North Wales Crusaders U13s gained another valuable two points with a deserved 62-0 victory over Leyland Warriors, one of their rivals for the division.
Although the young Crusaders were a little patchy in the first ten minutes, their tough tackling and well-organised defence made sure their hosts couldn’t take advantage of the slow start.
Once North Wales got into their stride, however, they showed the Warriors no mercy.
Crusaders built up an impressive 22-0 advantage by half-time through a mixture of devastating forward carries and some great support play.
The second-half performance from the visitors was equally as impressive as they showed some nice and direct attacking play, outstanding close support and a real willingness to move the ball when opportunities came up.
In defence, meanwhile, their tackling was relentless, often forcing Leyland backwards.
The home side kept battling hard, but they found it tough going against Crusaders’ tackling.
North Wales played some lovely rugby league, punching hard down the middle and spreading the ball wider, making it a joy to watch.
The final 62-0 scoreline was a little harsh on Leyland, who never gave up, but Crusaders were in a ruthless mood.
There are tougher tests ahead for North Wales, especially through June as a number of tough-looking fixtures are planned.
But these are games coaches Allen Jones and Rikki Davies are relishing.
“We need to be tested,” Jones said.
“The boys are doing all we are asking of them – both in training and the fixtures we have played – but we are very much looking forward to some tough games in June.”
Loose forward Charlie Jones and second row Joe Jones were terrific in the tackling stakes, well-supported by the big-hitting Will Butress and Greg Thomas, but all of Crusaders’ players were top notch in their tackling.
Alf Gabriel, Tom Himsworth, Oscar Ghattas, Iwan Hughes and George Hinchcliffe were all impressive in attack and dummy half Lewis Spiers Elwin was once again reliability personified.
Half backs Cameron Long and Rhys Owens were calm and assured.
Crusaders’ tries on the day came from Jones (three), Hughes (three), Ghattas (two), Joe Jones, Thomas and flying winger Khaya Mumvura. Hughes kicked five conversions, with Long, Maciver and Jones adding one each.
This is another impressive win on the road for this rapidly-improving team and next up for Crusaders is a home cup quarter-final tie against Warrington-based Woolston Rovers on Sunday at Rhos RUFC, kicking off at 11am.