Rugby league: Walters is given leave of absence

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The Independent Online
Rugby league: Walters is given leave of absence

KERROD WALTERS, the Gateshead Thunder captain, was flying to Thailand last night to be with his wife, who has been seriously injured in a road accident, writes Dave Hadfield.

Maureen Walters, who was on holiday in Phuket before coming out with the couple's son to join her husband in Britain, is in intensive care with a fractured skull and other injuries after a collision whiles he was travelling in a taxi.

"He offered to play at Wigan, but we told him to forget all about that," said the Gateshead chief executive, Shane Richardson.

Walters has been a vital man for Gateshead in their early success as a new franchise in Super League. His twin brother, Kevin, also an Australian international, lost his wife after a long struggle against illness last year.

London Broncos paid the price for wayward goal-kicking as Castleford Tigers held them to a 12-12 draw at The Stoop yesterday. Broncos scored three tries to Castleford's two, but between them Rob Smyth and Chris Ryan failed with the conversions - Ryan also missed a penalty - to let the visitors off the hook.

Castleford struck first through an Aaron Raper try. Brad Davis, Raper and Jon Wells combined before Raper plunged over and Francis Maloney converted. Broncos hit back after 18 minutes when Rob Smyth eluded Jason Flowers and raced 50 yards for a superb solo try.

Five minutes before the break, Broncos substitute Dean Callaway spotted a huge gap in the Tigers' defence and jinked through it to claim a second home try.

After the interval Broncos introduced Martin Offiah, returning from a dead leg suffered in the Challenge Cup final defeat against Leeds Rhinos. His arrival galvanised the Broncos still further and he left Flowers for dead with a 50-yard burst to the line to give the home side a 12-6 lead.

But Cas hit back when Francis Maloney carved out a gap for Davis. He found top gear and although Broncos wing Don Peters caught him to make the tackle, Davis had freed Darren Rogers who charged over. Maloney converted to level the scores.