Jun 15, 383 days ago

Match Report: North Wales Crusaders 22-21 Whitehaven

http://www.northwalescrusaders.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Adamson-halted-by-Haven.jpgMatch Report: North Wales Crusaders 22-21 Whitehaven

Ryan Gould at The Rock

Clive Griffiths’ tenure as head coach of North Wales Crusaders ended with a vital 22-21 victory over in-form Whitehaven.

The former Wales coach’s change of roles, as he will now step into a rugby director role with the club, was announced on Saturday ahead of the game.

Crusaders and Haven’s form couldn’t have been different heading into the game; the Cumbrians had won five of their last six games, while Crusaders had lost their last two and hadn’t won at home since the first game of the season.

But the Wrexham side turned over the form book as they picked up a win which could make a lot of difference in their relegation battle.

Crusaders opened the scoring when Dan Birkett tracked a Jamie Dallimore kick, which caught Craig Calvert out, to touch down in the corner.

It didn’t take long for the home side to increase their lead in what was an excellent team try. Middlehurst did well to get the ball out of the tackle, leaving Hudson and Bannister to flick on the ball for prop Offerdahl to score in the corner.

Haven looked certain to respond after Calvert broke down the left flank and passed inside to Cain Southernwood, but Jono Smith was tracking back to flatten him as he went for the line.

However, following back-to-back penalties near the Crusaders line, the Cumbrian side did grab their first try of the afternoon, as Seymour took advantage of space on the right to send Chris Taylor over with a long-range pass.

The visitors piled on the pressure for the remainder of the half, but they were twice denied through great tackles by Dan Birkett and Jono Smith.

Crusaders started the second-half perfectly, with Jono Smith shrugging off a couple of tackles to touch down on the whitewash.

That was met with a swift response, though, as Jessie Joe Parker forced his way over the line after Seymour elected to run the ball on the last tackle.

And Haven took the lead for the first time in the game soon after, as Jessie Joe Parker broke the line down the left flank before switching the ball inside for Cain Southernwood to touch down.

Crusaders took the lead once again, however, when Tommy Johnson elected to kick the two points after Jamie Dallimore had been tackled late.

Then, Dallimore kicked a drop-goal – which was ruled out for obstruction in the build-up – for the Welsh side, before Seymour’s one-pointer for the visitors was given the nod by the referee.

The hosts had to throw everything at the game in order to get themselves back into it; they did.

Karl Ashall made a break as space opened up down the left flank and then offloaded to Middlehurst, who managed to cross in the corner despite Haven’s covering defence.

But the drama didn’t stop there, as Jessie Joe Parker touched down his second try in the corner after a number of errors by the Crusaders defenders.

The game rested solely on Tom Carr’s conversion; he missed it and Crusaders hung on for the three points.

1 Tommy Johnson
2 Dan Birkett
29 Stephen Bannister
17 Stuart Reardon
5 Rob Massam
7 Jamie Dallimore
19 Karl Ashall
8 Jonny Walker
24 Lee Hudson
10 Mark Offerdahl
12 Gary Middlehurst
14 Stephen Wild
11 Toby Adamson
13 Jono Smith
30 Sebastien Martins
25 Owain Griffiths
3 Christiaan Roets

Tries: Birkett (14), Offerdahl (19), Smith (44), Middelhurst (77)
Goals: Johnson (3/5)

1 Tom Carr
2 Craig Calvert
3 Jessie Joe Parker
6 Chris Taylor
5 Shaun Ainscough
26 Brett Seymour
7 Cain Southernwood
30 Carl Forster
9 James Newton
8 Samir Taharoui
4 Scott McAvoy
12 Lee Mitchell
11 Lee Doran
14 Neil Thorman
27 Kurtis Quinn
22 James Robinson
13 Brad Crellin

Tries: Taylor (27), Joe Parker (49, 79), Southernwood (54)
Goals: Carr (2/4)
Drop-goal: Seymour

Referee: Chris Leatherbarrow
HT: 8-6
Attendance: 621
MOTM: Toby Adamson – solid performance and got through a lot of hard graft. Limited game time in the second-half and he could have done more damage if he played more minutes.

Fans can vote for their MOTM below.


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  1. June 15, 2014
    Well done the lads to comeback from last weeks defeat. Cracking result, but up against it with officials again. Do they not want a Welsh club in RL ? I don't think so !!
  2. June 15, 2014
    Great team performance. Today we had drive and speed at the play-of -the-ball and Karl Ashall was passionate in leading the team on the pitch. It could really have gone either way but I think we deserved the points. I'm glad that our players stepped up and gave Clive a send off he deserved.
  3. June 15, 2014
    Great performance from the Cru lads and the Cru Crowd today. I thought that there were a few up for MoM and wont choose one in particular. I thought Karl had what I consider his best game so far for the Cru' there was drive, commitment and bags of passion from him and he was taking to the team all the time.Toby had another blinder whilst on the pitch, Dalli and Gary Mid' were in the thick of things all the time, Huds and JW did nowt wrong .......and on and on it goes, well done one and all. Finally thanks to Clive you've been an absolute star and I wish you all the best for the future, but as your now not tied to the bench come and stand with us noisy Cru Crowd, you have a ball !!! Cheer Gary
  4. June 17, 2014
    thought dan was MOTM but it was a tough decision as most of the players could have got it. Sad to see Clive stepping upwards but I would like to thank him for the most amazing 2 1/2 years of rugby league.
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