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REPORT: Crusaders Off To Winning Start

North Wales Crusaders returned home from the south coast with two points following a 40-16 victory over Cornwall RLFC in the opening game of their 2024 Betfred League One campaign.

Carl Forster's side had endured a five week break following four consecutive games against Championship opponents in the Betfred Challenge Cup and AB Sundecks 1895 Cup.

Now turning their attention to the league campaign, the Colwyn Bay based side made the long journey south the take on Cornwall RLFC who had opened their season a week prior with defeat to Keighley Cougars.

It was never going to be an easy afternoon for Crusaders, however, they showed little signs of travel taking its toll on them as they raced into an early lead courtesy of Kieran Taylor who made Cornwall pay for allowing consecutive sets on their line as he crossed the whitewash to open the scoring.

Little over ten minutes later, Crusaders extended their lead as Toby Hughes danced through the Cornwall line to take the visitor's lead to 10-0.

As the hosts were made to pay for their ill discipline, Crusaders continued to make use of good field position with captain Chris Barratt powering his way through the defence to score.

With half-hour on the clock, the visitors applied further pressure which lead to player-coach Carl Forster crashing over from close range giving Crusaders a 22-0 lead going into half-time.

Eight minutes into the second-half, Crusaders were reminded not to switch off as Cornwall worked their way into the game via Harry Aaronson who weaved his way over to reduce the gap.

However, the visitors responded almost instantly as minutes later they switch defence into attack, with Dan Coates finishing a nice break.

56 minutes in Crusaders extended their lead to 30 points as Forster grabbed his second of the afternoon, bulldozing over from close range giving his side a 34-4 lead.

With just under ten minutes to go, Hughes added his second of the afternoon, completing a nice team move, and probably the best score of the afternoon.

The home side were not finished yet though, as Nathan Cullen crashed onto a flat pass to score before Cameron Brown converted to send Cornwall into double figures for the afternoon.

In the closing moments, Crusaders found themeselves a man down as Pat Rainford was send to the sin-bin following a high-tackle. Making use of their man advantage, the hosts crossed for their third and final score of the afternoon with Brown making a clean brake to run through and score.

However, it was Carl Forster's North Wales side who return home with the two points ahead of an Easter Sunday encounter in Colwyn Bay against Midlands Hurricanes!

You can purchase tickets for the game by clicking HERE.



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