FORMER Celtic Crusaders player Anthony Seibold has returned to Wales in a brand new role for the progressive National League One club
CELTIC Crusaders has secured a new shirt sponsorship deal with national housebuilder Redrow Homes
WALES 50 - PAPUA NEW GUINEA 10
CELTIC Crusaders? Shawn Van Rensburg has made himself available to play for Wales in the World Cup qualifiers later this year. Signed from Newport Gwent Dragons earlier this year, the big second-rower has also played union for Bridgend, Neath, Pontypool, English Division One side Coventry and French side Toulon. Wales will play against Scotland and the winner of the qualifying group between Russia, Georgia, Holland and Serbia in the autumn. This is now more than likely to be Georgia following their 57-16 win over Holland in front of almost 11,000 fans in Tbilisi last Friday. Van Rensburg was born in South Africa but is now a Welsh national after his marriage to Bridgend-born Sharon. They also have a Welsh-born son, eight month old, Louis. He was picked for the Welsh rugby union squad during his days with the 15-man code but didn?t manage to get a game. He now hopes that his World Cup ambitions will be achieved with Wales in the 13-man code. Van Rensburg said: ?I now feel more Welsh than South African. I have firmly made Wales my home and I want to represent what is now my country. ?I was disappointed that I didn?t get a chance to represent Wales in union but I?m now a league player and my goal is to help Wales qualify for the 2008 World Cup Finals in Australia. ?Celtic Crusaders is a good club to play for ? we?ve got a fantastic team spirit and I?m really enjoying myself here. I want to help them to promotion and then finish the 2006 season by representing Wales.? CymruRL chairman, Mark Rowley is pleased that Van Rensburg has made himself available for Wales. Rowley said: ?It?s great that someone of Shawn?s quality has come over to rugby league and we?re pleased that he?s playing so well for the Crusaders. He?ll be looked at along with all the other Welsh players and will be kept in mind for selection for the World Cup qualifiers when the time comes.?
CELTIC CRUSADERS 78 LONDON SKOLARS 14By Ian Golden at Brewery FieldCeltic Crusaders warmed up for their big Powergen Challenge Cup tie against Lokomotiv Moscow next Sunday by beating National League Two counterparts London Skolars to qualify for the knockout stages of the Northern Rail Cup.In front of a fabulous 1,421 crowd, the Crusaders dominated the game from start to finish and created an early chance but Luke Young?s grubber kick was picked up by Corey Simms.However the Crusaders took the lead on seven minutes when Tony Duggan broke from inside his own half and created a gap for Young who ran the ball in under the sticks. Jace Van Dijk converted.Skolars? Gareth Honor was sinbinned for dissent following the try and Crusaders took advantage of the extra man straight away, Paul Morgan running in a second try on 10 minutes. Van Dijk converted once again.Crusaders added a third on 14 minutes after Damien Quinn broke through the defence and set up Young to score.Crusaders kept up the pace. Van Dijk at dummy half on the fifth tackle, passed to Duggan but his grubber kick went too far for Ryan Barton.Skolars got a try back on 21 minutes after Chris Shears forced his way over the line following a play-the-ball five metres out. Ben Joyce converted.However Crusaders made the score 20-6 on 25 minutes after Carl de Chenu scored in the corner. Tony Duggan ran 40 metres to score under the posts two minutes later, Van Dijk converting to put the score on 26-6.Chris Shears scored another try back for Skolars on 32 minutes, running 40 metres and dodging through the defence to ground.But the Crusaders went into half-time 44-10 up after three quick tries. Welsh international Karl Hocking forced his way over on 32 minutes while Duggan created a try for Van Dijk on 37. Finally, Michael Ryan ran over right on the half-time hooter. Van Dijk converted all three.From kick off in the second half, Bobby Wallis knocked on, creating an early Crusaders chance, and the Welshmen didn?t disappoint as Hocking ran over for his second. Van Dijk converted but the stand-off played just seven more minutes of the games after going off the field holding his ribs following a clash in the tackle.Skolars attempted to fight back but were kept from scoring by the fine performance of the Crusaders? defensive line especially David Simm, Phil Cushion and Dean Fitzgerald.Crusaders scored again on 51 minutes. Young made an excellent kick on the fifth tackle reaching Morgan on the left wing. Running past one defender, he set up fellow former Bridgend Blue Bull Dean Fitzgerald to ground. Young converted.Frank Reid got a try back for Skolars on 52 minutes and almost got another one five minutes later following a mix-up in the Crusaders defence. Mario Du Toit dived for the loose ball but didn?t have the downward pressure to ground.Crusaders made them pay for that mistake, as a well-worked move three minutes later ended with Morgan weaving through the defence to get his second try of the day. Young converted to take the score to 62-14.Duggan ran through the defence five minutes later for his second while Quinn slipped through the tackle to place the ball under the posts for the 13th try of the day. Young converted both to put the score on 74-14.After a lengthy break due to a serious injury to Skolars? Rubert Jonker, Crusaders broke through for another try with Morgan getting a hat-trick of his own. Young?s conversion hit the post to make the final score 78-14.Crusaders? coach John Dixon was over the moon with his team?s performance and is now looking forward to the Lokomotiv Moscow tie next week. ?This was a great warm up for the Russian game,? said Dixon. ?I was exceptionally pleased all aspects of our ball control and the performance in our defensive line. Our aim today was to put on a display that would bring the fans back again next week against Moscow and I think we?ve done that. We?re excited to have the Russians here next week. I don?t know anything about them apart from how well they did in Russia last year so I know they?ll give us a good game.?CRUSADERS 1. Tony Duggan 2. Carl De Chenu 3. Geraint Davies 4. Damien Quinn 5. Paul Morgan 21. Luke Young 7. Jace Van Dijk 8. Ryan Barton 9. Michael Ryan 10. Phil Cushion 11. David Simm 12. Matt Jobson 13. Dean FitzgeraldSubs 14. Carle Ellis 15. Dean Scully 16. Karl Hocking 19. Lenny WoodardTries: Young (7, 14), Duggan (27, 65), Morgan (10, 60, 76), de Chenu (25), Hocking (32, 41), Van Dijk (37), Ryan (40), Fitzgerald (51), Quinn (70)Goals: Van Dijk 7/9, Young 4/5SKOLARS 1. Dean Martin 2. Mario Du Toit 3. Mike Castle 4. Ash Tozer 5. Corey Simms 6. Frank Reid 7. Nathan Meischke 8. Rubert Jonker 9. Gareth Honor 10. Bobby Wallis 11. Dave Ellison 12. Matt Pitman 13. Ben JoyceSubs 14. Chris Shears 15. Josh Garden 16. Richard Coatelan 17. Dave RobersonTries: Shears (21, 32), Reid (52)Goals: Joyce 1/3Sinbinned: Honor (7) ? dissentReferee: Dave Merrick (Castleford)Half-time: 44-10Attendance: 1,421Men of the Match: Crusaders: Tony Duggan. Skolars: Chris ShearsScoring Sequence: 6-0, 12-0, 16-0, 16-6, 20-6, 26-6, 26-10, 32-10, 38-10, 44-10, 50-10, 56-10, 56-14, 62-14, 68-14Gamestar: Tony Duggan marshalled the match from full-back and is a deserved man of the match.Gamebreaker: Crusaders looked the better team from start to finish but three tries in the last ten minutes of the first half made sure that Skolars from start to finish.Weather: Dry ? partly cloudyMatch Rating: 3/5
CELTIC Crusaders, who won their first match 50-10 on Sunday, announced this week that they are looking to organise coach trips to home matches from the Welsh valleys.At the Crusaders? press launch on Monday, their chief executive, Chris O?Callaghan said that there had been considerable interest to do this from fans from all areas of the valleys including Rhondda, Merthyr and Aberdare.O?Callaghan said: ?We are looking at possibility of running coaches from the valleys to the Brewery Field for our first game at home on March 5th. We?ll be having two matches at the Brewery Field that day, a Northern Rail Cup match against London Skolars and an Academy match against Super League side Widnes Vikings. We?ll be putting on a good day for the whole family with entertainment for the kids as well as the rugby. We want to make it as easy as possible for fans to come and see us as we are a team for the whole of Wales.?O?Callaghan also emphasised that rugby league is no longer there to compete with rugby union.?Those days are gone,? added O?Callaghan, ?We are a summer sport ? it fills the gap left by union in the sporting calendar. We must work along side the local rugby union clubs such as Aberavon, Neath, Maesteg and Bridgend, there is simply no point in the two codes going head to head.?We are the fastest growing sport in Wales. Over 600 people played rugby league last year in Aberavon alone. The Challenge Cup Final also proved that, as over 15,000 people spectators were Welsh. This is a sport on the up but not necessarily at the expense of any other.?The Crusaders next turn out on Sunday with an away match at London Skolars.
CARDIFF Demons prop Dave Roberson has been named as the new Development Officer and Community Sports Coach for National League Two side London Skolars. He will start his full-time role at the club on November 28 and will re-unite with original Demons coach Stuart Singleton who is captain of the Skolars.
Roberson has been playing for the Taffs Well-based Cardiff Demons since their first match in the Rugby League Conference in 2001, helping the club to three trophies in that period. The 31 year old also played and scored a try for Wales A against Scotland in 2001. In addition to his Demons role, Roberson has been assistant coach of UWIC for the last two years, a role he also took with the Wales Students side who reached the Shield Final in the World Cup in Australia this summer and with Great Britain students on their ground-breaking tour of Estonia.
Roberson said: "I initially applied the role at Harlequins RL (formerly London Broncos) but they cut the number of positions from three to two so they recommended me to the Skolars. I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Roberson will be keeping his house in Cardiff and is looking forward to a return to South Wales next year when the Skolars face new Welsh club, Celtic Crusaders.
"There's already been a bit of banter between Crusaders coach John Dixon and myself this week," adds Roberson, "I wish him and the Crusaders the best of luck in the their first season and I'm looking forward to crossing swords with him at the Brewery Field later next year."
BRIDGEND Blue Bulls won the "Team of the Year" trophy in the TotalRL.com Rugby League Conference end of season awards ceremony on Saturday. Wales Rugby League chairman, Mark Rowley picked up the award from Sky Sports' Mike "Stevo" Stephenson on behalf of the Blue Bulls. It is the second time in three seasons that the reigning UK amateur champions have won this award.
The Blue Bulls picked up two more honours on Saturday as Paul Morgan, who played in Wales? 38-16 defeat to France in the European Nations Cup Final earlier this month, and Gareth David were both named in the Rugby League Conference ?Dream Team? - 13 players selected from the 80 clubs in the four Premier Divisions, which proved to be such a success during the summer of 2005, and the eight Regional Leagues.
DAN Falvey and Oliver Hughes from Cardiff Demons and Daniel Phillips and Lee Williams from Aberavon Fighting Irish have all been named in the Great Britain Amateur under 18 squad for their Autumn International series.