MATCH REPORT: Thunder Cruise Through Crusaders

Newcastle Thunder displayed a dominant performance against North Wales Crusaders inspired by a spectacular Lewis Young hat-trick. Thunder gain a valuable two points as the competition for play-off places increases.

In a game which saw Thunder cross the halfway mark of the 2019 season was one that provided glimpses of what exciting rugby rugby that the second half of the season may entail.

The Crusaders started the game with lots of enthusiasm as they battled with Thunder at both ends of the pitch before they broke the deadlock nine minutes in. The Crusaders number two croossed the line and with their number seven slotting the conversion.

This provided a necessary wake up call for Thunder who then kicked into action and scored just moments later through Australian prop forward, Jared Blanke who made a strong carry five metres from the line.

With the wind in their sails, Thunder were finding opportunities more frequently with Conor Fitzsimmons making a 70 metre break down the left flank before being caught and tackled into touch.

Co-ordinating the midfield was loanee Mikey Lewis who once again put together another commanding performance with him also scoring his first try for the club after putting in a big step and strong fend which opened enough space for him to score.

Another stand out performer from today’s fixture was Thunder’s full-back Lewis Young who crossed the whitewash twice in the first half. Demonstrating his fast feet and elusive ability, Young proved himself to be a real asset to Thunder’s attacking outfit.

Half Time:

North Wales Crusaders 6 – 22 Newcastle Thunder

It took only four minutes for Thunder to strike in the second half as Young completed his hattrick in spectacular fashion. Catching a high Crusaders kick and following it up with a quick turn of pace, Young broke through a gap and raced around his opposite number to eventually dive over. A 60-metre effort which immediately put Thunder on the front foot for the second half.

The dry weather from the first half quickly disappeared as the rain came in heavy for the last 40 minutes. Thunder remained unfazed as they capitalised on numerous ball spills from the Crusaders.

Keal Carlile was next to get his name on to the scoreboard as he made his usual sniping run from close range to go over and score. Moments later, Young broke the line once more and managed to make an offload to a supporting Joe Brown who then extended Thunder’s lead.

Further energetic play by the Thunder side saw both outstanding defensive efforts, lead by Sam Luckley and Misi Taulapapa. Impressive attacking plays were being orchestrated by the young pairing of Dan Coates and Mikey Lewis.

The Crusaders were able to score a late consolation try through a loose Thunder pass which was scooped up and ran in.

But it was a Kieran Gill brace of tries that sealed off the day. The collection of a Mikey Lewis kick saw him cross over for this first which was then shortly followed by his second. Fast passing out wide to Gill opened the space in front and saw him dive over in the corner.

Full Time:

North Wales Crusaders 12 – 48 Newcastle Thunder

Thunder will be looking ahead to next Sunday where Kingston Park will host the top of the table side Whitehaven. A mouth-watering fixture which leaves the Thunder fans an afternoon of rugby to look forward too.

Fans can purchase their tickets through our website, call 0871 2266060 or visit the Kingston Park Stadium box office.