NORTH WALES CRUSADERS suffered their second league defeat in as many games as they paid the price for a slow start against a strong Doncaster side who ran out 44-8 winners.
For the first ten minutes of the match, the Crusaders were the better outfit as they attacked the Doncaster line on several occasions.
Unfortunately for the Wrexham based side, they couldn’t make their good position count and Doncaster responded with a strong showing, scoring six tries before half-time.
Richie Barnett was first over for the visitors as Jason Tali sent the ball out wide and Barnett crossed the line in the corner.
The Crusaders then had a chance to respond as Dale Bloomfield looked to be over as he fended off a number of tackles. However, play was pulled back due to a forward pass earlier in the move, and Doncaster found themselves with the ball once again.
The visitors’ second effort followed soon after as Jordan Howden ran hard at the Crusaders’ line and barged his way through to double Doncaster’s advantage.
Their third nearly came through Jason Tali, as he collected Tom Carr’s high kick into the corner. However, Tali knocked on as he leapt over the line and the score remained at 0-10.
Though, it didn’t take long before Doncaster were in for their third of the afternoon. As Jamie Thackery broke he passed to Jordan Howden who made no mistake as he jumped over the line.
It was Thackery who caused problems once again as moments later he offloaded to Kieran Cross who scored and took Doncaster’s advantage up to 22 points.
The first half didn’t get any better for the Crusaders as they failed to make use of possession and Doncaster punished them with another try. This time it was Russ Spiers who crossed the line having found space out wide.
The visitors’ final effort of the half come via Kieran Cross. As Tali broke, the Crusaders were left playing catch up leaving Cross to grab his second of the game and send his side into the break 30-0 up.
Doncaster came close to opening the second half scoring with just five minutes gone, but strong defence from the home side saw them held up over the line.
Just two minutes later they did score. As Ryan Wright broke and found Tali in support who in turn ran in to score.
With 53 minutes on the clock, the home sided opened their account. On the back of Doncaster conceding a penalty deep inside their own half, Earl Hurst passed out wide to Dale Bloomfield who scored in the corner.
They looked to double their tally as Kenny Baker was sent through a gap by Lee Hudson, only to knock on before he could ground the ball.
A stronger showing in defence from the Crusaders saw them hold Doncaster up on a number of occasions before the home side managed to grab their second of the game.
The score came via Earl Hurst who broke and continued his run through the Doncaster defence to score and double his side’s score making it 34-8 in favour of Doncaster.
Doncaster then replied with two quick-fire tries.
Tali continued to cause problems for the Crusaders as he grabbed the first. After play was paused to deal with an injury near the Crusaders’ line, Tali drove his way over the whitewash to extend his side’s lead.
The final action of the game came from Louis Sheriff who found a gap in the Crusaders’ defence to score, bringing the final score to 8-44. Leaving the Crusaders to woe their slow start to the game.
North Wales Crusaders:
1 – Tommy Johnson
2 – Corey Lee
28 – Callum Mulkeen
4 – Earl Hurst
5 – Dale Bloomfield
19 – Danny Price
7 – Ryan Smith
8 – Jonny Walker
9 – Lee Hudson
17 – Kenny Baker
24 – Jack Houghton
16 – Luke Warburton
14 – James Dandy
27 – Aaron Moore
15 – John Cookson
31 – Blake Turner
32 – Warren Thompson
Tries: Bloomfield (53), Hurst (70)
Goals: Johnson (0/2)
1 – Tom Carr
22 – Louis Sheriff
3 – Liam Welham
4 – Jason Tali
24 – Richie Barnett
6 – Jordan Howden
20 – Kieran Cross
8 – Mark Castle
9 – Kyle Kesik
14 – Connor Scott
13 – Charlie Martin
34 – Brad England
12 – Jason Muranka
18 – Ryan Wright
10 – Iafeta Paleaaesina
23 – Jamie Thackery
16 – Russ Spiers
Tries: Barnett (12), Howden (24, 29), Cross (32, 38), Spiers (36), Tali (47,75), Sheriff (79)
Goals: Carr (3/8), Kesik (1/1)
Man Of The Match: Blake Turner – There wasn’t many players who stood out in a poor performance. However, Turner made an impact on his competitive debut after signing from the Crusaders Under 18’s.