead as he went 95 metres under the posts and a Ben Jones conversion (South Wales Academy) made it 6-4.


It was all squad change and the Lions caught them cold on 21 minutes Joe Bold (Egremont Rangers) found half back partner Prior and this time his crossfield bomb was taken by Marshall unmarked to score in the corner and his magnificent touchline kick restored the four point lead.


With big hits by both sets of forwards to the fore to gain the upper hand Morgan Jeffferies (South Wales Academy) went to ground and the referee immediately stopped play for treatment, and left the field, bravely return later in the game. That added to the intensity between both sets with the game edging to fractiousness at times.


The Lions continued to press with Wales feeding on scraps but following back to back penalties on the stroke of halftime and the last tackle they levelled the game with clever instinctive work from scrumhalf Jake Carroll (South Wales Academy), his ingoal grubber found the Lions flat footed and he followed up to score.


Wales Jordan Linney (South Wales Academy) set the tone for the second half with a great hit on Liam Naughton (Thatto Heath Crusaders) who before and following the tackle was to the fore in the Lions forwards ably assisted by club mate Tom Smith, Tom Wilkinson (Ulverston), Luke Robinson (West Bowling) and Lewis Lord-Lowe (York Acorn).


The Lions regained their lead on 34 minutes after the visitors had knocked on following another hit thirty metres from their own line and quick sweet handling down the right channel saw Rob Meadows score out wide and Prior kicked the first of his three from three conversions.


Wales wouldn’t lie down and came back at the Lions and on the last tackle Carroll produced a crossfield bomb and Lewis Willacott (South Wales Academy) leapt to take the ball and score, but Zack Williams (South Wales Academy) missed the extras.


Wales took the game to the Lions and their defence was under the pump showing great defence and the home side were rewarded with on 39 minutes. Superb Lions handling saw the ball moved out left to Marshall who on the run down the touchline chipped over, collected the ball and scorched away beating the cover to score under the posts to complete a superb hat-trick to make it 22-14.

There were more Welsh changes but the Lions were beginning to really gell and should have increased their lead when Prior and Marshall combined down the left channel but Prior with the line beckoning couldn’t take Marshall’s inside ball after he burst downfield.


There was no mistake with the final try of the game Marshall received the ball out wide 40 metres from the tryline and he scorched over in the corner for a superb fourth.


There were no further scores but both sides gave as good as they got to the final whistle.


Kevin Johnson Great Britain Emerging Lions Head Coach,


“A very good performance given that the players hadn’t been together for two months but they soon got back to the game plan that we had had on tour then. I don’t think the score reflected the game for both sides and I though t the young boys from Wales really came at us strongly as was shown at half time with it being level pegging.


“They scored two break away tries which to be truthful I think our lads switched off but we up the levels especially in that second half. There was some full on tackling by both sides and Wales didn’t hold back and we have been told it was a good hit for them as they prepare for England next week


“The four tries from Liam Marshall was a massive swing for us out wide which is another reason he is the BARLA Player of the Year for the Under 17’s, he just stands out, he did it in Germany and tonight he’s done it in his home town and on his home turf.


Dave Clarke Wales Head Coach,


“I thought it was really good for us, important for us to go against a side like BARLA Under 17’s as I wanted to get our boys defensive wise defending against big physical bodies., running hard at them, as we will need that mentality in the Test against England next week. We will have to run hard and tackle hard and I think today we handled the big body good and I think that will show us in good stead.


“It was tasty something we wanted fatigue wise we couldn’t handle the Lions for the full game as they created movement through the middle and markers which we will address now through our preparation period and make sure we are really tight around the ruck.


“The score line doesn’t reflect the game but credit we were hit out wide and the Lions winger Liam Marshall credit him he finished really well scored some great tries down the left edge in the second half, a talented player, he got speed, power what you want in a winger.


“Morgan Knowles in the forwards played well for us, he’s quite rangy and quite strength for an edge player and we exploited that in the opening twenty minutes and he was quite strong amongst our boys. It was a good learning process for our players to understand what they need to change to beat sides or to compete against sides and I think it was good for them today and our boys learned from it.


BARLA GREAT BRITAIN EMERGING LIONS: 1. Curtis Edwards Hampson (Wigan St Patricks), 2. Liam Marshall (Wigan St Patricks), 3. Rob Meadows (Ince Rose Bridge), 4. Jack Lazenby (West Hull), 5. Luke Davison (Wath Brow Hornets), 6.Joe Bold (Egremont Rangers), 7. Joe Prior (Wigan St Patricks), 8. Tom Smith (Thatto Heath Crusaders), 9. Lewis Lord-Lowe (York Acorn), 10. Luke Robinson (West Bowling), 11. Josh Hunter (West Hull), 12. Rob Hamon (Blackbrook Royals), 13. Tom Wilkinson (Ulverston). Subs: 14. Sam Welch (Wigan St Patricks), 15. Jason Todd (Glasson Rangers), 16. James Porter (Ulverston), 17. Liam Naughton (Thatto Heath Crusaders), Jack Swarbrick (Wigan St Patricks).

Tries: Marshall 4, Meadows 1

Goals: Marshall 1/ 2, Prior 3/3


WALES RL UNDER 16’S: 1. Ben Jones (South Wales Academy), 2. Regan Grace (South Wales Academy), 3. Luke Williams, 4. Matt Owen (London Broncos), 5. Zak Williams (South Wales Academy), 6. Morgan Knowles (St Helens), 7. Curtis Davies (South Wales Academy), 8. Wesley Boardman (South Wales Academy), 9. Lewis Alexander (South Wales Academy), 10. Jordan Thomas (South Wales Academy), 11. Morgan Nicholas (Warrington Wolves), 12. Morgan Jefferies (South Wales Academy), 13. Connor Davies (South Wales Academy). Subs: 14. Shane Lee (South Wales Academy), 15. Rhys Lewis (South Wales Academy), 16. Tom Haddley (Salford City Reds), 17. Geraint Lawrence (South Wales Academy), 18. Lewis Willacott (South Wales Academy), 19. Jake Carroll (South Wales Academy), 20. Will Hope (South Wales Academy), 21. Alex King (South Wales Academy), 22. George Shaw (South Wales Academy), 23. Jordan Liney (South Wales Academy), 24. Liam Maule (South Wales Academy), 25. Dan Maiden (South Wales Academy).

Tries: Grace, Carroll, Willacott,

Goals: Jones 1/1,

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Wigan Warriors: Salford's Jordan James to join coaching staff


Salford City Reds and Wales prop Jordan James will join Wigan's coaching staff at the end of the 2013 season.

The 33-year-old will complete his contract with the Reds and is likely to represent Wales at the World Cup later this year before taking his new role.

James, who played for the Warriors earlier in his career, will help to develop young talent in Wales.

"Wigan is a massive club and to be offered a chance to work for them was an easy decision to make," he said.

James told the club website: "They are the best at what they do and to learn under their coaching structure as an aspiring coach is the best opportunity you can possibly have."

Iestyn Harris, Wigan's assistant coach and also the head coach of the Welsh national team, added: "Jordan has been an integral part of Welsh rugby league on the field for the last decade.

"To now have Jordan sharing his experiences and knowledge to the younger generation of Wales in a coaching capacity is very pleasing."

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James looking to deny Crusaders the title


South Wales Scorpions’ full-back David James will hope to celebrate his 28th birthday on Sunday with a derby win against North Wales Crusaders in Wrexham in arguably the biggest game in the history of Welsh domestic rugby league (kick-off 2.30pm).

The Welsh international, who was a star player in the international side in 2012, says that a win is important for the Scorpions but the aim is to win by as high a score as possible.

The Crusaders need just a bonus point, a loss by 12 points or less, to win the title and the Scorpions could qualify for the play-offs should they win.

However that all depends on the result of London Skolars v Oxford where the visitors will qualify for the play-offs with a draw, but any defeat could see the Scorpions leaping above them with points difference then possibly coming into consideration.

“It’s a big derby game and hopefully we can turn them over and stop them from winning the league,” James said. “That is the aim as we may need the points difference to be high, but first and foremost we want to win the game. It’s the Welsh derby and we’ve not beaten them yet since they came down from Super League. We all feel this needs to change. Most of the squad are South Wales born and bred and it’s like a Welsh State of Origin match for us.

“On the other side of things, if we do win by less than 12 and they win the league, we can say we’ve beaten the best and we were as good as them. That would be something to build on for next year.”

James has played in only just over half of this season’s matches after picking up an injury in mid-May. He’s had just the one game since then, an irritating 28-30 defeat to London three weeks ago. Now, after the Scorpions have had no game in the last couple of weeks, he can’t wait for action in Wrexham.

“I’m just glad to be back out there,” he said. “The last game was a struggle for me as it was my first back for a few months. I think this time I’ll be a lot fitter and will be able to handle it a lot better. I can’t wait to get back out there again, the same as the rest of the boys. The mood is good in training and we just want to win and win well.”

If Scorpions fail to qualify for the play-offs, this could be James’ last game before the World Cup kicks off at the Millennium Stadium on October 26th when England v Australia is the curtain raiser for Wales v Italy to open the tournament.

But James says that he’s only thinking about this Sunday and any potential play-off games.

“I’ve not spoken to Iestyn Harris or the Welsh coaches as yet this year so I’m not sure where I’m going to be yet,” he said. “I’m just concentrating on this game against North Wales Crusaders, then the play-offs if we make it. After that I’ll look to Wales as I’ve always enjoyed playing for my country and it would be good to play in the World Cup at the Millennium Stadium.”

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Can Scorpions deny Crusaders the title?


North Wales Crusaders and South Wales Scorpions will battle it out in the most eagerly anticipated Welsh derby to date this Sunday at the Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium (2.30pm kick-off).
The Wrexham-based outfit know that one point will secure them the Championship One title and promotion to the Championship, while Scorpions need at least two points if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the end-of-season play-offs.
Crusaders head coach Clive Griffiths is aware of the threat that South Wales pose, particularly with it being a derby fixture, and is calling for his players to do as they have been all season.
"We've still got a full game left, 80 minutes to go", he said. "If we can carry on as we've been doing then we know that the outcome will be a good one.
"We've got a 12-point start going into the game, so we're in a really good position with something to fall back on.
"It's a derby game and anything can happen. We don't know who they'll have out yet - they could bring in a load of players from Wigan - but we'll have to deal with that on the day.
"Come 4pm on Sunday it'll be that we've either got to do this all over again or we're up, and if it's the latter then we can start to celebrate, but until such time our feet are firmly on the ground.
"It's been a fantastic season and, if we were to do the double, it would be the best achievement for me at club level by a country mile.
"There's still a lot to play for, but I'm confident that we'll have a positive outcome if we carry on as we have been doing."
And Griffiths believes that home advantage in a fixture as crucial as this could prove to be a massive difference.
"Everyone talks about the 18th man, don't they?" he said. "But these fans really are the 18th man. Our fans are fantastic, the best in the league, and the best throughout rugby league.
"Having this final game at home is definitely better than having to travel all the way to South Wales. I’m sure the fans will be as vocal as they always are and that we can reward them on the day.”
Scorpions coach Dave Clark, however, is hoping that his side can turn up in Wrexham and cancel the potential promotion party.
"We still have a chance of making the play-offs", he said. "If Oxford lose to London Skolars and we beat the Crusaders then we can still sneak into the top six.
"The game against North Wales will be like a Grand Final. It will be tough but a big challenge for us.
"We had a meeting last week and the team came up with their own goals, not just for the Crusaders game but what they wanted to focus on leading up to the game.
"The spirit and hunger is still there. All year we’ve shown we can perform against the best sides so it’s about what we do in this game. We may not have had the results recently, but our season isn’t over yet and some of our players know they’ve also got World Cup places to go for.
"David James has come back to full fitness at the right time. He’ll be looking to put in a good performance to try and get into the Welsh side again. Joe Burke has led us really well this season and deserves to be back in the squad too.
"We’ve got lots of others too who are technically good enough to break into the World Cup squad this year. This will be a big test for them but we’re all very much up for the challenge."


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WRL and All Golds


The Wales Rugby League are delighted to announce the formation of a new partnership with the University of Gloucestershire All Golds.

In addition to the current partnerships with South Wales Scorpions and the North Wales Crusaders, the governing body met with the All Golds on August 20 to discuss plans to strengthen ties between Wales and the Championship 1 side, with both agreeing to work together to continue the growth of the game both sides of the Severn.

After much discussion, the All Golds and Wales RL agreed to the formation of an Anglo-Welsh Cup Competition to be played both sides of the border at Under 14 and Under 16 level.

The competition, to be known as the Cross-Border Cup, will see one of the oldest rivalries in world sport re-ignited as the old enemies of England and Wales battle it out for superiority.

By ensuring that the best young talent from both sides of the border are able to play against each other in a regular, structured competition, the All Golds and Wales Rugby League hope to help their youngsters develop to their full potential whilst using the historic rivalry to create one of the most exciting spectacles in Rugby League.

Mark Jones, Wales Rugby League, and Rob Webber, CEO of All Golds, are delighted with the new partnership.

Speaking of the new partnership, Wales Rugby League National Development Manager, Mark Jones stated:

“This is a very exciting development for rugby league in Wales. Our community clubs have been playing cross-border friendlies over the last seasons, but a structured Anglo-Welsh League/Cup competition at both junior and potentially senior age grades would add real ’fire’ to the game both sides of the border.”

“Sporting rivalry across the bridge is steeped in history and we hope this partnership brings back that passion.”

All Golds Chief Executive Officer, Rob Webber continued:

“The partnership with Wales Rugby League is part of the bigger All Golds strategy to develop our wonderful game throughout our region. Last season saw the successful launch of junior squads at Old Patesians, Old Cryptians and the re-launch of Bristol Sonics.”

“This partnership is the next phase in the development plan in which these new teams will take part in a structured league to create a sustainable pathway to the top level of the game. We are delighted to be working with Wales Rugby League and with the formation of an Anglo-Welsh Cup.”

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Wales under 16s were heartbroken yet again against England after losing to a try in the last five minutes.

Just like in the first test in Neath in April, the Welsh gave their rivals too much of a head start but once again they fought back to level.

But it was a late Aaron Smith try that was the only real difference between the two sides in the end.

Despite the defeat a massive credit must be given to the Welsh youngsters. The majority of their side came from the South Wales Scorpions Academy, yet all the England line-up were top Super League junior players.

With two very close games this year, England won the first 22-18, Wales coach Dave Clark was proud of his side.

“I’m not disappointed one bit,” he said. “The boys have worked really hard all year. We’ve had a great two-day camp and prepared well for this contest. We were disappointed with the first half where we only completed six from 14 sets and we knew that if we did better in the second half then we scored tries. We saw signs of that in the second half when we challenged them and asked them questions on their line.

“I’m so proud to be Welsh and I’m so proud of these players. The desire for the boys to come out and win the second half comfortably was a real pleasure to see. I just hope that some Super League clubs pick some of our players up. If they don’t then we have to work hard to keep them in the game.”

England took the lead after just five minutes when Ryan Ince got onto the end of a fine passing move involving Morgan Smith and Harry Tyson-Wilson. Smith missed the kick.

A half length of the field run from Harvey Livett quickly doubled the scores and this time Smith converted to give the visitors a 10-0 lead.

England’s third came on 20 minutes after Ince broke through again. Smith missed the conversion again.

But Wales struck back straight away when Ben Jones scored in the corner, missing the kick making the score 14-4.

Livett added his second try and England’s fourth just before the interval to put England 18-4 up at half-time.

Brad Harrison was close to getting a fifth for the visitors fairly soon into the second half but was penalised for a knock-on.

But it was Wales who struck first in the second half when following an England knock-on, the ball worked its way over to Lloyd Bodman who forced his way over. Jones converted.

Wales scored again straight away. Luke Williams in the corner and Jones converted well to put them within two points of the English.

England had the chance to extend their lead but their passing started to go awry and a massive chance for a try, with a ball intending for the in-space Isaac Noi, instead reached touch.

Noi had another opportunity after being fed by Ince but Wales’ Morgan Knowles was up to the challenge and forced him off the field.

At the other end Wales were denied when Regan Grace looked to have touched down in the corner after good work from Ben Jones but pressure from the England defence forced him to knock-on.

However the Welsh levelled with ten minutes to go with Jones kicked a penalty from in front of the sticks.

But it was left to Aaron Smith who grounded under the sticks to seal the narrow England win. Morgan Smith converted and Harry Tyson Wilson added a drop goal for good measure to wrap it up and keep up England’s 100% winning record against the Welsh.

Victorious England coach Stuart Barrow said: “I said to our players at half-time that if we go away from what we’re trying to do then we’d be challenged and that’s exactly what happened and it turned it into a good game.

“It’s the first time we’ve been together as a team since the first game against Wales in April and we’ve prepared well this week. It’s a learning curve for them and I was proud of how they hung in there and got the win at the end.

“The improvement in Wales over the years has been significant. It’s been a close two games and Wales could have won each, especially in the first. A real credit to them today, they hung in there and pushed us all the way. If I was at a Super League club now I’d be looking at this video and seeing who I could pick up from here in South Wales as they thoroughly deserve it.”



1 Ben Jones (South Wales Scorpions)

2 Regan Grace (South Wales Scorpions)

3 Luke Williams (South Wales Scorpions)

4 Matt Owen (London Broncos)

5 Zak Williams (South Wales Scorpions)

6 Morgan Knowles (St Helens)

7 Curtis Davies (South Wales Scorpions)

8 Kerian Hughes (South Wales Scorpions)

9 Alex King (South Wales Scorpions)

10 Sion Jones (South Wales Scorpions)

11 Jordon Liney (South Wales Scorpions)

12 Morgan Jefferies (South Wales Scorpions)

13 Connor Davies (Captain) (South Wales Scorpions)


14 Lewis Alexander (South Wales Scorpions)

15 Rhys Brownsell (South Wales Scorpions)

16 Lloyd Bodman (South Wales Scorpions)

17 Geraint Lawrence (Warrington Wolves)

18 Morgan Nicholas (Warrington Wolves)

19 Nathan Ainsworth (Warrington Wolves)


Tries: Jones (23), Bodman (47), L Williams (50)

Goals: Jones 3/4



1. Charlie Phythian (Warrington Wolves, Latchford Albion)     

2. Ryan Ince (Widnes Vikings, Widnes Moorfield)

3. Kameron Pearce Paul (London Broncos, Croydon Hurricanes)

4. Harvey Livett (Warrington Wolves, Rylands Sharks)         

5. Roshane Johnson (London Broncos, Medway Dragons)

6. Harry Tyson Wilson (Hull FC, West Hull)     

7. Morgan Smith  (Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley Rangers)

8. Sam Hallas (Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley) ©

9. Aaron Smith (St Helens, Blackbrook)

10. Jordan Crowther (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Westgate Wolves)

11. Jake Moore (Wigan Warriors, Wath Brow Hornets)

12. Brad Harrison  (Hull FC, Skirlaugh Bulls)

13. Jordan Lane (Hull FC, West Hull)


14. Reece Brunt (Warrington Wolves, Latchford Albion)

15. Jake Campbell (St Helens, Blackbrook)

16. Frazer Morris (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, St Joseph’s Sharks)    

17. Isaac Noi  (Wigan Warriors, Ince Rose Bridge)

18. Will Gledhill (Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Westgate)


Tries: Ince (5, 20), Livett (9, 34), A Smith (67)

Goals: M Smith 2/5

Field-goal: Tyson-Wilson


Half-time: 4-18

Referee: P Graham

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Crusaders are set to better their highest attendance of 2013 when they face Welsh rivals South Wales Scorpions on Sunday. 1,086 flocked through the Racecourse Ground turnstiles to see the Wrexham club hammer Rochdale Hornets 48-0 at the end of June. But Crusaders are set to smash that figure in this weekend’s title-decider, where they require just one point to clinch the Championship One title and promotion to the Championship. Along with the 400 season tickets that have been sold for this season, ticket sales have been going strong and hospitality is nearly sold out. Tickets are still available at the price of £10 for adults and £5 for concessions and children. These can be purchased in advance over the phone or from the Glyndwr University Sports Centre, or you can also pay at the gate on the day of the game. Meanwhile, hospitality starts from £25pp, and you can take advantage of this offer by phoning the office or emailing

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Crusaders crowned Championship One Champions


Twelve man North Wales Crusaders saw off Welsh rivals South Wales Scorpions to clinch the Championship One title infront of a record home crowd.

1,562 were treated to an enthralling Welsh derby – and deservedly so, as after all it is the fans that have been instrumental in the growth of Crusaders following the demise of the old Super League club.

It was looking rocky for Crusaders after Jamie Dallimore was sent off for a spear tackle on Shae Lyon Fraser, but the Wrexham-based played with all their heart to grind out their best victory of the season yet.

It didn’t take long for Crusaders to open the scoring in the big Welsh derby, with Leon Brennan breaking the line down the left edge and finishing in the corner.

But Joe Burke soon replied for Scorpions as he managed to squeeze his way over next to the posts despite the attention of four Crusaders defenders.

Scorpions were on the upper hand and continued to press the Crusaders defence, and as they were making an assault on the right corner, Dallimore spear tackled Lyon Fraser and was sent of.

The visitors began to make the most of the one man advantage; Billy Sheen put a high kick to the corner and Dalton Grant leaped above Dan Birkett to collect and finish in the corner.

However, North Wales put the game back in their own hands with two tries in quick succession. Middlehurst slipped a short ball to Massam to cross in the corner and then Bannister broke the line to touch down on the right side.

Whatever head coach Clive Griffiths said to his troupes at half-time, it had the desired effect. His side came racing out of the blocks and Middlehurst sent over Rob Massam for his second in the corner.

The South Walians hit back once again, though, as former Crusaders scrum half Billy Sheen darted through a gaping hole to finish underneath the sticks.

It was only fitting that captain Andy Moulsdale, who has been a fantastic leader throughout the two seasons, got on the scoresheet as his side won the league. The stand-off showed great strength to bounce off two tackles as he hit the line.

But Scorpions replied yet another time, this time on the back of a Crusaders error. Bannister dropped the ball with the line beckoning and Dalton Grant collected to race the length of the field and score.

It was a tense closing period for Crusaders but, once again, their quality showed through as it has done all season.

Owain Griffiths darted over from close range, Andy Moulsdale slotted over a drop-goal from 30 metres and then McConnell drew the curtain on his career with a break away try under the posts on the hooter.


1.Tommy Johnson
32.Dan Birkett
3.Christiaan Roets
4.Leon Brennan
5.Rob Massam
6.Andy Moulsdale
33.Jamie Dallimore
8.Jonny Walker
14.Dave McConnell
21.Simon Stephens
12.Gary Middlehurst
29.Stephen Bannister
13.Jono Smith
15.Toby Adamson
25.Owain Griffiths
27.Jamie Clarke
16.Ryan MacDonald

Tries: Brennan (2), Massam (35, 43), Bannister (38), Moulsdale (52), Griffiths (68), McConnell (79)
Goals: Johnson 3/7
Drop-goal: Moulsdale
Sent Off: Jamie Dallimore (21/Spear tackle)


1.David James
2.Alex Jones
3.Shae Lyon Fraser
4.Matthew Wilcox
5.Dalton Grant
6.Billy Sheen
17.Courtney Davies
8.Joe Burke
9.Connor Farrer
10.Tom Gwyn Morgan
11.T J Colin
12.Phil Carleton
13.Ashley Bateman
14.Harrison Elliott
15.Osian Phillips
18.Ben Moores
19.Rhys Fitzgerald

Tries: Burke (13), Grant (25, 64), Sheen (48)
Goals: Davies 2/3, Wilcox 1/1
On Report: Phillips (31/Late charge on kicker)


Referee: Peter Brooke

HT: 12-10

Attendance: 1,562

MOTM: Dave McConnell – the hooker finished his career in fine style with a try and all-round instrumental performance.

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Clark believes Grant should be in Wales Squad


South Wales Scorpions coach Dave Clark believes that his top try scorer Dalton Grant deserves to be selected for Wales for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Grant scored two tries in the Scorpions defeat to North Wales Crusaders on Sunday, one being a 100 metre dash brushing off a number of players, that made his total number of tries to 18 in as many games this season.

The winger is already in contention to be named in the RFL Team of the Year, along with Scorpions compatriot James Tutuila, and now Clark believes he can shine on the bigger stage and win his first international cap.

“I’d like to think that Dalton should be there,” Clark said. “He was up against Rob Massam against Crusaders and I think they both made breaks and they were both chasing each other. But I think Dalton was just about in front of him, especially when he scored his second try, and definitely has all the attributes to kick into the national squad as he’s had a great season for us.

“I’m very proud that we had 14 Welsh qualified players in the side on Sunday and that’s what our owner Phil Davies wants to build towards – producing local players that come through the system. At the end of the day he wants a full squad of Welsh boys and I’m sure he’ll get that in years to come.

“We had six 19-year olds playing against North Wales Crusaders so that’s a credit to us. It’s been a joy to coach them.

“We have a great youth set-up in South Wales. We had 14 players in the 19-man Wales under 16 squad on Friday that were drawing against England with just five minutes to go. We only lost that 25-18 and the England side were full of Super League academy players. That tells you something about what we’re building here in South Wales.”

Clark congratulated the North Wales side for winning Championship 1 little over 20 months after they were formed.

“I thought it was a great game to watch,” he said. “They deservedly won but it was great that our boys pushed them all the way.

“It’s the last game of the year and to compete like that was fantastic. I think we deserved at least a bonus point and it was just unfortunate that we had a couple of opportunities that didn’t go our way.

“But well done to the Crusaders. They’ve been the most consistent side throughout the season and they deserved to win the trophy.”

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Clive dedicates victory to club's top fans





AN honoured Clive Griffiths dedicated the victory that secured North Wales Crusaders the Championship One title to the club’s loyal supporters.
Griffiths was left emotional as he watched his 12-man North Wales Crusaders beat Scorpions 35-22 to earn promotion to the Championship in-front of more than 1,500 fans.
And the head coach instantly praised those people that refused to let rugby league in north Wales die after the former Super League side withdrew their licence at the 11th hour.
“I am so proud,” he declared. “Today is for the people that didn’t let rugby league die in this part of the country.
“North Wales Crusaders are alive and kicking.
“I am so pleased for the fans who keep turning up week in, week out.”
The 59-year-old has vast experience in both rugby codes, but labelled that as his finest moment in charge of a club side.
“It is my proudest moment as a club coach for sure,” he explained.
“You never replace a Grand Slam in 2005 and European Championship with Wales in ‘95, things like that at international level are my own.
“I won a championship with Swansea and promotion with London Welsh and various things like that, but to win a double is phenominal.
“I am so honoured to do it and a lucky man.”
Griffiths also praised his fellow coaches for their, often overlooked, hard work.
“I’m doing all the interviews and getting ‘there’s only one Clive Griffiths’ but there’s one John Fieldhouse, Chris Middlehurst, Adam Daniels, Ian Harrison,” he continued.
“I have a great bunch of people behind me and I couldn’t have done it on my own.
“Very few coaches do a double at any level. People will say ‘it’s only Championship One’ but I think a lot of coaches would die for that.”
The sending off of Jamie Dallimore for spear-tackling Shae Lyon-Fraser meant that Crusaders were forced to play the majority of the encounter a man short.
Griffiths revealed that he was fully confident Crusaders would overcome their numerical disadvantage to secure victory.
“Name me an emotion and I’ve been through them all,” he said.
“When we went down to 12 I knew they’d (the players) would be strong and they were magnificent.
“If anyone wants to make a video of a team that is down to 12-men.”
That confidence took nothing away from the fact that Griffiths was far from happy with the decision made by referee Peter Brooke to send Dallimore off.
That displeasure was magnified when a South Wales Scorpion got away with a similar offence and Griffiths was forced to apologise at the end to Brooke.
“I am disappointed with myself for losing it a bit with the officials,” he reflected.
“I was disappointed that we had a man sent-off for a spear-tackle and they did the same thing and nothing was given.
“That pushed me over the edge a bit and I should know better.”
It was not just Clive who was celebrating in the Griffiths’ household last night after his son Owain scored his first try of the season.
On his son’s crucial effort, a smiling Clive said: “You couldn’t write the script could you?”
South Wales Scorpions head coach Dave Clark called North Wales Crusaders worthy champions after they lost just two matches this season.
“They have been the most consistent (side) and only lost two games,” he explained.
“I think any side that goes through this competition and only loses two games deserves to win it.”
On the contest, he added: “I think the Crusaders supporters would have taken a lot of joy out of the way they won. It was great for our boys to push them all the way.”

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Griffiths proud to be part of club 


Coach Clive Griffiths spoke of his pride to be involved with the title-winning North Wales Crusaders after Sunday’s win over Welsh rivals South Wales Scorpions. Crusaders needed just one point from the clash to be crowned champions, but they picked up all three in another outstanding second half display which secured the silverware infront of their home fans.“It was a special day”, Griffiths said. “You don’t have those days very often; it’s not the easiest thing to go out and win the double.“There’s some people who have questioned the future of the game in Wales before now so it’s good to put their noses out of joint.“The best way to answer those people is to do what we’ve just done. We’ve silenced those critics by winning it in the right way. No one can ever deny us that now.“I’m just so, so proud to be associated with people who wanted something so much. No one wanted to see Crusaders, and the game in North Wales as a whole, die, and winning the double is just reward for them.”Griffiths was particularly pleased with how his side equipped themselves after going down to twelve men.“You couldn’t really write the script”, he said. “Everyone was thinking the worst after the sending off, but we had a strategy with the sending off and you could see how much everyone wanted it in the second half.“We got a great start in the game and then we started making mistakes. Gradually they got infront after us repeatedly turning the ball over.“But I’ve got to realise that I’m trying to coach a brand of rugby which is enjoyable to watch and play, and sometimes plays don’t come off when you’re doing that.“A real aim of ours before the season started was to reduce the points against totals and we’ve definitely done that.“We’ve got the best defence and attack in the league as well as some of the best players. We’ve deserved this and no one can ever take it away from us now.”1,562 were at the Racecourse to witness Crusaders’ success – and Griffiths can’t commend them highly enough.“The Racecourse has become a real fortress this season and the crowd on Sunday is better than some of the clubs in the Championship”, he said.“It’s going to be another step up in the rugby league ladder next year and there’s going to be some tough days at the offices, so we’re going to need them more than ever.“They’ve supported us through thick and thin and we couldn’t have done it without them.” - See more at:

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Why no one has hired Clive as a SL head coach is a complete mystery to me ? One of the best out there. Anyhow, if he keeps this up he will be a SL coach at Wrexham.

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WRL congratulates North Wales Crusaders


Wales Rugby League’s Chief Operating Officer Chris Thair has congratulated North Wales Crusaders on their promotion to the Championship following their thrilling win over South Wales Scorpions on Sunday.


The 35-22 victory was full of drama throughout and ended in celebrations not seen in Wrexham since the old Crusaders club qualified for the play-offs.


“I’d like to send my whole hearted congratulations to North Wales Crusaders for their Championship 1 title win,” Thair said. “It’s a fantastic achievement especially as they’re only in their second season as a club and they’ve echoed the old Celtic Crusaders with this triumph.


“A big well done to Clive Griffiths and his players and also to Jamie Thomas and the backroom staff for the excellent job they’ve done in keeping Rugby League in North Wales alive when it could have just disappeared after the old club were pulled out of Super League.


“I was pleased to note that the Crusaders have announced a new junior set-up to complement the existing success in South Wales. Good luck too with that and it’s great to see that there are plans to safeguard player development throughout the country.


“It has been an outstanding year on the field for Rugby League in Wales at all levels and we’re now looking forward to co-hosting the World Cup.”

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Win tickets to the World Cup opening


Thursday September 5 will mark 50 days to go until the Rugby League World Cup 2013 Opening Ceremony, and 50 lucky fans will win prizes as part of the celebrations.

The Opening Ceremony at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on October 26 will feature a mouth-watering double header of matches.

Co-hosts Wales take on tournament newcomers Italy in an intriguing cross-group encounter, while arch-rivals England and Australia will also clash for the first time in two years.

The two games follow a spectacular Opening Ceremony under the roof at the atmospheric Millennium Stadium, which is already being touted as “the greatest show Rugby League has ever seen”.

And two tickets to witness this epic afternoon of entertainment are among the prizes up for grabs in our fantastic 50 days to go competition.

Other prizes include a fully signed New Zealand shirt, signed balls and several exclusive, money-can’t-buy Rugby League World Cup 2013 items.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply tell us why you’ll #bethere!

Tweet us or leave a comment on our Facebook page beginning with the line “I’ll #bethere because…”, explaining why you can’t wait for Rugby League World Cup 2013.

50 different winners will be named and a new prize will be given away every ten minutes until all 50 are gone!

Each winner will be allocated a prize from our collection, with the best entries to be considered for our star items.

Be creative, be imaginative and you may stand an excellent chance of earning a fantastic Rugby League World Cup 2013 reward.

Remember, this competition is open to fans on Facebook and Twitter, but only 50 winners in total will be selected.

Tickets for the Rugby League World Cup 2013 Opening Ceremony and the rest of the matches at RLWC2013 are on sale now.

To make sure you will BE THERE buy now at or call the 24-hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.

Leave a comment or send us a message on Facebook:

Tweet us: @RLWC2013

…and be sure to start your entry with “I’ll #bethere because…”

Entry closes at 3.00pm on Thursday September 5.


Good luck!

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How annoying. I've been looking through old DVDs and I have all the old Celtic Crusaders Rugby League Club matches from South Wales bar two - one I seem to remember came on video tape and I'm not sure if it got transferred onto disc. One I think I can get hold of. I found a few that I had two copies of which means it's ebay time as I need the cash. I've not yet listed all the 2006 duplicates. I'll do that next week. The listings are here if anyone is interested -

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North Wales Crusaders held a successful Registration Day for their new U15s team prior to the fixture against South Wales Scorpions last Sunday.

A total of 20 boys will be registered with the team and preparations for the new season, which will commence in March 2014, start with a first training session on September 10.

Head coach Allen Jones said: “The squad we have has been drawn from a Wales Rugby League player pathway and a schools coaching programme run in both Wrexham County and Flintshire.

“We are allowed a squad of 25 players by the North West Counties League and, with 20 slots already taken up, we have made a fantastic start.”

Community coach Jones will be assisted by two other local coaches – former Crusaders player and Welsh international Iwan Brown and former Crusaders U18s player and Wales U18s international Harry Cartwright – who he is thrilled to have on board.

He said: “To have Iwan and Harry on board is terrific as both have recent playing experience of a high standard and will bring a young and enthusiastic element to our sessions.

“With a number of other volunteers also committed to helping the team, all looks to be progressing well.

“The Crusaders full-time staff have been great with us and have secured a kit sponsor for the team already, which is just brilliant”

And Jones is now raring to get started with his new squad – who he has high hopes for.

He added: “Sessions will be of a high quality and will be very intense. Our boys have talent and ability, but we now need to add some good technique, skill and a lot of physicality before we are ready to play in what will be a very competitive North West Counties League.

“Junior rugby league is really taking root in North Wales now; we have some progressive community clubs doing great work and we, North Wales Crusaders U15s, aim to play our full part in developing this great game as well.”

Crusaders CEO Jamie Thomas said: “We are delighted that so many players came along and registered to play for the team and with the standard of players that was there.

“These players are the potential stars of the future and we’re really looking forward to watching them flourish with high quality coaching, conditioning and support.”

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North Wales Crusaders will hold their 2013 End of Season Awards at the DoubleTree by Hilton on Saturday September 21.

The evening will round off a fantastic year for Crusaders which has seen them promoted to the Championship and seal the inaugural Northern Rail Bowl.

Arrival is for 7.30pm, where Bucksfizz or orange juice will be available, before a two course meal in the Abbey Suite to right of the main entrance. There will also be a bottle of wine on each table.

On the menu is a main of breast of chicken, grain mustard mash, fine beans and bacon sauce, followed by baked vanilla cheesecake with tea and coffee, while there is also a vegetarian option of squash risotto with balsamic and pine nuts and a children’s option.

Admission to the evening is £30 for season ticket holders, bond holders, 18th man members and sponsors, while for others it is £35 and children prices are at £15.

There are also a limited number of rooms available at the hotel, but you will have to book these via the hotel yourselves. Please quote ‘Crusaders’ when booking to receive a discount.

You can book your place by either visiting our online shop here or calling the office on 08432 896 407.

The following awards will be presented on the night:

  • Top Try Scorer
  • Try of the Year
  • Smash of the Year
  • Coaches Player of the Year
  • Fans Player of the Year
  • Most Contributed to the Club Award
  • Supporters Club Player of the Year
  • Young Player of the Year
  • Most Valued Team Member
  • Comedy Moment

The hotel address is DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Chester, Warrington Road, Hoole, Chester, CH2 3PD and you can view their website here.

We will post more information on how you can vote for the various awards in due course, so keep an eye out on the website.

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