Reardon ready for battle in Northern Rail Bowl
Stuart Reardon knows all about playing in finals. The former Bradford winger turned in a man-of-the-match performance for the Bulls in the 2003 Super League Grand Final to win the Harry Sunderland Trophy and just last year helped French club Carcassonne to a Cup and Grand Final double.
Reardon says it will give him as much pleasure to help North Wales Crusaders win their first piece of silverware against London Skolars in the Northern Rail Bowl final at Halifax next Saturday.
“Every final, big or small, it’s the same. It wouldn’t matter to me if it were amateur,” he said. “Everyone plays sport to win, there’s that winning mentality. It would be awesome to win it with Crusaders.
“The fans will be excited; they’re not used to being in finals. It will be nice to get them some silverware after what happened with the Super League club a few years ago.”
Reardon was with the Crusaders when they were a Super League outfit in 2011 and returned to the newly-reformed club for the 2013 campaign.
“Our coach Clive (Griffiths) has been really good and some of the staff that were there when it was a Super League club are still there now. A lot of the lads came from the amateur game or were ex-Academy or from other teams and I’ve been really enjoying it since I came back from France.”
The Crusaders sit in second place of the Kingstone Press Championship One table with just one defeat. But even that surprise loss to Hemel Stags a month ago, Reardon sees as a positive. “Sometimes a loss can do you good. We were beating sides quite convincingly and you can get a bit carried away. So we know what it feels like to be down and not always on the up.”
The Crusaders appear to have a fully fit squad with Christiaan Roets and Jonny Walker both back from injuries. Due to the way the fixtures have fallen they haven’t had a match since the 48-0 thrashing of Rochdale Hornets on June 30 so could this long lay-off without any match action affect them in the final?
“We’ve been training really hard and got a good conditioner,” says Reardon. “I would have thought it would benefit us. We’ve rested up rather than getting knocks and bangs every week.
“We’ve been playing really well; we’re a strong side so we’ll be going into the game with confidence. Everyone is really excited to be in the final, we’re looking forward to it.”
Tickets for the 2013 Northern Rail Finals Day at The Shay, Halifax, on Saturday July 20, cost from just £15 adult and £10 concessions and can be purchased by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113.
For people with any form of disability the RFL offers a free assistant place when booking tickets. For people with a visual impairment or non-sighted disability we also offer audio visual descriptive commentary for all our events.