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Report: North Wales Crusaders 84-4 West Wales Raiders



A club record win in the Welsh derby saw North Wales Crusaders make it six victories on the bounce and maintain top spot in League 1.


Crusaders have now won all 17 Welsh derbies they’ve taken part in over the years and this was arguably their best performance yet against their rivals.


After managing to squeeze past Midlands Hurricanes the previous weekend, this was a far more straightforward outing for Anthony Murray’s men, who would’ve been close to the century mark had they converted a few more of their tries.


With North Wales typically starting the season slowly in previous years, they’ve put themselves in a strong position heading into a tough set of fixtures in the coming month.


North Wales opened the scoring within the first ten minutes as they shifted play to the left for Matt Reid to cross in the corner.


Reid then added his second with a near identical play down the same flank, before Rob Massam showed sheer strength to barge his way past a number of West Wales defenders.


However, the Raiders hit back when Fergus Simpson tricked Crusaders’ defence and threw a dummy to cut inside, crossing next to the sticks.


But the one-way traffic soon resumed as Massam crossed for two tries in quick succession, reaching 150 tries for the club.


Harry Swarbrick then got in on the act, showing too much strength to force his way over in the right corner.


With a confrontation in the middle of the field and the referee waving play on, Brad Billsborough exploited acres of space to touch down.


Massam completed a fine first-half shortly before the hooter as he was put over in the corner for his fourth of the afternoon.


West Wales couldn’t have started the second-half any worse, dropping the kick-off, and Crusaders were soon over for another through Reid, who bagged his hat-trick.


Gav Rodden made a break down the left and had Ben Moores in support for a try on his debut, before North Wales exploited the same edge for Reid to add his fourth.


After Rodden showed plenty of speed to cut inside and round Ben Jones at fullback for his second, space opened up down the right as Swarbrick dived over for yet another score.


The Raiders were visibly tiring at this stage and Crusaders were relentless, with a nice Billsborough offload setting Alex Eckley clear to ground under the sticks.


Callum Wood added two more tries late on, scooting over from acting half for both, to round off an excellent afternoon for the Colwyn Bay outfit against their Welsh rivals.


CRUSADERS

1 Tommy Johnson

2 Pat Ah Van

3 Harry Swarbrick

4 Matt Reid

5 Rob Massam

6 Jordy Gibson

7 Brad Billsborough

8 Chris Barratt

9 Callum Wood

10 Callum Hazzard

11 Gav Rodden

12 Kieran Sherratt

13 Matt Fletcher

Subs:

20 Ben Moores

15 Brad Brennan

16 Alex Eckley

30 Jono Smith


Tries: Reid (7, 10, 41, 52), Massam (12, 23, 28, 38), Swarbrick (32, 72), Billsborough (35), Moores (45), Rodden (63), Eckley (75), Wood (78, 80)

Goals: Johnson 10/16


RAIDERS

1 Ben Jones

2 Keenan Dyer-Dixon

3 Louis Watson

4 Sam Pridgeon

5 Josh Slingsbury

6 Shane Lee

7 Fergus Simpson

8 Luke Broster

9 Owen Priest

10 Sam Herron

11 Craig Lewis

12 Lloyd Allen

13 Ben Jackson

Subs:

14 Daf Phillips

15 Harry Boots

16 Alan Pope

17 Archie Whillock


Tries: Simpson (16)


Referee: Brad Milligan

HT: 42-4

Attendance: 503

Crusaders MOTM: Matt Reid – on his return to action, the centre caused West Wales plenty of issues down the left edge and might’ve bagged a couple more tries than his four on another day.

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