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Crusaders got their League 1 campaign up and running as they picked up their first points by thrashing the Raiders in the Welsh derby.

When West Wales took the lead within the first ten minutes, you wondered whether it was going to be another frustrating afternoon for North Wales.

But the home side showed exactly what they’re capable of, especially when they bring their more effective players into their attack, and dominated for the remainder of the game, inflicting a biggest defeat of the campaign on the Raiders.

West Wales opened the scoring early on when they attacked the right flank and a nice offload put Patrick Jennings over in the corner.

However, Crusaders responded well as Rob Massam picked up the ball from acting half and broke through the middle to touch down.

Earl Hurst then crossed in the left corner to extend the home side’s advantage.

When Steve Roper finished next to the sticks for North Wales’ third, it sparked Anthony Murray’s men into life and they began to play some scintillating Rugby League, scoring four tries in 12 minutes.

Stephen Wild put Dante Morley-Samuels over in the right corner for a debut try, before Dave Eccleston crossed down the same flank.

Crusaders then came up with an expansive play directly from a scrum as Lewis Fairhurst put Massam in for his second.

Morley-Samuels also completed his brace shortly before half-time, collecting another Wild pass to touch down out wide.

The opening exchanges of the second-half were fairly even and, if anything, West Wales had the better, putting extensive pressure on Crusaders’ line.

However, it was North Wales who struck next when Massam completed his hat-trick in the left corner.

They built on their lead through Saints loanee Callum Hazzard, who scored a spectacular length-of-the-field try.

Massam then grabbed his fourth of the afternoon, collecting a final ball from Hurst after Roper’s looping pass had created space.

Roper got back in on the act with his second, before Jennings notched his brace as he pulled one back for the Raiders.

North Wales rounded off the scoring, though, as Hazzard became the next player to grab two tries, finishing next to the sticks to complete an impressive victory for Crusaders.

1 Lewis Fairhurst
2 Dave Eccleston
3 Dante Morley-Samuels
4 Earl Hurst
5 Rob Massam
6 Steve Roper
7 Ben Stead
10 Warren Thompson
9 Karl Ashall
8 Callum Hazzard
11 Jack Houghton
12 Stephen Wild
13 Kenny Baker
14 Kenny Hughes
18 Brad Brennan
21 Alex Thompson
17 Jonny Walker

Tries: Massam (8, 34, 59, 69), Hurst (12), Roper (24, 71), Morley-Samuels (28), Eccleston (30, 38), Hazzard (64, 80)
Goals: Stead (11/12)

1 Phil Cowburn
22 Patrick Jennings
19 Brad Kislingbury
23 Rowland Kaye
25 Mickael Sabour
9 Liam Rice-Wilson
7 Tyler Hunt
8 Connor Parker
6 Ashley Bateman
10 Sam Herron
15 Archie Snook
20 Michael Connor
14 Dalton Desmond-Walker
13 Daniel Madden
26 Morgan Rowlands
21 Samuel Baker
17 Callum Mulkeen

Tries: Jennings (2, 76)
Goals: Hunt (0/2)

Referee: Michael Smaill
HT: 42-4
Attendance: 282
MOTM: Rob Massam – back to his prolific best, grabbing four tries on the day and causing problems throughout.