North Wales 20 Workington 30
Clive Griffiths spoke of his pride after his Crusaders side pushed high-flying Workington Town all the way in Wrexham.by NRL
Clive Griffiths spoke of his pride after his Crusaders side pushed high-flying Workington Town all the way in Wrexham.
"Gusty, committed, never say die, despair, delight ? these are just some of the words to associate with this game today," Griffiths said after the game.
"At 16-10 we bombed three chances and we failed to capitalise. We had a mad ten minutes which killed us if I'm honest.
"Last week against Barrow it was soul destroying but we were a lot better this week.
"But we take a lot from the fact that we run them close. This performance was a million-times better than the one we dished up at Workington and it shows how far we've come.
"We couldn't have had tougher back-to-back games ? Barrow away and Workington at home. They're the two best sides in the division by a country mile and it will be interesting to see what happens when they play each other in a few weeks."
This Crusaders side was a million miles away from the one that lost 58-0 at Derwent Park earlier this season.
In particular, Andy Gorski was superb for the home side, who could possibly have grabbed more than a bonus point had they shown a more clinical edge.
Former Crusaders Jamie Thackray and Peter Lupton used all their experience to get Workington through a tricky encounter at the Racecourse Ground.
The away side struck first through prop Kris Howard. Graeme Mattison darted from dummy half before offloading to Howard, who strolled through the gap for a simple try.
Crusaders struck back through Kris Wilkes before leading with a Rob Massam wonder try.
There were shades of Martin Offiah as Massam beat several defenders before wrong footing the experienced Mark Calderwood. The Crusaders winger still had a lot to do before he cut back inside and diving over the whitewash
Workington ended the first half strongly with two tries in the last ten minutes. The first fell to old boy Thackray, who ran across field before showing typical strength to power over the whitewash.
And another ex-Crusader, Peter Lupton was involved in the second. The ball found its way to the Welsh international, who used all his experience to draw Wilkes off his line before popping the ball to substitute James Newton to score in the corner.
The second half began in similar fashion to the first with both sides failing to complete their sets.
Good work from Workington half-backs Lupton and Carl Forber helped unlock the Crusaders defence out wide, allowing Brett Carter to grab his side's first try of the second half.
And Dave Peterson sealed the win for Workington with a fine individual try on 70 minutes.
However, two late tries from Danny Hulme and Dave McConnell ensured the Crusaders went home with a bonus point, which was the least that their efforts deserved.
1. Tommy Johnson
2. Kriss Wilkes
3. Leon Brennan
4. Christiaan Roets
5. Rob Massam
6. Andy Moulsdale
7. Jamie Durbin
8. Jonny Walker
9. Lee Hudson
10. Sam Stephens
11. Andy Gorski
12. Toby Adamson
13. Jono Smith
Subs (all used)
15. Owain Brown
14. Jamie Clarke
16. Danny Hulme
17. Dave McConnell
Tries: Wilkes (17), Massam (28), Hulme (73), McConnell (78)
Goals: Johnson (2/4)
1. Brett Carter
2. Elliott Miller
3. Jason Mossop
4. Stephan Dawes
5. Mark Calderwood
6. Peter Lupton
7. Carl Forber
8. Ryan Macdonald
9. Graeme Mattinson
10. Kris Coward
11. Brett Phillips
12. Mike Whitehead
13. Dave Peterson
Subs (all used)
14. James Newton
15. Marc Shackley
16. James Robinson
17. Jamie Thackray
Tries: Coward (8), Thackray (32), Newton (37), Carter (55), Peterson (70)
Goals Forber (5/6)
Crusaders MOM: Andy Gorski carried the ball superbly, making numerous breaks and setting up two of his team's tries.
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