Celts Rd.2

Crusaders 'Celts' get Round 2 of the 2024 WRL Invitational Campaign underway

Match Report: The Celts second outing of the season saw them fall to current league champions the Argonauts and claim a victory over fellow Welsh side, Cardiff Blue Dragons.


  • North Wales Crusaders veteran Harry Jones newbie Kieren Barlow made his Invitational League debut in Round 2.

  • North Wales Crusaders 'Celts' youngster Ethan Neilson shone as his side travelled to Caerphilly.

  • North Wales Crusaders 'Celts' fall in their opening game before before claiming a victory in the second Welsh derby of the year.

It took just 50 seconds for Argonauts to open the scoring against Crusaders Celts, Ellie Cockerton going over and Fred Nye converting.

From kick-off, Ireland international Mel Griffith who was playing just her second ever Wheelchair Rugby League club match (making her domestic debut in the days opening game), raced away for their second try. She soon added another with Keiron Hammond converting to put the score onto 16-0.

Crusaders were off the mark on 13 minutes through a Wyatt Jones try, but Argonauts soon addressed the balance through another Cockerton score. Hammond converted well.

Griffith added another try on 21 minutes for her hat trick, with Nye going over five minutes after that and converting himself.

And it was Crusaders who were last on the board in the second half through an unconverted Wyatt Jones try, putting the score onto 32-8.

Argonauts extended their lead quickly in the second half through two tries from Nye, with Cockerton converting both for her first goals in the league.

Ireland captain Pete Johnston scored the next try, grounding in the corner but couldn’t add the extras.

Cockerton’s hat-trick try with 12 minutes remaining brought up 50 points with Nye converting.

Crusaders may have lost the game, but they weren’t giving up. First 12-year old Ethan Neilson scored in the corner with Wyatt Jones following up from kick-off. Keiren Barlow’s conversion attempts both hit the woodwork.

Nye’s fourth try and fourth goal brought up 60 points.

NORTH WALES CRUSADERS CELTS: Wyatt Jones, Harry Jones, Kieren Barlow, Claire Owlett, Ethan Neilson

Tries: W. Jones (12, 25, 51), Neilson (49)

Goals: W. Jones 0/2, Barlow 0/2

    ARGONAUTS: Ellie Cockerton, Scott Cooper, Mel Griffith, Keiron Hammond, Peter Johnston Jnr, Fred Nye

    Tries: Cockerton (1, 15, 46), Griffith (2, 7, 20)Nye (25, 32, 34, 57), Johnston Jnr (36)

    Goals: Nye 3/3, Hammond 2/3, Cooper 0/1, Cockerton 2/2, Johnston Jnr 0/1

    North Wales Crusaders Celts Player of the Match: Ethan Neilson

    Argonauts Player of the Match: Ellie Cockerton

    Referees: Kim Abel, Alana Sargent

    In the sides second game, the Celts took on hosts Cardiff Blue Dragons in the first ever Welsh derby taking place in Caerphilly.

    the lead changed hands nine times, seven of which were in the second half, until Crusaders eventually clinched the win 41-40.

    Lee Sargent broke half the length of the pitch to score the opening try and converting himself.

    But two quick tries by Claire Owlett and Wyatt Jones took the Celts into the lead, Wyatt Jones scoring one conversion.

    Wyatt Jones then fought through the defence for Celts’ next try and converted his own score.

    Cardiff then struck back. Sian Morris Parker received a high throw and grounded in the corner. Player-coach Paul Sargent then scored their third. Scott Trigg-Turner’s conversion levelled the scores.

    Two minutes before the break, a Harry Jones drop-goal gave Crusaders the lead back, but with seconds to go before the interval, his Wales team-mate Trigg-Turner raced away for the try and added the extras to make the score 22-17 at the break.

    Crusaders started well in the second half with Ethan Neilson scoring in the first minute.

    And after Cardiff were penalised for a kick-off that was too short, Harry Jones scored their next try with Wyatt Jones converting.

    That put Crusaders back in the ascendancy, but not for long. Lee Sargent did well to ground Cardiff’s next try with his conversion give them a 28-27 lead.

    Harry Jones then struck again to give Crusaders the lead back. Wyatt Jones’ conversion attempt hit the bar.

    And as the battle of the Welsh stars continued, Trigg-Turner avoided his markers to score and convert and put the score up to 34-31 to Cardiff.

    Cardiff were kept out in their next set by some good Crusaders defending and when they went back onto the attack, they scored. Harry Jones again with the try out wide and Wyatt Jones again hitting the bar with the conversion attempt. Crusaders now had a 35-34 lead with 13 minutes remaining.

    Next came more from Trigg-Turner. He beautifully twisted through his markers and raced to the line, adding the conversion. 40-35 to Cardiff.

    Then, after forcing a goal-line drop-out, Crusaders scored again. Wyatt Jones placed the ball near to the sticks making it easy for him to convert and give the Celts the lead back.

    Cardiff nearly pulled off a trick to get the winner by kicking on the first tackle after Crusaders were denied at the other end, but Harry Jones fought off Trigg-Turner’s race for the ball to secure his side the points.

    NORTH WALES CRUSADERS CELTS: Wyatt Jones, Harry Jones, Kieren Barlow, Claire Owlett, Ethan Neilson

    Tries: Owlett (7), W. Jones (9, 14, 52), Neilson (30), H. Jones (33, 40, 45)

    Goals: W. Jones 4/8

    Drop-Goal: H. Jones (28)

      CARDIFF BLUE DRAGONS: Robert Carpenter, Daniel Martin, Sian Morris-Parker, Charlie Puddick, Lee Sargent, Libbie Sargent, Paul Sargent, Scott Trigg-Turner 

      Tries: Lee. Sargent (1, 35), Morris-Parker (20), P. Sargent (24), Trigg-Turner (29, 42, 48)

      Goals: Lee. Sargent 2/2, Carpenter 0/1, Trigg-Turner 4/4

      North Wales Crusaders Celts Player of the Match: Claire Owlett

      Cardiff Blue Dragons Player of the Match: Charlie Puddick

      Referees: Kim Abel, Peter Johnston Jnr