North Wales Crusaders U13s progressed to the knock-out stages of their division’s cup with an emphatic, comprehensive and thoroughly-deserved victory at Warrington-based Woolston Rovers.
From the kick-off, the young Crusaders never let the home side settle into any kind of rhythm with their solid tackling, strong attacking drives and close support play.
North Wales played a very pleasing mix of strong ball carrying and close support and passing, which always had the home defence on the back foot.
When Rovers did get some field position, they found Crusaders’ defence a very tough nut to crack.
The visitors built up a well-deserved 28-4 half-time advantage.
The second-half followed the pattern of the first, with Crusaders keeping their collective feet well and truly on the pedal.
To their credit, Woolston battled hard and showed some enterprise in attack, but this was always going to be North Wales’ day.
The final score of 54-14 to Crusaders was a fair reflection of their domination throughout the game.
The foundation for this victory was laid down by Crusaders’ middle unit of Tom Himsworth, Greg Thomas, Charlie Jones, Peter Bennington and Alf Gabriel.
They were well-supported by the edge runners Joe Jones and Will Buttress, with the ever-reliable Lewis Spiers Elwin giving great service from dummy half.
Crusaders’ halfbacks and outside backs had plenty of good quality ball to work with and, as always, the visitors’ tackling was spot on as every player made their tackles and controlled the tackle area superbly.
Tries came from captain Jones (three), fullback Iwan Hughes (three), prop Thomas (two), second rower Buttress, centre Doug Maciver and prop Himsworth. Hughes kicked four conversions and Jones added another.
Coaches Allen Jones and Rikki Davies can be very pleased with the team’s overall performance as they once again demonstrated that they are a group progressing and developing very nicely.
Squad: Iwan Hughes, Khaya Mumvura, Oscar Ghattas, George Hinchcliffe, Roux Gabriel, Doug Maciver, Cameron Long, Greg Thomas, Lewis Spiers Elwin, Tom Himsworth, Joe Jones, Will Buttress, Charlie Jones, Peter Bennington, Alfie Gabriel, Rhys Owens.
Next up for Crusaders’ youngsters is another away trip to Leyland Warriors next Sunday in a league fixture, pursuing a valuable league points.