Fears that Harlequins RL would go into the new underdone were underpinned on Saturday when the team went down 28 – 6 to National League One new boys Celtic Crusaders. The match, played at Brewery Field in Bridgend, was Quins final scheduled pre-season run-out.
Played as four fifteen minute long quarters, with unlimited substitutions from an extended squad, the Quins side started brightly before the home side ran away with the game. Head coach Brian McDermott was not disheartened by the result, suggesting that there were many positives to take from the game.
Although it is inevitable that some fans will read too much into the result, it’s worth remembering that pre-season trial games are intended for coaches to experiment with their line-ups, to practice patterns learned in training, and are rarely reliable indicators of performance in the competition proper. However, the Crusaders will take heart from the strength of their performance as they look to build on their promotion from National League Two last season, starting with their first Northern Rail Cup tie against Sheffield Eagles on Friday.
A full match report is available here.
Celtic Crusaders: (12) 28
Tries: Blackwood 2, Ballard, Vitalini, Quinn
Goals: Van Dijk 3, Quinn
Harlequins RL: (6) 6