Van Dijk wins player of the week award

Celtic Crusaders' halfback Jace Van Dijk has been named as this week's Northern Rail Cup 'Player of the Round'.

The scrum half, now in his second season of British Rugby League, took the vote after he inspired the Welsh-based National League Two club to an impressive 26-22 win over one of the National League One contenders Leigh Centurions at Hilton Park.

Last year van Dijk was named as National League Two's 'Player of the Year' and, on this kind of form, he's in with a chance of winning the title for a second time!

Although the man from Australia's Gold Coast did not succeed in making the score chart in this Group Six encounter, he made sure that enough of his team mates did to provide the Northern Rail Cup's shock result of the day.

Crusaders coach John Dixon said: "Jace is playing well for us again this season and he led us round the field pretty well at Leigh.

"Jace has two main qualities. He's got a good football brain and he's a real competitor. He was an important player in our first season in the National League last year and he's doing the same kind of job for us again in 2007. Not only does Jace do the right thing for the team, he's the man who keeps us going when life gets tough. He loves that challenge.

"We were confident we could compete with Leigh. We'd felt the same when we played Widnes but managed to do it for about 20 minutes against the Vikings. Granted Leigh were missing a couple of players but once we got a roll on in the second half, we were pretty difficult to stop.

"The big difference this year is that, besides Jace having gained experience, we've got other players who have developed. Those boys who'd come into Rugby League from rugby union have now got a year's experience under their belt and they're adding that to their football ability.

"But last weekend there was no doubting Jace was the outstanding player for us in a good win for the club".