20th August 2018, 17:44
Crusaders U12s see off Cadishead and Pilkington
North Wales Crusaders' U12s picked up two comfortable victories in a three-way festival with Cadishead Rhinos and Pilkington Recs.
The festival in Irlam was part of Cadishead Rhinos' Family Fun Day and it certainly turned out to be a fun day for Crusaders' youngsters.
First up for North Wales was a game against Cadishead and they made their now customary quick and aggressive start to the game, putting the Rhinos under tremendous pressure as some punishing tackles forced a number of handing errors from the home side.
Centre Will Buttress gave Crusaders the lead with a try and it was quickly followed by another fine solo effort from halfback Rhys Owens.
Both were converted by the deadly boot of fullback Iwan Huges to give the Welsh side an early 12-0 lead.
The Rhinos, try as they did, just couldn't break through Crusaders' relentless aggressive tackling and the visitors held a stranglehold on both field position and possession.
Further tries from Tom Himsworth, captain for the day Charlie Jones and a second for the all action Buttress, all expertly goaled by Hughes, gave Crusaders a well-deserved and comprehensive 30-0 victory.
Credit must go to a very spirited Rhinos team, who never gave up trying but came up against a North Wales side bang in form.
Crusaders were then back in action against Pilkington Recs and, after watching North Wales' first game, the St Helens side were well up for the clash.
Using their three big forwards, the Recs tried to batter their way through Crusaders' defensive line and it was the Welsh side's tackling that was again so impressive.
A lovely handling move by North Wales from centre field to the right edge gave Hughes just enough space to show what a fine finisher he is, giving Crusaders a 4-0 lead.
Pilkington responded in great style with a converted try of their own to go 4-6 up.
However, Crusaders' response was first class, upping the intensity of their tackling, forcing the Recs back in each contact and nullifying the effect of their big forwards.
With halfback Cameron Long controlling his pack and directing operations, Crusaders took control of the game.
Himsworth scored a great runaway try, followed by Jones and another fine Buttress score, showing pace, power and fine footwork to cross for his third of the day.
Hughes added two conversions to give a final score of 20-6 in favour of Crusaders.
It was another fine performance and a thoroughly-deserved victory against a well-organised and game Recs side.
Crusaders head coach Allen Jones was delighted with how the squad performed.
“The boys were first class today,” he said. “They played two back-to-back games with minimal rest in between them and put in two high-quality efforts.
"Our tacking was both aggressive and technically good and we put huge pressure on our opponents even when we didn't have the ball.
"With ball in hand, we will always cause our opponents problems and this group is developing nicely with each training session and game.”
The young Crusaders will play their last game of the season on September 2 with a tough-looking away fixture at Warrington-based Crossfields.
“We're really looking forward to this game,” Jones added. “The boys will be tested at Crossfields and this is exactly the kind of game we want to see how far we've progressed.”