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Wales RL World Cup 2013/General News

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Well five out of 17 makes them a 30% Wigan reserve side and if you add value for SL quality players that can seriously influence the result, there is an even more skewed dependence on Wigan players for the result.


The Scorpions are hardly the poster child for stand alone independence are they ?.



So Wigan resrves beat Saints reserves but a stand alone club still tops the table.


Im sure that the Scorpions youngsters can learn from the Wigan players especially when a route to Super League goes through them for the South Wales youngsters, yes dual registeration has alot of negatives but whilst it's there why not make the most of it.


Scorpions hardly the poster child and a stand alone club at the top of the table?


When the Scorpions played North Wales a few weeks ago the Scorpions had 16 Born and Bred players from South Wales The North Wales Crusaders had no Welsh Players.

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Well five out of 17 makes them a 30% Wigan reserve side and if you add value for SL quality players that can seriously influence the result, there is an even more skewed dependence on Wigan players for the result.


The Scorpions are hardly the poster child for stand alone independence are they ?.

Bradford currently have 2 Warrington players in their squad on loan. London have had plenty of loan players in recent years. They are still independent clubs - they are just doing what suits.


I don't like the way the DR system is being used, but how you can work out 30% gives more prominence than 70% is beyond me.

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Queensway Stadium played host to a feast of rugby league last weekend as it welcomed some very special international guests.

A touring party of youngsters from the French town of Cahors were in Wrexham to take on Wales Rugby League U14s Development Squad and the Wrexham Bradley raiders U12s team..


The fixture was organised with the help of WRL President Mike Nicholas, who has forged strong links with the French side.


Cahors prepared for the game with a training session taken by Warrington Wolves coach Tony Smith


The fixture also marked the debut of the Wrexham Bradley Raiders U12s and there was a sense of occasion, with the Mayor of Wrexham greeting both sets of players before the kick-off.


Despite the team coming together just three weeks ago they gave a good account of themselves against their experienced French counterparts, losing the match 60-20.


The home side scored four very impressive tries and showed plenty of promise in their debut match. However Cahors ran out deserved winner, with several outstanding performances from the French youngsters

The U14s clash was another entertaining clash, with both sets of players refusing to back down in a physical and skilful contest.

The North Wales pack laid the foundation for 30-10 victory over Cahors U14s.


Cahors were given a warm welcome by the North Wales public and Community Rugby League Coach Allen Jones hopes to build stronger links with the tourists, who hail from the South of France.


“Today showed just how far the game of Rugby League has come on in North Wales in the past 12 months. Both fixtures were fast, tough and played in the best spirit of Rugby League.

“Everyone involved with Cahors was a credit to the club and town. Their Cahors U12s were probably the best-drilled and most skilful side I’ve seen in that age group. They played the game the way it should be played and they were a joy to watch at times.


“Our U12s side have only been together for a few weeks and they gave a very good account of themselves today. The Cahors side have been together for a long time and we matched them for long periods of the game. There is still a lot to work on but they can hold their heads up high after today’s performance.

“The U14s game was a really competitive match. The North Wales boys did the basics right and they fully deserved their victory. Cahors suffered a few knocks in this fixture but they never gave up and kept going right until the end.

“Today was a great occasion for grassroots rugby league in North Wales. The passion of the players and coaches from Cahors was infectious and we will keep in touch to see how each others teams are progressing. Hopefully this will become a regular fixture for the future.

“We would like to thank Mike Nicholas, who was instrumental in fostering the link with Cahors, as well as Wrexham Council and Wrexham Bradley Raiders for their continued support of Rugby League.”


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Was he glad all over? :P


That's our conversion celebration song.

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Im sure that the Scorpions youngsters can learn from the Wigan players especially when a route to Super League goes through them for the South Wales youngsters, yes dual registeration has alot of negatives but whilst it's there why not make the most of it.


Scorpions hardly the poster child and a stand alone club at the top of the table?


When the Scorpions played North Wales a few weeks ago the Scorpions had 16 Born and Bred players from South Wales The North Wales Crusaders had no Welsh Players.



So Wigan resrves beat Saints reserves but a stand alone club still tops the table.



Wow, our first bit of stick I've known, we must be doing well. It feels like Celtic Crusaders all over again.


Seriously, though, read this article and it'll explain more -

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Its all relative, you could say on that basis that Wigan is a Welsh side at its bench includes Rhodri Lloyd, GIl Dudson and Ben Flower, not to mention they have taken a few of our talented youths up there into the academy like Bradley Mais, Iestyn and Rhys Pugsley.  We had a talk about this with the club as supporters and we agree it might not get the quick results that the Celtic Crusaders got, but it is sustainable in its current form and that we are developing the game the right way down south. 


The Crusaders are at a different stage of their development and they have different  objectives and priorities to the Scorpions. They don't have the local development up in the north as yet so they are relying on their close proximity to the heartland and being able to attract NCL and experienced players across the boarder. The Scorpions have the opposite issues, they are not close to the heartland and so aren't going to attract players down to come play at this level but they do have a larger development pool and are producing local players. Scorpions are using their link with Wigan and getting some players but the club have been keen to stress from the start they want to team in the majority to be local Welsh born and bred rugby league players and that is certainly not out of the question, they could do right now 1-17 if we wished.


From a Welsh perspective it is good to have both means of development at either ends of the country.

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VALLEY Cougars will be out to regain their crown when the McRorie Nines kick-off the new South Wales Conference season on Sunday at Blackwood RFC (11am kick-off).


It will be the first time that the tournament has taken place in two years due to bad weather in 2011 and 2012 so everyone is eager to get the show on the road this weekend.


Two new teams in the Conference this season will make their bows in the McRorie Nines when the Borderer Boers, of Chepstow, and Cardiff Spartans take to the field. Also in the line-up are the South Wales Scorpions Under-20 Academy side, which is backed by Wales Rugby League.


WRL National Development Manager Mark Jones said: “”Everyone is looking forward to this weekend and the Conference season itself. It will be nice to see players coming up through the Academy side and also to welcome the Boers and the Spartans to the event.


Our new Wales Dragonhearts coaching team will be present at the Nines and this will be their first chance to see the players coming up through our Talent ID process and who could go on to play for the national side this season.”


The Cougars have two teams in the tournament, which is split into two groups, and their 'A' team face a tough prospect to start their defence against the formidable Bridgend Blue Bulls on Pitch One. Group A also includes Cardiff Demons and the Boers.


The Cougars 'B' team face Newport Titans in their opening fixture with the Spartans and the Scorpions Academy making up the pool.


The tournament is on a round-robin basis, with six matches taking place, until the top two in each group play in the semi-finals. The winners play in the final which is scheduled for 4pm.


Groups are:


Group A: Valley Cougars A, Bridgend Blue Bulls, Cardiff Demons, Borderer Boers.


Group B: Valley Cougars B, Newport Titans, Cardiff Spartans, South Wales Scorpions Under-20 Academy.


Matches and kick-off times are:


11am. Cougars A v Bulls (Pitch One); Cougars B v Titans (Pitch Two)

11.3oam: Demons v Boers (Pitch One); Spartans v Scorpions (Pitch Two)

12noon. Cougars A v Boers; Cougars B v Scorpions

12.30pm. Bulls v Demons; Titans v Spartans

1pm. Bulls v Boers; Titans v Scorpions

1.30pm. Cougars A v Demons; Cougars B v Spartans


2.30pm. Semi-final 1 (Winner Group A v Runner-up Group B)

3pm. Semi-final 2 (Winner Group B v Runner-up Group A)


4pm. Final


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Skills Camps return to North Wales this summer

The action-packed Rugby League Skills Camps, brought to you by North Wales Crusaders and Wales Rugby League, returns to North Wales this summer.


For just £30 per child, per course, it’s an opportunity not to be missed for any budding young rugby league players out there.

All sessions run from 9am to 4pm and take place on July 29th and 30th at Deeside Leisure Centre, Flintshire, while camps will be held at Queensway Sports Stadium, Wrexham on July 31st, and August 1st, 21st and 22nd.

And as well as taking part in enjoyable sessions by qualified and experienced coaches, North Wales Crusaders are also chucking in a free ticket, along with discount on additional children and parents’ tickets, to their next home fixture.

North Wales Crusaders Chief Executive Jamie Thomas said: “We’re pleased to be involved in hosting Skills Camps once again this year.

“It’s great that the kids have something to do and can play a bit of rugby league in the summer. They’ve been a success in the past so hopefully they’ll be the same again this year.”

Matt Pritchard, Development Officer for North Wales, said: “There is so much rugby league activity going on in North Wales. Previous skill camps have gone really well in the past and we are really pleased to be delivering these, together with North Wales Crusaders, once again.”

Anyone wishing to get involved should either complete a form – which can be downloaded by clicking here - and return to Matt Pritchard, Wales Rugby League, Deeside Leisure Centre, Chester Road West, Deeside, CH5 1SA, or email

Please note that children must be aged between 9 and 14 and should bring a packed lunch, trainers, boots, warm clothing and a jacket so that they can get muddy.

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Rob Massam’s RLWC2013 Diary – ‘The journey starts here’

“This is an important season for me – for both club and country.

“North Wales Crusaders are top of the table and we’ve started the season in great form. I’m learning a lot from our coach Clive Griffiths and there is a real strong bond amongst the players. You can tell from our last few games that the squad is really gelling

“Even in our Northern Rail Cup game against Hemel, a lot of new guys came into the team and performed brilliantly. It shows the strength of depth in our squad and our fantastic team spirit.

“And I am really enjoying my rugby this year. Last season was a big learning curve for me. I was quite reserved for the first few games but I grew in confidence as the season progressed. This year I’m a lot more comfortable but, being the perfectionist that I am - there are still things to improve on. I’ve got to cut out the mistakes but this season is going really well for me.

“I am pleased where I’m at compared to this time last year. For once I actually know the rules of the game! It was a case of ‘catch the ball and run’ last season but this year I’m getting more involved.

“Physically it has been fine and fitness wise I’ve coped well with the demands of Rugby League. The real learning curve for me has been the technical side of the game. I just used to pick up the ball and run at amateur level I’ve had to learn quickly.

“Making my debut for Wales last season was a dream come true. To think that in less than two years I went from playing amateur Rugby League with Chester Gladiators to turning out for Wales was crazy. It still hasn’t sunk in really.

“What made it even more surreal was that I used to see these guys train when I worked at Total Fitness and now I was playing alongside them for Wales. I was really nervous because these were big time professional players, but they were a decent bunch of lads and they really helped me along. Playing for Wales was the best experience of my life

“Everyone looks up to Wales coach Iestyn Harris and what he says goes. I learnt a lot from him and hopefully I can bring that experience to the Crusaders this season and prove that I’m good enough to play in the Rugby League World Cup.

“If I were to only get one more cap for Wales then it would be here at the Racecourse. To play for my country in front of my home crowd, in from of my friends and family, would be incredible. They were all gutted that I didn’t play here against England last year so it would be a huge honour to play for Wales here in Wrexham, especially in a World Cup.

“The fans here are amazing. The Crusaders recently went up against Super League side Hull FC in the Challenge Cup and our supporters were so loud. You couldn’t here the Hull fans! They make a lot of noise so if we can get more people in the ground for the World Cup then the atmosphere will be incredible."

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09th May 2013, 12:09

HOT prospect Harry Cartwright (PICTURED CENTRE ABOVE) is making a big impression at Warrington Wolves a couple of weeks into a two-and-a-half month trial.


The Wales Under-18 international, who made his debut in the victory over Scotland last November, could find himself playing for the Wolves' age group sides for the first time in the next couple of weeks.


The second row was snapped up by the Wolves after they watched him with the North Wales Crusaders before he transferred to local Warrington side Crossfields.


It is a spectacular rise in just over a year from a complete rugby league novice for Cartwright and Allen, who coached the Crusaders Under-18s last year and nurtured Cartwright through the season, believes the Wolves have got a genuinely good player.


Jones said: “He has got everything, he has got the works. The Warrington Under-19 academy squad was set up at the back end of 2012 and for them to take someone on part way through the season means they must see potential in him.


“His attributes are that he is very tough, very robust and the type of guy you want in your team. He will carry the ball all day for you and he has a good engine. He has a great attitude and this is a burning desire to play for Warrington. He has attitude in bucketloads.


“Last year, he was one of the Under-18 internationals in the Crusaders squad. I played him at second row when I had him and I think you will see Warrington looking to play him at prop for now. As he progresses, they might move him back in the second row.


“He first came along as a novice last February or March and he has had a bit of a meteoric rise. He has had a number of Man of the Matches. And then he got his cap against Scotland for the Wales Under-18 in November.


“Warrington have had him watched three times in April this year and saw him play for the Crusaders against Crossfields, a Warrington based club. He transferred there this year. The Crusaders who developed him and Warrington moved quickly because they could see his potential.


“The great thing now is Lee Briers is on the Under-19 coaching staff there and Harry could not be in better hands.”


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Scorpions News


Greg Burke says he's "happy" that he's signed a new deal at Wigan - and puts a lot of his development this year down to South Wales Scorpions.

The forward is one of eight Wigan youngsters to have played for the Championship One side under the clubs' dual registration agreement.

Speaking exclusively to Wigan TV, he said;

"You play those games for South Wales against physical men and that's what you need.

That contact and impact. It's vital to get those regular games."

Burke has made eleven appearances for Wigan this season including three starts. His new contract will keep him at the club until 2016 with a further option for 2017.


Andy Powell


Mark Bitcon - Wigan's Director of Performance - says the Warriors new signing, Andy Powell, has the potential to be an even bigger player.

Already a formidable presence on the field, the former union star - who plays his last game for Sale this weekend - will link up with the Warriors in May.

He'll spend a few weeks in the gym before being integrated with the rest of the team.

Bitcon told Wigan TV exclusively:

"Shaun [Wane] is challenging me to make him bigger, faster, stronger.

He's already a big man so that's a challenge for the fitness department.

He's blessed with a number of physical attributes so we want to elevate that."

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North Wales Crusaders U18s will hold a Squad Development Day at Deeside Leisure Centre on Saturday May 18 (11am-2pm) as they look to recruit new players.

The U18s system provides a pathway for any youngsters who aspire to make it to the top level – and that could be you!

Members of the first team squad will be in attendance to help out with the coaching, which is a great opportunity to find out exactly what is required to make it in the professional game.

The likes of Owain Brown, Kriss Wilkes, Lewys Weaver and Rob Massam are all from the North Wales area, as well as Andy Oakden, who was the first to make the step up from U18s to first team, showing the doors that the U18s can open for players.

If you were born between 01/01/1994 and 31/08/1996 then you are eligible to join our development pathway. And it doesn’t matter whether or not you’ve had any prior rugby league experience – we’re just after power, pace and the right mindset that makes a winner.

For more information please email Wales Rugby League’s North Wales Development Officer, Matt Pritchard, on




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TWO Gwent sides go head-to-head on the opening day of the new South Wales Conference season this Sunday.

Torfaen Tigers, who are back in the league after a year out, face the new Borderer Boars side from East Gwent and both are hoping for good seasons.

The match takes place at Cwmbran RFC's Kings Head Ground and Rob Davies, team manager of the Tigers, said: “We are looking fairly strong and we have a bit of experience. We have registered 40 players in four weeks. I don't want to tempt fate at the moment but it is calling out for a club for everyone to get behind and pull towards in Torfaen.

“Borderer Boars are an unknown quantity and we have picked an experienced side with plenty of quality. We want to be in the mix and we target the Grand Final. Ultimately it is our first year back and we don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves but it is shaping up to be the tightest season.

“We rebuilt off the field and we have new coach and new sponsors.”

The Boars made a really good impression at the Scott Mcrorie Nines at Blackwood''s Glan-Yr-Afon Park last Sunday and hope that they can continue the good work on Sunday.

Team manager Lee Kelley said: “We were in a good tournament last week and this week we have had another five or six debutants but we are very optimistic for season.

“We have a new coach Paul Horrocks. The biggest thing was sorting out defence out and getting the boys back in the ten and getting back. If we can keep our defence good we have times to attack in the game.

“There are a couple of big boys who can cause damage. Hopes for the season are to get a good atmosphere in the club and build for the future. We are looking to be competitive in every way they can and a couple of games like Torfaen and Newport at home.”

Newport Titans make the long trip west to Bonymaen for a clash against the South Wales Conference reigning champions but Broncos team manager Stuart Williams is not underestimating the challenge of a team which also performed well at the Mcrorie Nines.

“Newport Titans will present a really tough challenge for us and we won't be taking them for granted. They have a good squad and a strong club off the field and they are sure to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season,” said Williams.

He added: “With the league being a lot bigger, we are looking forward to it. Come Sunday, we will all be ready for it and go from there.”

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Great to see the greatest game developing in the greatest Welsh county.



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Bradford Bulls team-mates to face off at The Gnoll Cook Islands international Keith Lulia says he is relishing the opportunity to stand toe to toe with Bradford Bulls team-mate Elliot Kear at Rugby League World Cup 2013.

The Cookies have been drawn alongside Kear’s Wales in Group D at RLWC2013, potentially pitting the two friends against one another. And Lulia believes that the personal battle for bragging rights adds an extra dimension to the tie, which will take place at the Gnoll in Neath on November 10 (kick-off 2pm).

“I’ll definitely be putting my hand up to play for the Cook Islands. I’m immensely proud of my heritage and, even though there aren’t many of us here in the Super League, I think we’ve got a good chance of being successful.

“I played back in 2010 in the Pacific Cup but I haven’t played since then, so I’m raring to get out there and pull on the jersey again.

“The match against Wales is definitely one I’m looking forward to, as I know that Elliot Kear will more than likely be playing for Wales.

“It certainly makes things a lot more interesting and I’m looking forward to playing against him.

“Hopefully I can earn the bragging rights, but more importantly I want to help my team to the next round of the tournament.”

Cook Islands also face USA at the Memorial Stadium in Bristol on October 30 and Tonga at Leigh Sports Village on November 5.

“The lure of playing in a World Cup is massive and it’s something I really want to do as a player. I haven’t done it before and I might not get the chance to do it again,” said Lulia, who says he keeps in regular contact with fellow Cook Islands internationals Zeb Taia and Anthony Gelling, who both ply their trade in Super League for Catalan Dragons and Wigan Warriors respectively.

“There’s three of us over here. We do try to keep in touch when we can, and we do speak fairly often.

“Zeb, I think, will probably be captain of the team for the tournament, while I know Anthony will be keen to impress, as he has been in and out of the side at Wigan this year.

“My wife is actually good friends with Zeb’s wife and she went over to stay with them a few weeks ago, and I know Zeb pretty well from my time with him at Newcastle Knights.

“But most of our players will be pulled from the NRL and the reserve grade competitions over there.

“There are young players coming through and a few NRL regulars, like Brad Takairangi at the Titans, Tinirau Arona at the Roosters.”

And Lulia believes those on the fringes can utilise this autumn’s opportunity to showcase their talents, and earn a contract with a top level club in Europe or Australasia.

“The guys in the reserve grade have the opportunity to push for a Super League contract. It’s a really great chance for them.

“Anthony Gelling has been given his shot at Wigan and I think he showed what he could do last year. He’s well known over here now, and I hope more Cook Islanders are given that chance."

Cook Islands will be making their second appearance at a World Cup, having taken part in the tournament in 2000, where they failed to win a single game.

But Lulia is confident that the team can spring a surprise or two this time around.

“I’d like to think we have a pretty good chance of reaching the quarter-final stage,” he said.

“We don’t know much about the USA, and not many people will have seen them play, but I know that Wales will have a very strong side on duty.

“If we’re lucky with injuries and everybody performs to their abilities then I think we’ll have a very strong chance of producing something.

“It’s hard to get targets at such an early stage, but I think for a nation in our position it’s a case of taking things game by game, and facing each challenge as it comes.”

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Any news on the Welsh Dragonhearts, are they in this years 4 nations?


They certainly are, they play Scotland, somewhere in Wales, on 24 August.

And the 4 Nations is taking a step up in standard this year!

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I can't find the complete fixtures for the Community Game Four Nations Championship, but Scotland's are as follows:-



Ireland at Falkirk on 10 August 
Wales in Wales on 24 August
England in Cumbria on 15 September
Assuming those are the dates for the other games, Wales will be playing:-
England on 10 August
Scotland (in Wales) on 24 August
Ireland on 15 September

Now that England are represented by their Community Lions (BARLA, Student RL, Tier Three, Tier Four and the Armed Forces), the competition rules now allow the teams to select three current semi-professionals from Championship One clubs (don't know if this applies to England).  

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Briers undecided about Dragons


Veteran Warrington stand-off Lee Briers quit the international scene after leading Wales in the 2011 Four Nations Series, playing his "final" match against Australia in Wrexham. It was the second time he had bowed out of the international scene, having quit when Wales failed to qualify for RLWC 2008 but admits that he has not totally ruled out a second U-turn.

"You never say never but I can't see it," said Briers, who ended a 12-week injury lay-off in Warrington's Challenge Cup win against Salford last Sunday and is set to continue his comeback in Friday's Super League game against Hull.

"There's still a flame there - it's not fully out - but I do enjoy the coaching part of it.

"There are some young kids that probably deserve a chance to play at RLWC2013. I've played in one and I know it's fantastic.

"And, if I go back, would it be the Lee Briers retirement show? Would it take the focus off them? I'm not too sure."

35-year-old Briers made a fairytale return from his lay-off caused by neck and calf injuries, scoring a try within three minutes of entering the field as a second-half substitute against the Reds, but admits making his return in a winning team was a big help.

"I think it was set up well because of the way the boys played," he said.

"I came on when it was game over. I'd seen it from the sidelines over the last few weeks. We've been steadily building."

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CONWY Celts get their North Wales Conference title defence off and running on Saturday and head coach Ray Caldwell insists they won't give up the crown easily.


Celts were without a game last week in the opening round of the Conference and they travel to Flintshire Falcons on Saturday (kick-off: 2pm) with the home side having already won this season after beating Dee Valley Dragons by just four points last Sunday.


Caldwell said, though, that such has been the interest in the game in Conwy since they won the Conference last August with a Grand Final victory over Rhyl and Prestatyn Panthers that their player numbers have been great and the carrot of a Wales A cap this season has them keen to get on with the season.


The coach said: “We are not looking too bad. We lost a few players for this weekend because there are a couple of cup final games but we look quite strong. A couple of lads are returning from university but we have a couple of young lads coming through who have not played the game before who we are looking at a run-out.


“With Flintshire beating Dee Valley last week, we are looking forward to the same which will be a tough physical game.


“With them playing the game last week, it is going to stand them in good stead. We had a friendly against Bangor a couple of weeks ago that was a real tough physical match.


“The lads are pretty keen. We have been known to be a slow team to get out of the blocks in matches and it is something we will focus on to get the boys starting well and compete for eighty minutes.


“Last year, it was a season of two halves so it is something we are looking at and getting right. We are looking at our defensive structure as well. There are a couple of lads chomping at the bit with the Coast v Country game coming up and hopefully getting a Wales A cap. That keeps players keen and the hunger there.


“The lads are up for it. We won't give the title up easily and the way that the season went last year we will have numbers here which will be a great headache to have.”


Dee Valley Dragons are aiming to bounce back from that defeat when they host Wrexham Bradley Raiders at Conwen on Sunday (kick-off: 2pm). The match was due to take place in Wrexham but problems with the council-owned pitch mean they won't be able to play there this weekend.


So the fixture has been reversed to give Dee Valley their second successive home match after their win over the Falcons last week. Their coach and chairman Mike Parry said: “The game last week saw us get a few injuries but we should be back to full strength for this. We expect Raiders to be a lot stronger than last year.


“We expected the same off Flintshire this year and we knew they were going to get a lot more stronger although we have still got a squad to finish in the top two or three.”


It will be Wrexham's first match this season and they are eyeing a win at the Dragons after defeats last year. The Raiders coach-chairman Steve Jones said: “The lads are well and truly up for it. It is a shame we have had to move the game though.


“Our lads want some serious revenge. We are looking better generally as the lads are doing a bit of fitness training now ready for the season.”

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BONYMAEN Broncos are ready to make it two South Wales Conference wins out of two this Sunday in their defence of their title.


But they are only too aware that visiting Valley Cougars are likely to push them hard for the honours as the sides meet at Bonymaen RFC (kick-off: 2pm).


The Broncos beat Newport Titans 32-0 last Sunday in horrible conditions in West Wales and team manager Stuart Williams said: “The Titans were a bit of a mix and match side and we played a lot of kids and new boys in that game. We only played five of last year' s side that won the title.


“This match against the Cougars will be a tough one. I think they have recruited well in the summer. It was tough up there last year and at home. We beat them twice but the score flattered us. Last year were both good physical encounters and, with the Cougars not playing last week, it probably did us good to get a game under our belt against the Titans.”


Torfaen Tigers are under no illusions about the task facing them in their second Conference derby of the season on Sunday.


The Tigers, who beat new club Borderer Boars from East Gwent by 52-14 at the King's Head Ground, Cwmbran, travel the six miles down to Maesglas to face theTitans in a tie that should be a keenly fought encounter (kick-off: 2pm).


Titans team manager Nathan Bird said they will be much stronger for this clash over their neighbours than against Bonymaen last week.


Bird said: “Training has gone well this week. We thought we performed quite well against Bonymaen. We had 14 men and we were fairly understrength but this week we should be back to full strength for Sunday.


“The objective last week was to get a team on the field and there was a 25 minute spell where we played some brilliant structured rugby.


“In the past, we have had some real ding-dongs with Torfaen and we have had a lot of players representing both sides in the Welsh international team. It should serve up to be quite a fascinating match. We will approach this game with a bit of focus and structure.”


Tigers are also eager to get their fangs into the Titans. Player-coach Rob Davies said: “Traditionally it is a bit spicy. We will have a stronger side than last week which was a nice game to ease ourselves into it. We will just need to tighten up around the ruck where Newport are traditionally strong.


“We are looking at playing a bit more expansively when we want to which will be good and I am happy and confident with the squad we are building.”


Borderer Boars play their first ever Conference game at home in Chepstow on Sunday (also kick-off 2pm) and face one of the founder member teams of the competition in Cardiff Demons.


There is a common link between the sides with players from both the Boars and Demons having been recruited from the University of Wales Cardiff (Uwic) campus.


Lee Kelley, team manager of the Boars, said his side really enjoyed their first experience of Conference rugby league last week despite the defeat. He said: “We have had nothing but praise from the boys from last week how they enjoyed converting from rugby union to league.


“We have quite a few players who used to play for Uwic and I played one game for the Demons so I hope it will be quite a good game on a personal basis.


“It is always hard for boys to understand how physical league is until you play it but we will have a stronger squad this week from last week and the boys will be physically and mentally prepared for this.”


The Demons are, though, chomping at the bit to get going after their match was called off last week. Their team manager Idris Evans said: “Our boys are looking hot. The Demons were formed on the back of Uwic and we have a few players with us from there this year but they are not available this weekend because they are training at Birmingham with the Wales Students for the World Cup.


“But we have 28 boys available. It is great to have that many players available so myself and the coaches are meeting on Saturday to pick the team.”


Blackwood Bulldogs, the other Gwent side in this year's Conference, have a rest weekend.

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A REMARKABLE '156 points were scored in the two North Wales Conference matches over the weekend as Flintshire Falcons, Conwy Celts, Dee Valley Dragons and Wrexham Bradley Raiders went on try sprees.


The Falcons were 32-6 down at half-time in their home clash with reigning champions Conwy but fought back bravely to make a great game of it in the end.


Conwy set the pace in the opening period through their powerful pack who gained some good yardage in the ruck situations. That enabled their backs to set loose and exploit the Falcons' defence.


But it was credit to the Falcons who had only 16 available players and only two props, the latter who played the entire match without an interchange rest. Also several other players filled unfamilar positions.


So it was great for the crowd to see the Falcons fightback with some excellent tries as they closed the gap to just 12 points at one stage of the game but late tries from the Celts gave them the match by an amazing 64-44


Flintshire coach Mark Parry said: “Falcons take lots of positives with four lads making their debut. Also with several key players are returning during the week so Tthursdays away game to the Panthers should be a cracker. “


Dee Valley Dragons and Wrexham Bradley Raiders fought out a ding-dong battle at Corwen on Sunday which saw the Dragons just come out on top by eight points.


Wrexham showed plenty of spirit as they went down 48-40 as this was their first match of the season. But it is the Dragons who have now got off the mark with a win after losing their opening clash last week.


And Dee Valley assistant coach Barry Jones said: “It was a very good game with some big hits from both sides.”

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CHAMPIONS Bonymaen Broncos made it two out of two in the defence on their South Wales Conference after beating Valley Cougars at home on Sunday by 20-6.


And Torfaen Tigers remain unbeaten after two weekends as they beat Newport Titans in the big Gwent derby, while Cardiff Demons got off to a flying start at Borderer Boars in Chepstow.


It was the Cougars first match of the season and, after a first-half where Bonymaen went 16-0 up, the Valley side took the second period honours as they scored a converted try from Steve Wilkins against one more from the Broncos.


Bonymaen went over five times with wings Andrew Price, who got two, and Steve Finn crossing as did full-back Christopher Hoppe. But the try of the match was a skillful effort down the length of the field that saw a chip-through from Finn for loose forward Dai Cullen to finish off.


Broncos team manager Stuart Williams said the match was a bit flat but added: “There were some big collisions and you could tell it was the first game for the Cougars. We scored some nice tries early on but everyone was waiting for the spark to happen to kick-off the match.”


There was a good crowd in Maesglas, Newport, as well as the Titans shrugged off their first weekend defeat at the Broncos to run Torfaen Tigers, who beat the Boars at home in their opening fixture, close before losing 26-18.


In fact, the Titans played really well in the opening period and lead 18-12 thanks to tries from big prop John Lavender plus one each by Rhys Meredith and Rhys Hendley while full-back Dwayne Bailey converted all three.


Torfaen looked good up front, particularly with prop Sam Cook causing problems at the ruck. Hooker Ryan Bates was also a handful and he scored both of his side's tries in the first period, which Luke Brown converted.


The Titans were worn down and committed too many penalties after the break. It did not help that they had two men in the sin-bin during the second-half although the Tigers also had one man sent for a ten-minute rest.


Shaun Watkins, with a converted try, drew the Tigers level and, with 15 minutes of the game left on a hot afternoon, it was all to play for. But, as the Titans lost shape, Torfaen pounced through Gavin Teague and a corner touchdown from Kyle Scrivens to finish the stronger.


Tigers player-coach Rob Davies said: “We made hard work of it in the first-half We had a fairly powerful pack and spaces came from it. It is always nice to pick up a 'W' in a derby game and we will look forward to the Cougars in a fortnight's time.”


Titans coach Rob Dodgson said: “We played the game at a good tempo and did the basics. We had more players available at our place than last week but we are disappointed to lose.”


In Chepstow, the Demons ran in eight tries to get their season off and running against Borderer Boars with a 48-18 win. The Cardiff outfit did not have a match last week but showed they were ready to challenge for the title this season with a good performance.


James Greenfield got two of the Demons' touchdowns with Arturs Kozels also going over on his debut for the club. Izaak Duffy, Jake Duffy Phil Carleton, Idris Evans and Nicky Kelly got the other tries while another debutant Lewis Pearce landed two conversions and Dan Henderson added another six out of six.


The Boars ran in three tries, from Josh Hannan, Tom Jones and Lewis Gitting but team manager Lee Kelley was pleased that their second ever match – and their first at home – generated a good crowd and a number of new players.


Kelley said: “We are disappointed with the loss but, comparing this week to last week (when they lost at Torfaen), we had a good squad and improved massively. We hope we can continue to improve.”


Next week is the East v West Origin Game at St Peters RFC, home of the Demons, with a number of players already putting up their hands for inclusion on this game which can lead onto a Wales A squad place for the internationals later in the summer.

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WALES Rugby League have locked horns with one of the UK's leading sports clothing companies to be their suppliers in World Cup year.


Raging Bull Sportswear, who supply clothing and kit to many clubs up and down the country, have joined forces with the WRL in a key partnership heading towards the three World Cups that Wales are involved in during 2013.


Wales Rugby League chairman Brian Juliff, a former WRL international who also played for Wakefield, Wigan and Halifax, said: “I am very pleased to announce on behalf of Wales Rugby League that we have entered into a kit supply partnership with Raging Bull.


It has been a pleasure dealing with Latham Tawhai and Carl Richards during the negotiating period and their attention to detail and customer appreciation has been exceptional.


I have been impressed with their ‘most things are achievable’ approach to problem solving and particularly the quality of communication and availability of both Carl and Latham.


Raging Bull have won this contract against considerable competition and Wales Rugby League look forward to welcoming them to the International Rugby League stage.


The newly designed kit will initially debut with our Wheelchair and Student teams at the Festival of Rugby League in Kent and Leeds and will then be worn in the at RLWC2013 opener versus Italy in Cardiff on October 26.”


Wales will run out at the Millennium Stadium in their new kit for that match with Italy and follow it with matches against the Cook Islands at The Gnoll, Neath, and the USA at the Glynwdr University Racecourse Ground. If Wales in their group they are likely to have a massive quarter-final against either Australia or England in Wrexham.


National coach Iestyn Harris said: “Wales Rugby League are delighted to have a partnership with Raging Bull. We are always striving for greatness through hard work and consistency and we feel Raging Bull have the same core principles and ambition that Wales RL have.


We are looking forward to a long and successful relationship through the World Cup and beyond.”


Rugby league is set to enjoy possibly its highest ever global profile throughout the year with live television coverage of all RLWC2013 matches, 21 different stadiums throughout the UK and France including the Millennium Stadium, Wembley and Old Trafford not to mention the Festival of World Cups.


Carl Richards, Raging Bull Sportswear managing director, said he is delighted to be working with the WRL “It is a hugely exciting time for the WRL and the future of the game in Wales looks very promising so we are thrilled to have secured the deal.


There is a huge amount of work going on at grassroots level, schools, clubs and the regions and we hope to add value to the partnership by assisting these areas of the game where we can.”


Official Wales Rugby League merchandise and replica shirts will also soon be available on the new online store with Raging Bull’s designers already working on designs.

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League Express - Mon 31st July 2017

Rugby League World - August 2017