North Wales Crusaders picked up their 16th win in the Welsh derby, running riot in the first-half to beat West Wales Raiders 72-4 and make it three victories in a row. 

The Welsh derby was delayed by nearly an hour and a half because of an accident nearby that saw both West Wales and medical staff stuck in traffic. 

After a long coach journey for the Raiders, North Wales made the most of any heavy legs in the West Wales squad as they played some delightful rugby league to average more than a point a minute in the first-half and race into a 46-0 lead by the break. 

Despite West Wales digging in after the interval, Crusaders still managed to record a further 26 points in the second-half and make it a total of 132 points scored across the two Welsh derbies in 2021. 

Crusaders took the lead when Warren Thompson broke through the line, handed the ball on to Pat Ah Van and he offloaded out of the tackle for Matty Race to cross on his debut.

Ah Van’s break down the right then opened up space for Ben Morris to score, before Rob Massam dived over in the left corner. 

Despite West Wales shutting out North Wales for the next ten minutes, the hosts added another when Morris made a half break and offloaded for Ah Van to get in on the act. 

The fifth came through Thompson, who profited from a lovely Chris Barratt offload near the line to crash over.

Massam then collected Gav Rodden’s smart grubber kick to bag his second, before Matt Reid’s break down the left flank set up Jordy Gibson.

Crusaders added another on the half-time hooter as Rodden hit a great line to speed down the left, cutting inside and sprinting clear of the West Wales defence to get on the scoresheet. 

It didn’t take North Wales long to extend their advantage after the break, with Callum Hazzard breaking through the line and dummying his way past the fullback.

Cameron Berry then scooted over from acting half, before Morris and Ah Van combined to put Race in for his second of the afternoon. 

A delightful right to left shift saw Matt Reid dot the ball down in the left corner for North Wales’ 12th effort. 

And Reid completed Crusaders’ scoring as he crossed in the same corner after Karl Ashall had opted to go down the short side. 

But it was West Wales who had the last word, with Rowland Kaye managing to squeeze his way over down the left flank. 

1 Tommy Johnson
15 Pat Ah Van
  3 Ben Morris
  4 Matt Reid
  5 Rob Massam
  6 Matty Race
  7 Jordy Gibson
16 Bren Brennan
  9 Karl Ashall
10 Warren Thompson
11 Gav Rodden
12 Alex Eckley
13 Chris Barratt
  8 Ethan Kelly
18 Ethan O’Hanlon
17 Callum Hazzard
14 Cameron Berry 

Tries: Race (7, 56), Morris (10), Massam (15, 35), Ah Van (26), Thompson (31), Gibson (38), Rodden (40), Hazzard (47), Berry (53), Reid (61, 69)
Goals: Johnson 10/13

15 Ash Bateman
21 Aedan Coleman
17 Rowland Kaye
18 Charley Bodman
22 Michael Holden
  7 Callum Merrett
31 Will Ramsey
34 Ewan Badham
25 Jack Uren
16 Sam Herron
13 Morgan Evans
30 Callum Mulkeen
12 Joe Burke
28 Paul Bolger
26 Alex Hicken
19 Alan Pope
32 Ieuan Badham

Tries: Kaye (80)
Goals: Ramsey 0/1

Referee: James Vella
HT: 46-0
Attendance: 610
MOTM: Matt Reid – since his return to action, he’s been outstanding and had a hand in a lot of what Crusaders did well in the Welsh derby.

NWC Rugby League