The biggest-ever variants festival for Rugby League took place on Saturday, with over 600 people making the trip over to Blackpool. The festival featured Touch, Masters, Wheelchair, Learning Disability and Physical Disability Rugby League, with Wakefield Trinity Community Trust fielding both LDRL and PDRL teams on the day.
Learning Disability Rugby League was showcased with Hull KR, Wakefield Trinity, Widnes Vikings, St Helens, Warrington Wolves bringing 75 players across to the coast.
And 80 Physical Disability Rugby League players – from Wakefield, Castleford, Leeds and World Champions Warrington – had the chance to showcase their skills.
The Physical Disability competition began first with the Wakefield vs Castleford derby match which was the first meeting between the two sides. Captain Darren Dean opened the scoring for Trinity, but as the clock wound down towards the final whistle, an error by Full-Back Chris Hall allowed the ball to bounce over him and was touched down by the Tigers. The game finished 4-4.
Next up was World Champions, Warrington Wolves, who had only stepped off a plane a few days prior and were supposedly jaded. Despite Wakefield Trinity being in control for much of the game, a late Wil Maudsley try for Warrington settled a 12-12 draw between the two teams.
Trinity PDRL needed a win against Leeds Rhinos to get closer to the final and the game saw plenty of passion and emotion from both sides. This was the third game for both teams and tiredness was starting to show. Wakefield did indeed grab the win by four points, but despite remaining unbeaten throughout the tournament, it was Castleford Tigers and Warrington Wolves who battled for the trophy in the final.
The final was settled by the ‘Golden Try’ when Wil Maudsley took a ball out wide and sprinted into open space to touch down in the corner. Warrington had secured another trophy, their second within two weeks of their World Club Challenge victory over South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The LDRL tournament was a keenly contested affair enjoyed by all; Trinity were competitive throughout but again failed to make the final. The final saw Hull KR take on Warrington Wolves and eventually Wire won to complete the double and further heap praise on the disability provision of their Foundation.
Wakefield Trinity PDRL will be in action again on Friday 21st September when they face Castleford Tigers in a curtain raiser to the fixture between the two Super League teams.
Kick off will be approximately 6pm at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle, Castleford. We hope to see you there!