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Rugby League: Clark proud of his South Wales Scorpions despite defeat

Published in Sport on Wednesday August 8th, 2012. Last updated at 11:00

South Wales Scorpions coach Dave Clark was proud of his players last Sunday despite a 36-24 defeat in the Welsh derby against North Wales Crusaders.

The Scorpions gave three more players their professional debuts, two of them Welsh born, and he gave praise to all of them in what was a difficult encounter.

“I took a lot of positives out of the game,” he said. “I knew we had to perform against the Crusaders to do well, and again we had a totally different side to that who played last week in London.

“I thought Tom McKeown, an Irish prop who was on trial with us for the weekend, played a big part in the game for us. It was something that we’ve been missing all year – a big prop who can carry the ball really well.

“Then there was Thomas Morgan – straight out of winning the Student Four Nations with Wales. He played about 65-70 minutes and made a really big effort today. That’s encouraging for us. I think we are now developing players in Wales with more League sense which is good.

“Finally Alex Jones – a winger – an 18 year old kid who played outstanding in the first half. He had one error in the second half but that’s the pressure of the league we’re playing in really. He did well.

“Also I have to praise youngsters like Luke Kell and Osian Phillips, both 18 years old and they’ve only played a couple of first team games and were thrown into a Welsh derby.

“I really can’t complain. The boys did the best they could against more experienced players and I think next year, with this year under their belts, the players that we have in our 2013 squad are going to improve. They will know the level of standards that they have to play every week, and it’s a different speed to playing under 18 Rugby League so they’re getting used to that. You can see Osian and Luke adapt to it really well after just a couple of games. We’re building to the future and it looks quite good.”

The former Wales international hopes that the display and competitiveness of the game will encourage a lot of the crowd, many of whom were new to the game, to return again.

“Thanks to all the supporters who came on Sunday,” he said. “I hope they will be patient with us and that they come back one more time when we take on Gateshead Thunder in a fortnight.

“It was a great crowd on Sunday, it was our biggest in the league this season and it’s the kind of atmosphere we want every week. The boys rose to the occasion. North Wales Crusaders had some really experienced players, and you could tell that with just that bit more experience from us, we could have clinched the win.”

Scorpions have three matches left in their 2012 season. They will be away to Rochdale Hornets this Sunday before entertaining Gateshead Thunder at The Gnoll in Neath on Sunday August 19 (kick-off 3pm). They then conclude the season on Sunday September 2 when they travel to top of the league Barrow Raiders.

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