Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation have been crowned the inaugural Premier Touch Rugby League Champions after a thrilling day of action at Wigan’s Robin Park Arena on Saturday (July 29.)
Hosts, Wigan Warriors, were joined by a string of club foundations including Hull FC, Hull KR, Sheffield Eagles, Wakefield Trinity and Warrington Wolves for the one-day extravaganza, showcasing the skills and social benefits of Touch Rugby League.
The action on Saturday kicked off with a clash between the Warriors and Warrington Wolves and despite a valiant effort from the home side, the Wire proved too strong for their opponents and started the tournament with a 20-0 win.
That opening fixture was followed by the battle of Yorkshire when Wakefield and Sheffield took to the pitch with Trinity ending up 12-4 victors – the crowds were also treated to a Hull derby when FC took on KR with the black and whites earning bragging rights through a 24-4 win.
As the early evening drew in so did the events Grand Final which was contested between Wakefield and Warrington.
Both sides put on a brilliant display of Touch Rugby League with the score ending eight-a-piece after regular time to take the game to a ‘drop off’ whereby teams play four minutes of extra time split into two-minute halves with one less player. Eventually, Trinity’s persistence paid off and they were crowned champions at the end of the drop-off extra time with the score ending 16-12.
RFL Social Officer, Bradley Kelk, says:
“First and foremost, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Wigan Warriors who has helped us run such a fun event – all of our Foundation’s players and staff had a fantastic time.
“I would also like to say a huge thanks to St. Helens Chantelle Crowl for being our guest of honour. It was really valuable hearing her story and how Touch Rugby League influenced her career, and I hope this has inspired others to give it a go.
“My thanks also go to the England Touch Association who have supported us in the delivery of the event and who supplied four amazing referees: Ewen MacDonald, Lewis Husbands, Gareth McDonnell and James Woodward. With a special mention to our two RFL referees Shea Harrison and Lewis Corcoran.
“We have introduced hundreds of new people to the benefits of Touch Rugby League and I hope to maybe even some of them take part in next year’s events!”
England Touch Association General Manager, Sammie Phillips, explains:
“ETA were delighted to support the RFL in delivering this event through the provision of qualified referees from both our North West and North East Regions. We have considerable experience organising Touch Rigby League events, from grassroots level right up to international level, and are always happy to support organisations who want to use Touch to get more people picking up a ball and playing.
“Our referees worked well with RFL match officials and they all had a brilliant time. We look forward to partnering up with the RFL for future events, especially as we lead into 2024 when England will be hosting the Touch World Cup and all the associated events and legacy projects that will undoubtedly flow from this global event”.