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Wales RL World Cup 2013/General News

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Amazing supporter packages at Vale Resort


In conjunction with children's charity Wooden Spoon, Gullivers Sports Travel are offering fans the exclusive opportunity to attend a Welsh Rugby League Legends Dinner on October 25, and a Golf Day on October 27.

A choice of three fantastic packages are available to book online, including an exclusive RLWC2013 Opening Ceremony Weekend package.

A 'Freewheeler' package, which includes an invitation to the Legends Dinner at the spectacular Vale Resort near Cardiff is just £75 per person, while there is also an option to enjoy two nights' stay at the resort and attend the Rugby League World Cup 2013 Opening Ceremony, which features clashes between Wales and Italy, and England and Australia, for just £497.

Those wishing to participate in the Golf Day and tee off alongside the stars on the Welsh National Championship Course at the Vale Resort can enter a three-person team for just £299.

The price includes a bacon roll and coffee before your round, and a three-course dinner.

There is also the option of an overnight stay on October 27 at the Vale Resort Hotel for £89 per person sharing a twin/double room, or £124 per person in a single.

Wooden Spoon is a children's charity founded in 1983 that is dedicated to helping disadvantaged children and young people across the British Isles live happier, richer lives.

The Rugby League and Rugby Union communities are both partnered with Wooden Spoon, helping the charity to receive invaluable support for its activities and the work it does.


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When can we expect that big news story Dug?


Im not sure welsh I am as intrigued as you :dry: Hopefully it will be good and very exciting news for the game in Wales

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This has just come through which is a big shame...


Daniel Mortimer @Danmorts
@WalesRugbyL hey mate. Spoke to Iestyn yesterday. Pity we could t get it through but will be cheering for you guys in the RLWC.

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This has just come through which is a big shame...


Daniel Mortimer @Danmorts

@WalesRugbyL hey mate. Spoke to Iestyn yesterday. Pity we could t get it through but will be cheering for you guys in the RLWC.

Massive shame! Mortimer wold have been a great addition. Anybody know why it couldn't happen? Not actually eligible maybe?

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WALES A head coach Mike Grady has pencilled a number of players from North Wales for national selection this summer.


The Coast side, made up of players from Rhyl and Prestatyn Panthers and North Wales Conference champions Conwy Celts, beat the Country outfit, with players from Wrexham Bradley Raiders, Flintshire Falcons and Deevalley Dragons, in Friday night's Origin Match at Colwyn Bay, and a dozen names stood out for the coach.


He said: “There were some good guys on the Coast team and about 12 names. I was impressed with them and I didn't expect as many lads playing well. It is a healthy competition.


“We are probably looking about eight players for selection from the North. I will get together with Paul and Jon and we will be happy with that. I think there will be some lads disappointed if they do miss out.


“There was some good talent. The coaches in North Wales were made up that we can get players into a team which has been dominated by the south over the years. There was a cracking full-back Jordan Sheridan, the half-backs did well and then there some aggressive forwards which we will need against England.”


The selectors – Grady, assistants Paul Emmanuelli and Jon Burgess plus team manager Idris Evans – will get together in Llandridod Wells on Wednesday to finalise the 25-man Wales A squad which will play England, Ireland and Scotland in the Home Nations this summer.


For those picked, the first raining session is on June 23 in mid-Wales at Builth Wells RFC.

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Scorpions sign Super League half-back on loan


South Wales Scorpions have signed Widnes Vikings half-back Grant Gore on a month’s loan with a possibility of an extension.


He replaces forward Ben Davies who returns to the Vikings.


Wigan-born Gore made his Super League debut last season against Leeds Rhinos and has made three further first team appearances for the Vikings in 2013.


Blessed with the combination of a good kicking game and strong defence, the 21-year old will prove a valuable addition to the Scorpions’ backs in a position that needed to be filled.


Scorpions’ coach Dave Clark said: “We’re delighted that Grant is coming to the Scorpions in what will be a big month at the club.


“We’re back at The Gnoll for the first time in seven weeks on Sunday 16th June when we take on Oldham and we expect Grant to be an important member of the side.


“We haven’t had a recognised half-back in our side for the last few weeks so it’s good that Grant is with us as he can play at both stand-off and scrum-half.”


If selected, he will make his Scorpions debut in their Kingstone Press Championship 1 side game at Gloucestershire All Golds on Sunday.


Sponsored by Rugby League and League Express newspaper, the Scorpions are holding a Father’s Day special at their match against Oldham Roughyeds on Sunday 16th June where families can enjoy the day at The Gnoll and have a carvery meal in addition to watching the big match. Bookings are essential and need to be made by Wednesday 12th June online at


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Is Pen-y-bont Crusader still about? I'm still really intrigued by that news story we wer meant to have?

I am and the news is still to come. Big things like this do take their time to get all the i's dotted and t's crossed etc etc.

Its not too far off now.

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By Gary Baker. Wales Rugby League Communications Manager


WALES Rugby League have broken new, exciting ground for the future as, for the first time, the Wales Dragonhearts squad will be a complete representation of the game across the Principality.


The selectors, at their meeting in Llandridod Wells on Wednesday, picked seven players from the North Wales Conference in a 26-man squad for the Home Nations international matches against England, Scotland and Ireland this summer.


It is the first time that the Dragonhearts party, previously picked from players within the South Wales Conference, have included men from the north.


National head coach Mike Grady said: “It was a very positive selection meeting. I feel we will be very competitive by looking at the squad we have got and talking to the coaches.


“That first game is against England will be the test but it will be good to get the toughest game out on first and I think we can be competitive against them.”


The selection process was so difficult that the originally-planned 25-man squad was not enough so an extra place was included, extending the party to 26 men.


Of the seven players from the North Wales Conference included, five are with reigning champions Conwy Celts and two from last year's runners-up Rhyl and Prestatyn Panthers.


The 19 players from the South Wales Conference, which make up the bulk of the squad, include eight players from Valley Cougars, four each from Cardiff Demons and Torfaen Tigers, two from Newport Titans and one player from Bonymaen Broncos.


In addition, the selectors have taken the step of putting a number of players ,who will be with the Welsh Students at July's World Cup, on stand-by for the future games against Ireland and Scotland. Should they be needed, they will be called into the training party before the game with Ireland in Limerick in August.


Grady explained this is aimed at bringing these players into the Welsh fold in the coming years. He said: “The student idea is because we want to build something for the future with these players and it is good to get them involved around the set-up after the World Cup.”


Training for the Dragonhearts squad ahead of the big game with England at The Gnoll on July 14, gets underway on Sunday June 23 at Builth Wells RFC.


Wales Dragonhearts play England Lions at The Gnoll, Neath, on Sunday July 14 before facing Ireland Wolfhounds in Limerick on August 3 and Scotland Bravehearts in North Wales on August 24.


Wales Dragonhearts squad


Paul Emmanuelli - Valley Cougars

Phil Carleton - Cardiff Demons

Martin Luckwell - Valley Cougars

Rhys Meredith - Newport Titans

Michael Harrison - Conwy Celts

Lewis Stockton - Conwy Celts

Dafydd Lloyd - Prestatyn & Rhyl Panthers

Dan Davies - Valley Cougars

Chris True - Cardiff Demons

Jordan Sheridan - Conwy Celts

Liam Wottan - Valley Cougars

James Gregson - Conwy Celts

Kyle Scrivens - Torfaen Tigers

Darryl Carter - Valley Cougars

Gareth Davies - Torfaen Tigers

Gerwyn Price - Valley Cougars

Rhys Davies - Bonymaen Broncos

Anthony Tillie - Prestatyn & Rhyl Panthers

Lee Davies - Conwy Celts

John Sanigar - Valley Cougars

Loren Quick - Cardiff Demons

Neil Dallimore - Cardiff Demons

John Lavender - Newport Titans

Scott Britton - Valley Cougars

Zack Hadley - Torfaen Tigers

Liam Davies - Torfaen Tigers

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North Wales Crusaders heach coach Clive Griffiths is expecting a much tougher contest than when his side last faced Oldham, in what he says should be a big game on Sunday (2.30pm kick-off).

Griffiths’ men swept aside the Roughyeds in a 48-12 win earlier this year in the Northern Rail Cup, but the Greater Manchester club currently sit third in the table after a run of three straight victories.

“We know that the other game earlier in the year is no reflection of where Oldham are at the moment”, Griffiths said.

“They’re a good side and Scott Naylor has a lot of experience as a coach himself. Both nines (hookers) are decent players and they’ve also got Jon Ford, who is a big centre from Salford, so we’ll have to be wary of them.

“It’s going to be a big game, and it’s probably more important to them as they need the win. If they lose then they’ve lost three games in the league and it could be a bit of a mountain for them to climb.”

And Griffiths is hoping that his side continues where they left off against the All Golds last weekend as, on reflection, he feels he may have been harsh in his criticism of some of the aspects of his side’s performance.

“After watching the video, you could see that we played some really good rugby in the second half”, he said.

“Some of it was slick and the tries we scored were top drawer – everyone wants to see that and play that brand of rugby.

“We made some good yards, which were supported and led to tries, and we were happy with that.

“But it was still a bit frantic in the first half and the weekend off didn’t help with that at all, even though we did use the free week wisely.

“We tried to force passes when we shouldn’t have and there will be no repitition of that against Oldham, as we’ll have to respect the football a lot more.”

Roughyeds’ Danger Man – Adam Files

Files joined Oldham on a season-long loan from partner club Salford City Reds before the start of the season – and so far he has lived up to his billing as one of Super League’s young stars.

The hooker is often used as an impact player off the bench and currently heads his side’s try-scoring table with nine, as well as chipping in with assists.

The 20-year-old suffered a broken nose in Oldham’s victory over Skolars last weekend, but he should be fit for the clash on Sunday and will no doubt cause the Wrexham-based side a lot of bother.

Form Guide – Oldham Roughyeds (WWWLWL)

Oldham currently sit third in the club following wins over London Skolars, Gateshead Thunder and Hemel Stags in their last three fixture, after a shock defeat in round three at home to Oxford, who are coached by their former coach Tony Benson.

The Roughyeds had started their league campaign with a defeat at home to neighbours Rochdale Hornets, and also exited the Challenge Cup at Hunslet Hawks the week after, before picking up a solid 36-0 victory at Gloucestershire All Golds.

Fan Information

Tickets are still available for the clash with Oldham, with adult prices from £12, concessions from £7, children from £5 and under 7s free. You can either purchase your tickets from the Glyndwr Sports Centre or online.

There is also a fantastic hospitality offer on, which includes a gourmet burger, salad, chips and pint for just £20, with season ticket holder prices reduced to just £10. You will have the opportunity to have photographs with some of the playing squad before the game and you will also be able to join the staff and players for the man of the match presentations in the Centenary Club after the game. To make the most of this offer email

Our matchday programme will be on sale around the ground before kick-off at the price of just £2, so make sure you grab a copy to catch up with what’s happening at Crusaders.

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World Cup Wednesday joins 'Exiles' countdown

Ticket Deal for Opening Ceremony in Cardiff

Hot on the heels of the recent free supporters shirt offer, England are continuing their countdown to the upcoming International Origin match and Rugby League World Cup 2013 campaign with an unbeatable ticket deal.

Fans can see Steve McNamara’s men in action against the Exiles at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on June 14 and witness the RLWC2013 Opening Ceremony, featuring England’s clash with Australia at the Millennium Stadium on October 26, for just £45.

As an added bonus, supporters will also gain admission to the match between Wales and Italy following England’s opener in Cardiff.

The showdown with the Exiles later this month represents England’s only competitive match ahead of RLWC2013, and there’ll be no shortage of motivation following series defeats to Super League’s overseas stars in 2011 and 2012.

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It's a 'shame' as Billy quits Crusaders





HEAD coach Clive Griffiths has described Billy Sheen's decision to leave North Wales Crusaders as a 'shame'.

The versatile Sheen has found game time difficult to come by given the strength in depth amongst the Crusaders' squad and looks set to link up with South Wales Scorpions.

Speaking after watching his side beat Gloucestershire All Golds 66-4 yesterday, Griffiths was disappointed to lose Sheen, but respected his decision.

He said: "I've heard he is going down to South Wales (Scorpions).

"It is a great shame really because I like Billy and he is caught between a few positions; nine (hooker), seven (half-back) and full-back.

"Competition for places here is terrific and unfortunately he has been missing out and he has got a bit frustrated.

"He has gone back to play amateur rugby. He is a semi-professional at the end of the day and he should be playing at this level.

"I just wish him all of the very best and it is a shame I couldn't accommodate him because he has done very well for us.

"With the three half-backs and the choices we have got at hooker and full-back, somebody has got to miss out and unfortunately it was Billy.

"I can understand his decision to leave."

On his team's 12-try blitz of bottom of the table Gloucestershire, which took Crusaders' Championship One record to six wins from six games, Griffiths was left with mixed emotions.

The experienced coach was pleased with the defensive side of his team's game, but highlighted some sloppy possession play as an area in which to improve.

"Defensively we have 'nilled' a side in the second half and they have been camped on our line a few times," he explained before adding: "Sometimes we have a rush of blood where we try and force an offload.

"It is going to get tougher from here on in and we need to respect the football more."

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I thought that as well CC, surely that has been misquoted?


I get the feeling he means that he's gone back to an amateur side for the time being, until he sorts things out with the Scorpions, as opposed to it being a dig at the Scorpions!

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I get the feeling he means that he's gone back to an amateur side for the time being, until he sorts things out with the Scorpions, as opposed to it being a dig at the Scorpions!

Played a couple of games at Woolston Rovers before signing at South Wales

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Scorpions make history as try machine comes south

South Wales Scorpions have created history by signing “try machine” Billy Sheen from North Wales Crusaders.


The acquisition of the 23-year old half-back is unique as Sheen is the first player to travel from North to South Wales to join the Scorpions from their Welsh rivals.


Sheen really caught the eye of supporters in North Wales Crusaders’ first ever fixture at Leigh East last season, picking up a hat-trick of tries in a solid performance and giving him the nickname “try machine”.


He then had an excellent competitive record for the Crusaders in 2012 scoring eight tries in 14 games but he has found himself out of favour with their coach Clive Griffiths this year, playing in just the one game, and scoring a try, against Hemel Stags.


Sheen starting professionally in the academy ranks at St Helens after spending a successful year at Warrington Wizards in the 2009 Conference National season and was a try scoring machine as he helped them qualify for the play-offs. He was then a prominent try scorer in the academy set-up for Leigh Centurions before joining the Crusaders.


Scorpions coach Dave Clark said: “I’m really pleased that Billy has chosen to join the Scorpions. He hasn’t been able to break into the Crusaders side this season which is surprising considering his obvious talent. We think he’ll perform an solid partnership with either Grant Gore, who we’ve signed on loan from Widnes, and also with our up and coming Welsh talented players in Courtney Davies and Kristian Hawkes. I’m sure all Scorpions fans are looking forward to seeing him in action when he first plays at The Gnoll on Sunday 16th June against Oldham.”


Sponsored by Rugby League and League Express newspaper, the Scorpions are holding a Father’s Day special at their match against Oldham Roughyeds on Sunday 16th June where families can enjoy the day at The Gnoll and have a carvery meal in addition to watching the big match. Bookings are essential and need to be made by Wednesday 12th June online at

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Gerwyn Price and Matthew Wilcox join the Scorpions

South Wales Scorpions made two late new signings last week, both of whom made their debuts in the impressive 46-18 win over Gloucestershire All Golds in Cheltenham on Sunday.

Former Neath RFC favourite Gerwyn Price was one of them. He will be available to play for the Scorpions up until the last home game of the regular season.


The 28-year old has played for Cross Keys for the last two years, scoring a try for them in their 2012 SWALEC Cup Final win, and has said that he will return to the WRU Premiership for the start of their 2013-14 season.


Newport-born and Blackwood based, Price initially played for Keys in 2004 before spending six successful seasons at The Gnoll for Neath RFC.


A Wales under 18 and under 21 international in rugby union, he recently played at the highest level in the domestic UK game when he made two appearances on loan with Pro 12 side Glasgow Warriors.


A hooker in union, he will play as prop in Rugby League and came on for the last ten minutes of the win in Cheltenham.


Scorpions’ coach Dave Clark says that he should get more time on the pitch over the next weeks starting with the home game against Oldham Roughyeds this Sunday 16th June at The Gnoll in Neath (kick-off 3pm).


“He’s known for his good defence and I know he’s played Rugby League before in the past so he knows how to play the game,” Clark said. “It showed in his first defensive shot where he flattened one of their players.


“I said to him after the game that his time on the field will increase. He’ll play an important part of our middle unit over the next few weeks in regards to set plays especially. He’ll learn that position more over the next few weeks and when he gets more confident with it, he’ll get more time on the field.”


The second signing was 22-year old centre Matthew Wilcox (pictured) who the club have signed from Nottingham Outlaws.


The Cardiff-born Wilcox started in rugby union with Cowbridge Comprehensive School before going through the Cardiff Blues Academy and then playing for Eastern Suberbs in Canberra. He switched to league when attending Nottingham Trent University and helped to lead his side to a Student Rugby League title in 2013.


“Matty Wilcox had a bit of time of the left side centre and did well but it was about giving him some field time,” Clark said. “Like Gerwyn, I think he’ll get more time as the weeks go on and gets used to our system.”


The third debutant on the field on Sunday was Grant Gore, a half-back on loan from Widnes Vikings and his Super League quality showed.


“Grant comes from Super League and comes with some really good attributes as a player,” Clark added. “He fitted into our side like he’s been here for years and that’s the calibre of player that he is. It was good to have him out there with us and he made a big difference to the team.”


Clark was pleased with the Scorpions’ big win and most of all the fact that they hardly put a foot wrong in the second half.


“It was nice to see us compete in a second half when at times this season we’ve been falling away after an even first half,” he said. “In this game the second half was important to us as they were playing well and put a lot of pressure on us. We made about 12 or 13 mistakes in the first half and it fatigued us so it was important that we didn’t do that after the interval. We didn’t and we only made about two mistakes after that. I was very pleased with how the side gelled together and I hope we can build on that next Sunday when we take on Oldham at The Gnoll.”

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Clive Griffiths wants to go out of his long association with student rugby league on a high with Wales this year.


Griffiths has selected a 24-man squad for Wales' tilt at the World Cup in July and said: “We are under no pressure.”


Wales reached the semi-finals of the last World Cup in 2008 where they went out to Australia but played well enough for the injured Kangaroos captain, on crutches, to walk in their changing room and congratulate them.


And last year, they played in the Home Nations against England, Scotland and Ireland and gave a good account of themselves.


Griffiths said: “I want the boys who were with us last year to carry on the success from there. We have the nucleus of that squad with us again but it is disappointing that we have lost one or two boys who have left to go to work.


“But we are under no pressure. Australia, New Zealand and England are the favourites going into these tournaments, particularly Australia and New Zealand who had dominated the World Cup since it started.”


Training sessions have been on-going for a while now, and Griffiths said the Welsh squad are coming together nicely.


“We have a 24-man squad and will have to draw on them anyway because the schedule is the most demanding I have ever come across with five games in 12 days. So everyone will play.


“It's all very positive with us. This will be my last Student World Cup as coach and for ninety per cent of the squad, it will be the first and last time they experience it. So I want us to enjoy it and play some good rugby league.”


Wales Student World Cup squad (with university names in brackets)


Backs: L. Weaver(Llandrillo), T.Hughes(Loughborough), P.Evans(Gloucester), J.Gahan(Gloucester), Y.Parker(Gloucester), S.Wright(Cardiff Met), J.Knight(Cardiff Met), C.Bennett (Cardiff Met),, S.Amber(Cardiff Met), J.Morgan(Leeds Met), B.West(Coventry)


Forwards: I.Duffy(Cardiff Met), H.Elliott(Glamorgan), C.Wilkinson(Cardiff Met), V.Coker(Cardiff Met), M.Connor(Glamorgan), O.Griffiths(Leeds Met), L.Singleton (Cardiff Met), M.Ward(Newcastle), M.Wilcox, A.Munns(St Marys), O.Davies(Glamorgan), J.Davies(Cardiff Met), O.Phillips(Glamorgan)


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South Wales Conference


Newport Titans 16 Cardiff Demons 52


Valley Cougars 68 Borderer Boars 10



North Wales Conference


Wrexham Bradley Raiders 52 Conwy Celts 70





Torfaen Tigers Development XIII 56 Gwendraeth Valley Raiders 16



CARDIFF Demons put in a top performance to take the honours against traditional rivals Newport Titans in the South Wales Conference.

And there was an incredible match

The Demons went over 11 times at the home of the Titans to serve notice of their intention to be real contenders for this summer's title.

The Titans defence was put into action early but by the end tries from Victor Coka, Phil Carleton, Liam Carey Joel Knight, Artous Kozels, Neil Dallimore, Angus Hogg and two each from Nicky Kelly and Izaak Duffy saw the Demons home.

Scott Amber, Dan Henderson and Lewis Pearce all kicked goals for the Demons with Simon Rees and Pat James among the try-scorers for the Titans.

Newport team manager Nathan Bird admitted the Demons were too powerful for his side this time. He said; “They have the edge playerwise. They had ex-Scorpions Phil and Neil Dallimore and their squad had good quality right through.

“We played well during periods of the match. We defended well for the first 20 minutes of the first half. We have got a lot of boys who haven't played much rugby league.”

However, home full-back Dwayne Bailey, said Bird, had another good game and is unlucky not to have been included in the Wales Dragonhearts squad for the forthcoming internationals.

He added: “Dale Tucker did well, Rhys Meredith again was outstanding and Pat James and Rhys Hendley have been consistent performers. John Lavender was again a handful for the Demons.”

Valley Cougars scored 12 tries in their 68-10 victory over Borderer Boars in Treharris on Saturday as the Cougars' Wales Dragonhearts selections had good games.

Martin Luckwell and Daniel Davies both scored a brace of tries among the total,while Paul Emmanuelli kicked ten of the goals as the Cougars maintained their drive for the Grand Final which will see them go head-to-head with the Demons in a fortnight.

In North Wales, Lewis Stockton scored six tries in an incredible match between Wrexham Bradley Raiders and Conwy Celts which saw reigning champions Conwy win 70-52.

Wrexham were 16 points up at one stage before Conwy clawed it back. In a ding-dong battle after the break, the tries flowed in but the Celts kept their noses in front.

Conwy coach Ray Caldwell said: “It was a bit of a basketball game. It was very much like the game we had with Flintshire. We were light on numbers but we travelled and played which was the main thing.

“It was hot conditions and Wrexham had good numbers and they are a big physical outfit who have some good players.

“It was a really good effort from our guys who had to dig deep. After the game, the guys realised that some of them let go a couple of soft tries but I am immensely proud of the lads who did turn out and lasted the full eighty minutes.”

Meanwhile, Torfaen Tigers played a friendly against new side Gwendraeth Valley Raiders and came out 56-16 winners.

The Tigers' first team had a break from Conference action so they fielded a development XIII against the Kidwelly-based side who made the journey down the M4 to Cwmbran for the game.

The Tigers gave debuts to three players and there were first games of the season for several more of the side.

Gwendraeth Valley tried hard but Torfaen took control in the first-half to lead 32-0 at the break. Shaun Watkins, Kyle Scrivens, Jordan Bailey, debutant John Mislejen all got tries while second row Mikki Witts scored a brace before the interval, with Ieaun Beale kicking four goals.

The second-half was a tighter affair but Torfaen were again in dominant mood as Watkins added a second try while Witts and Scrivens completed hat-tricks. Luke Brown added a tenth try with Beale adding another goal.

But credit must go to the visitors who refused to give up and managed to score three tries, with two from Huw Wright. Tom Williams kicked two goals.

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North Wales Crusaders recorded their seventh win on the bounce in a titanic battle with the much-improved Oldham Roughyeds.

It all came down to Lewis Palfrey’s conversion attempt, which he happened to miss, after Jon Ford’s try on the hooter had brought Oldham back to within two points.

Crusaders head coach Clive Griffiths was just pleased to pick up another victory and commended the visitors on producing such a tough encounter.

“It’s a win and I would have settled for that this morning. You’ve got to win ugly at times and that was the case today”, he said.

“We got ourselves into a good position after half-time, and we did exactly what we said we were going to do, but then we went away from that.

“We had a few unforced errors in the middle third and that cost us, but full credit to Oldham for what they did out there today.

“I’ve watched them the last couple of weeks. They’ve got a good young coach in Scott Naylor and they were always going to be well prepared.

“It was a game that we had to win, which now makes it seven from seven, and it puts us in a good position going into the next few weeks on our travels.”

Crusaders opened the scoring when Gary Middlehurst ran on to a short pass and managed to ground, despite being pushed back by the Roughyeds’ defence.

Errors started to creep into the home side’s game as the pressure mounted and, after a knock-on, Oldham crossed for their first try through Richard Lepori.

Belief was beginning to grow in the visitors’ camp after drawing level and Mo Agoro’s try, collecting a delightful kick to the corner from Palfrey, gave them a half-time lead.

But the response from Crusaders after the restart showed just why they have been tipped for success in 2013.

Reardon sent Birkett over in the corner, before a Jamie Dallimore kick caused confusion in the Oldham defence and Middlehurst touched down his second.

Jamie Clarke’s powerful surge through the middle provided good field position for the home side and Stuart Reardon took full advantage, breaking on the right wing and offloading back inside for Tommy Johnson.

Adam Files brought the deficit back to six points for Oldham soon after, before Ford’s effort at the death put the result in the hands of Lewis Palfrey, who sliced the conversion wide.


1 Tommy Johnson
22 Dan Birkett
17 Stuart Reardon
4 Leon Brennan
5 Rob Massam
6 Andy Moulsdale
23 Jamie Dallimore
30 Owain Brown
14 Dave McConnell
21 Simon Stephens
11 Andy Gorski
12 Gary Middlehurst
15 Toby Adamson
9 Lee Hudson
13 Jono Smith
27 Jamie Clarke
16 Ryan MacDonald

Tries: Middlehurst 13, 47, Birkett 43, Johnson 49
Goals: Johnson 3/4

Attendance: 962

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The latest Rugby League International Federation world rankings have been released, with Australia stretching their lead over New Zealand following their ANZAC Test triumph in Canberra.

Tonga’s convincing win over Samoa on the same weekend sees the Pacific Islanders move up two places, breaking into the top 10 and overtaking the USA and Scotland.

The two European Shield matches in May have allowed Russia and Serbia to close the gap on Italy, with Russia poised to move ahead of the 14th-placed Italians should they win in Padova on June 29.

Germany’s victory over the Netherlands sees them move from 20th to 19th place, while Netherlands enters the rankings system for the first time.


RLIF World Rankings – June 2013

1 Australia

2 New Zealand

3 England

4 France


6 Papua New Guinea

7 Fiji

8 Samoa

9 Ireland

10 Tonga

11 Scotland

12 USA

13 Italy

14 Russia

15 Serbia

16 Lebanon

17 Cook Islands

18 Germany

19 Canada

20 Norway

21 Malta

22 Jamaica

23 Ukraine

24 South Africa

25 Latvia

26 Denmark

27 Estonia

28 Sweden

29 Netherlands

30 Morocco

31 Belgium

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Joe Burke - Positive times returning to the Scorps

South Wales Scorpions skipper Joe Burke believes that the positive times will return to the club following their outstanding second half performance on Sunday at Gloucestershire All Golds where they won 46-18.

The club have recently lost a few players but have made some positive new signings with all three debutants on Sunday putting in hard working performances.


And with Billy Sheen due to arrive from North Wales this week, Burke believes that he could be the final link in what is a new fresh outlook for the side.


“We all sat down last week as a team so we could through a bit of feedback and discuss what we need to do to get ourselves back on track,” Burke said. “We’ve had some poor results recently especially in the second halves of matches so we knew that we needed to change the attitude within the club and the attitude with the boys.


“Yes it is hard with people leaving and new people coming in as we need to get systems in place and some consistency each week. But it’s testament to the boys to show the spirit we’ve got and to stick together and go through the hard times. We showed that we could benefit from this with our win at Gloucester last Sunday and now with Billy Sheen coming in too we’re looking at getting a consistent half-back pairing and we can build from there.”


The Scorpions will be back at The Gnoll this Sunday for the first time in seven weeks when they take on Oldham Roughyeds (kick-off 3pm) and after two wins and two defeats since they were last in Neath, Burke says that the players can’t wait to get back onto home turf.


“Everyone’s looking forward to coming home to The Gnoll,” he said. “There have been some long trips over the last seven weeks.


“Now we’re back, we want to get some good results for the home fans. Everyone gives 100% at training at that did show last Sunday. Sometimes we do drop off the pace a bit, it happens, but the positive times are ahead for us. I’m just asking fans to come along this Sunday and cheer us on as hopefully this win against Gloucester will kick start a good run of home wins.”


Sponsored by Rugby League and League Express newspaper, the Scorpions are holding a Father’s Day special at their match against Oldham Roughyeds on Sunday 16th June where families can enjoy the day at The Gnoll and have a carvery meal in addition to watching the big match. Bookings are essential and need to be made by Wednesday 12th June online at


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