North Wales Crusaders thrashed London Skolars and kept them out for the full 80 minutes as they concluded a successful season in perfect fashion and made sure they’ll head into the play-offs on the back of a positive performance. 

With Crusaders offering free entry as part of a Community Day, another decent crowd at Stadiwm ZipWorld watched them put in a professional display. 

London weren’t without their opportunities throughout the match, but North Wales defended excellently and had to bide their time on occasions in attack. 

With a high completion rate and good discipline once again, Crusaders eventually managed to grind down Skolars and ended up with a dominant 44-0 win. 

The home side took the lead within the opening ten minutes as a looping pass to the left wing dropped to Rob Massam, who managed to force his way over in the corner.

It didn’t take long for Massam, who finished the campaign on 22 tries alongside Barrow’s Tee Ritson, to add another as Crusaders once again assaulted the left edge.

With half-time approaching and the game still very much in the balance, North Wales grabbed their third when Gav Rodden crashed over from close range.

London really needed to score early in the second-half to give themselves any chance of getting back into the game, but it was Crusaders who got their fourth of the afternoon.

With Tommy Johnson’s three goals up until that point meaning he needed just two more points to reach 1,500 for Crusaders, the hosts spread play to the right and it freed space up for the fullback to touch down, reaching that impressive club milestone at the same time.

North Wales were really starting to hit their stride at this point and Massam completed his hat-trick as Johnson’s lovely cut-out pass to left wing saw him cross unopposed in the corner.

The Welshmen were having a lot of joy down the left edge and Jordy Gibson’s delightful grubber kick down the touchline allowed Ben Morris to break, but his inside pass couldn’t be collected by either of the two men in support with the line begging.

Crusaders didn’t have to wait long for their next opportunity, though, with an overlap created for Dave Eccleston to cross down the right for his first try of the campaign.

Pat Ah Van then got in on the act, cutting inside from the right flank and showing a turn of pace to knock off a number of attempted tackles on his way to the line.

From the next set as the full-time hooter was about to sound, Crusaders rounded off their scoring for the afternoon as Rob Massam made it four, collecting Gibson’s pin-point grubber kick into the in-goal area. 

 1 Tommy Johnson  
15 Pat Ah Van
  4 Dave Eccleston 
  3 Matt Reid
  5 Rob Massam 
  6 Brad Billsborough
  7 Jordy Gibson
10 Warren Thompson 
  9 Karl Ashall
13 Chris Barratt
17 Ben Morris
11 Gav Rodden
12 Alex Eckley
14 Jack Houghton
  8 Rhys Davies 
18 Callum Hazzard 
16 Brad Brennan

Tries: Massam (8, 20, 52, 80), Rodden (31), Johnson (46), Eccleston (65), Ah Van (77)
Goals: Johnson 6/8

  1 Jonah Varela 
  2 Dalton Grant
  3 Aaron Small
19 Paulos Latu
  5 Lameck Juma 
  6 Jacob Thomas
  7 Illiess Macani
  8 Michael Greenhalgh
  9 Neil Thorman
10 Christian Gale
12 Jordan Williams
11 Christopher Ball
13 Adam Vrahnos 
14 Tom Firth
15 Malikhi Lloyd-Jones
18 Matthew Ross
21 Judd Greenhalgh 

Referee: Brad Milligan
HT: 18-0 
Attendance: 560
Crusaders MOTM: On the day he passed 1,500 points for Crusaders, fullback Tommy Johnson was instrumental once again throughout and is arguably in the best form of his career.

NWC Rugby League