April 9 2012
The North Wales Crusaders claimed the bragging rights during Easter Monday’s televised rugby league Welsh derby with an ultimately comfortable 34-22 victory. 1,204 were in attendance at the Racecourse as the Neath-based Scorpions slipped to their third successive league defeat as the difficult start to the campaign continues.
In a year which saw Swansea City become the first Welsh club to be promoted to the Premier League, Cardiff City become the first Welsh club to reach a League Cup final and Wales win a third Grand slam since 2005, Easter Monday’s rugby league Welsh derby at the Racecourse will have been insignificant to many.
However, a small bit of Welsh history was made on Monday afternoon as the first modern-day Welsh derby took place in Wrexham as the North Wales Crusaders locked horns with the South Wales Scorpions. Sadly, Dave Clark’s men were on the wrong end of another bit of history – as the home side claimed their first ever league victory.
1,204 were in attendance as the Crusaders ran over five second-half tries to claim a comfortable victory, which means both Welsh clubs have now won one of their opening four Championship One contests. As it stands, both sides will need to improve significantly to challenge for a top-four promotion spot.
Andy Moulsdale’s try for the ‘Saders broke the deadlock during a sloppy opening period, in which both teams were guilty of a series of careless errors. The travelling Scorpions were struggling to get into the game – until, out of nowhere, a quick-fire double of tries from Tom Spencer and James Greenwood turned the game on its head and handed Clark’s side the lead.
However, with half-time approaching, Jono Smith found Tommy Johnson who crossed the line to the delight of the home support. The two sides went in at the break 10-10 – though the Premier Sports TV cameras had not witnessed too much in the way of quality.
The home side started to play with more momentum after the interval, and tries from Leon Brennan and Johnson put the Crusaders in the ascendancy. Nathan Mossop found his way over the line soon afterwards to keep the Scorpions in contention, before Smith was rewarded for his own creativity with a try of his own for the home side.
James Greenwood’s try for the Scorpions ensured the arrears were reduced back to two points and potentially set up a tense finale – but it was the Crusaders who ended the derby strongly and ultimately secured the win thanks to tries from Iwan Brodie and Brennan, the first of which was converted.
This was a disappointing result for the Scorpions, who had two scores ruled out by the video official. Clark’s side have won only two of their eight competitive fixtures this season, already sitting five points behind the promotion spots. Only Gateshead have scored fewer points, and only the Crusaders have conceded more. Things need to improve.
Full Time – North Wales Crusaders 34-22 South Wales Scorpions
Attendance – 1,204