NORTH WALES CRUSADERS claimed the bragging rights in the Welsh Derby as they saw off West Wales Raiders 66-0 at the Queensway Stadium.
Despite running in 12 tries, Crusaders didn’t have it all their own way as West Wales tested the home side’s defence on several occasions.
Anthony Murray’s side took just three minutes to open the scoring as Gavin Conroy was found in space on the wing where he made no mistake to score.
Having watched Dale Bloomfield come close to doubling the home sides lead, West Wales then looked to capitalise on errors from the Crusaders with back-to-back sets. However, they were met by a strong defence and possession turned over.
Crusaders were rewarded for their defensive efforts minutes later as a Ryan Smith grubber kick was collected by Brad Walker who grounded the ball beneath the posts.
Moments later the home side were in once again. A quick play of the ball set Conroy up for his second of the afternoon taking the score to 16-0.
Following another period in defence, the Wrexham-based side moved further ahead as Lewis Fairhurst collected an offload before crossing the line.
With 38 minutes on the clock Crusaders ended the first-half with another score as Earl Hurst evaded the West Wales defence to score in the corner, giving Crusaders a 28-0 lead at the break.
Murray’s side started the second-half quickly with two quick-fire tries. With just one minute gone, Jonny Walker crashed through the Raiders’ defence to score before he was followed over by Brad Brennan.
As West Wales looked to open their account, Steve Parry attempted to fool the Crusaders’ defence who stood strong to keep their opponents out.
Making good ground, the hosts further extended their lead as the ball passed through several hands before Stephen Wild crossed the whitewash.
With West Wales begging the tire, Crusaders took full advantage, running in a further four tries before the hooter.
A quick pass from Kenny Baker sent Karl Ashall over the line before some smart play from the home side saw Fairhurst run over for his second of the afternoon taking the score to 56-0.
With 70 minutes on the clock Conroy completed his hat-trick collecting a kick from Ryan Smith before scoring.
In the final minute Crusaders sealed the victory with a 12th try as Bloomfield raced towards a grubber kick, out-pacing the Raiders defence to take the final score to 66-0.