Betfred League 1 Round 20 Preview
August 20, 2022
Betfred League 1 moves into its 20th round this weekend with five games taking place over two days – Saturday and Sunday.
Basement dwellers West Wales Raiders start the fixtures with a home clash against fellow developmental side Midlands Hurricanes.
The Llanelli-based outfit know that victory will lift themselves off the foot of the standings and above Cornwall. However, Ashley Bateman’s troops will have to pick themselves up after a 94-6 home defeat at the hands of Swinton Lions last time out.
Dan Abram broke the Lions’ individual goal kicking record with 15 successful goals in a 15-try romp. Skipper Rhodri Lloyd and scrum-half Jack Hansen both scored three tries while Abram and Richard Lepori bagged a brace each.
Credit to the spirited Raiders, who never threw in the towel and scored their consolation try 20 minutes from time through Michael Holden.
The Raiders will face a Midlands outfit who were also defeated on home soil in round 19. Doncaster were the visitors to Portway and they triumphed 52-18 with Papua New Guinea pair Watson Boas and Jason Tali scoring three times each.
Midlands will make the trip to Stebonheath Park with injury headaches as an already depleted squad lost both George Collins and Elliot Windley in the Doncaster reverse.
Also in Wales, the Crusaders face off against fellow promotion hopefuls Rochdale Hornets.
North Wales sat out round 19 due to the uneven number of teams in the division while Rochdale took on Cornwall at Spotland.
In a game lacking any real flashpoints and niggle, referee Cameron Worsley brandished an incredible eight cards as Rochdale prevailed 34-14. Cornwall were well in the game at half-time and trailed 18-14 with the Choughs scoring tries through Jayden Myers, Jack Ray and three Adam Rusling goals.
After the turnaround, Rochdale crossed the whitewash three further times to ease home. But the game was overshadowed by a 68th minute spate of pushing and shoving which resulted in Ray (yellow) and Cole Connolly (red) incurring the wrath of merry whistle blower Worsley.
Rochdale lost Kieran Rush to a second yellow card and Fenton Rogers red for a head butt. And when the Rugby Football League’s Match Review Panel, Rogers was handed a three match ban for his indiscretion.
Sunday’s matches begin at the Memorial Ground as Cornwall welcome Oldham to the Duchy.
Prior to the match, the three Rugby League World Cup trophies will be present at the game as the Choughs bring the curtain down on their home campaign in 2022, looking for a maiden win on Cornish soil.
The Roughyeds kept their slim play-off hopes alive with a 60-6 win over London Skolars at Whitebank. Defeat for the Skolars ends their recent run of victories and it also avenges Oldham’s defeat to Joe Mbu’s men in the capital back in May.
Keighley Cougars need just one point from their final three games to secure a return to the Championship for the first time in eight years. The title elect thrashed Hunslet 60-18 last time out and scored 10 tries – Alix Stephenson the stand out performer with a hat-trick while Jack Miller held a perfect record from the tee.
The Cougars welcome Doncaster to Lawkholme Lane with Richard Horne’s troops looking for a ninth consecutive win and they trail second placed North Wales Crusaders by two points.
And finally, fourth placed Swinton host Hunslet at Heywood Road with both sides wanting two competition points for differing reasons. Swinton will be hoping victory kick starts a winning run as the play-offs approach while for the Parksiders, they know a win will go a long way towards securing a place in the end of season lottery.
Betfred League 1 round 20 fixtures (Sunday, 3.00pm unless stated)
Cornwall vs Oldham – 1.00pm Sunday
Doncaster vs Keighley Cougars
North Wales Crusaders vs Rochdale Hornets – 5.30pm Saturday
Swinton Lions vs Hunslet
West Wales Raiders vs Midlands Hurricanes – 3.00pm Saturday