Cornwall RLFC


Media Watch – West Wales Raiders

May 14, 2022

West Wales Raiders’ Michael Holden – SWPix

Both Cornwall RLFC and West Wales Raiders go into tomorrow’s Betfred League 1 clash harbouring hopes of a maiden win in 2022.

For the Choughs, victory would be the first the club have achieved since forming in November 2022.

And for the Llanelli-based Raiders, they are without a win since defeating Coventry Bears 44-16 at Stebonheath Park on July 19, 2019. In 2021, the most recent completed post covid-19 pandemic season, West Wales picked up just one point after a 24-24 draw at home to Doncaster in round 13.

Ahead of the round eight clash, with somebody’s ‘0’ almost certainly set to go, spoke to Ian Golden, communications manager with Wales Rugby League.

CW: Just how tough has it been for West Wales Raiders so far in 2022?

IG: It’s been very tough, but I think the club have made the right call in appointing Ash Bateman as head coach. He’s a local lad who’s been involved in rugby league since a junior and he knows the Wales Rugby League systems inside out and has the respect of local players. Miracles weren’t built in a day though, our even a year, so let’s hope that he’s given time to build a side. This will also soon include players coming through the WRL junior systems, which are exemplary with already over a thousand players registered and ready to go in South Wales this summer.

CW: Despite the results, would it be fair to say last week’s game against Keighley saw a marked improvement?

IG: Anything below 50 is good this season! Sadly, Raiders started their build-up too late on, they know that and admitted that following the Challenge Cup defeat. I wasn’t at the Keighley game as I was with the Wales Wheelchair side, but I understand that Keighley came to brawl it out, they gave away nine penalties and Raiders kept their cool, giving away just one. They held out well against a good side.

CW: Who is West Wales’ player to watch in the Memorial Ground clash?

IG: Joe Burke is definitely one to watch. He’s a Wales international, the captain, and leads from the front. He’s skippered a few sides over the years and I’ve seen personally how well he influences a team.

CW: What do you make of Cornwall’s start to life in the professional ranks?

IG: I knew it would be tough for you guys. You’ve a lot of inexperience and no-one is expecting miracles right now. Games like this, and against London are your cup finals. All three sides know this. If you can grab one win, it’ll be a success, just hopefully not today! The important thing is you don’t give up, don’t relocate, build a strong junior base underneath you and communicate with the Rebels and other local clubs. Get everyone working together and you’ll do well.

CW: And finally, what is your score prediction for the match?

IG: I’ll politely decline to make a prediction! But what I will say is that it’ll be the closest match of the season for both (teams) and I look forward to tuning in on OurLeague.

Follow Ian on Twitter: @Ian_Golden