18th February 2013, 15:33
CRUSADERS FINISH WARM-UPS ON A HIGH
THIRD STRAIGHT WIN PREPARES THEM WELL FOR NORTHERN RAIL CUP OPENER
By Ryan Gould
NORTH Wales Crusaders will enter the Northern Rail Cup on the back of three straight wins after a 64-22 victory over Coventry Bears in Wrexham.
But it wasn't as one-sided as the scoreline suggests as it was only until after the hour mark that Crusaders really started to push on, with the extra quality that is available within their ranks and higher fitness levels telling in the end.
Christiaan Roets and Rob Massam both went over as Crusaders established an early 10-point lead, after breaks down the right and left respectively. But a quick-fire double from Ben West and Tom Hughes sent Coventry into a surprising lead.
West came up with the finest try of the afternoon as he collect his own grubber and grounded next to the posts, and a replica of the kick that saw the scrum-half go over was what provided the four-pointer for Hughes just minutes later.
But Durbin, who showed fantastic support play to Owain Griffiths, replied for the Welsh side, while Massam and Simon Stephens also went over before Ross Bayston’s effort in the corner reduced the deficit to just 12 points for the Bears going into the break.
Jono Smith was next on the scoresheet for North Wales Crusaders as he darted over from close range early in the secon half, and although Coventry temporarily hit back through Tom Davies, North Wales ran riot late on as they went on to record 64 points.
Andy Moulsdale, returning from injury, crossed over for two tries in the space of a couple of minutes; the first a simple score from close range and the second a risky interception which paid off.
And the win was rounded off with three tries in last ten minutes from Simon Stephens, Lewys Weaver and Tommy Johnson.
Stephens showed great strength to crash over from 20 metres out while Weaver and Johnson were both in support when they needed to be, finishing off some fine breaks from deep as the Bears started to tire.