North Wales Crusaders scored 22 points without response in the second-half to see off London Skolars and get their League 1 campaign off to the best possible start.

Anthony Murray’s men led for large parts of the first-half, but they were continually pegged back by London.

The second-half was a different story, though, as Crusaders managed the game excellently and secured a comfortable victory in the end.

After Crusaders had dropped the kick-off, the home side opened the scoring within the opening couples of minutes as Lameck Juma forced his way over down the left flank.

North Wales struggled to get out of their half in the first ten minutes, but they made the most of their opportunities once they did.

Warren Thompson broke the line and had the strength to get over as the visitors drew level.

Crusaders then went ahead when Jordan Penny broke the line down the right and found Dave Eccleston on his outside to finish off the move.

London hit back as they worked the ball to the left flank and Jerome Yates forced his way over in the corner.

However, North Wales soon went up the other end and grabbed their third through Earl Hurst, who broke the line on halfway and touched down underneath the sticks.

Once again, though, Skolars replied when Richard Wilkinson exploited space down the right to cross.

In the early stages of the second-half, Crusaders were awarded a penalty and opted to kick for goal, with Tommy Johnson stretching the lead to 20-16.

It didn’t take long for them to extend their advantage as Steve Roper lofted a high kick to the right flank, Jordan Penny tipped the ball back and Gav Rodden gathered to dive over.

London applied plenty of pressure for the next ten minutes or so, but Crusaders held their own and kept them out.

North Wales then grabbed their fifth of the afternoon as Jordy Gibson came up with a delightful show-and-go to set up Jordan Penny for a try.

When the Welsh side were awarded a penalty, they took the opportunity to kick for goal, taking their lead to 34-16.

In the final stages, Crusaders made sure there would be no late comeback, with Gibson taking advantage of space down the right to touch down.

1 Jacob Thomas
2 Illies Macani
3 Kam Pearce-Paul
4 Max Clarke
5 Jermone Yates
6 Ben Steele
7 Richard Wilkinson
8 Matt Reid
9 Neil Thorman
10 Oscar Stone
11 Lameck Juma
12 Mike Greenhalgh
13 Mike Bishay
14 Shay North
15 Costa Charalambous
16 Jules Hobbs
17 Lamont Bryan

Tries: Juma (2), Yates (26), Wilkinson (36)
Goals: Thorman 2/2, Bishay 0/1

1 Tommy Johnson
2 Dave Eccleston
3 Jordan Penny
4 Earl Hurst
5 Rob Massam
6 Elliott Jenkins
7 Jordy Gibson
8 Brad Brennan
9 Brad Billsborough
10 Warren Thompson
11 Matt Reid
12 Gav Rodden
13 Chris Barratt
14 Steve Roper
15 Ryan Millington
16 Jack Cottington
17 James Tilley

Tries: Thompson (12), Eccleston (15), Hurst (30), Rodden (47), Penny (62), Gibson (74)
Goals: Johnson 8/8

Referee: Michael Mannifield
HT: 16-18
Attendance: 300 (est)
Crusaders MOTM: Jordy Gibson – the halfback is adapting to life at semi-professional level very well and came up with some crucial plays.

NWC Rugby League