WRL PREMIER LEAGUE – WEEK 5
TORFAEN TIGERS 44 BRIDGEND BLUE BULLS 20
By Ian Golden at Cwmbran RFC
Torfaen Tigers were always in control at home to Bridgend Blue Bulls, recording a 44-20 win for their third victory of the season.
The match in Cwmbran was the culmination of a quadruple header of matches, showing the strength in depth that the WRL Premier League clubs have in South Wales.
Torfaen’s U15s were first up, and they beat Cardiff Blue Dragons 56-10, the U13s then lost to Bridgend Blue Bulls 26-6 before the Tigers beat the Bulls 28-16 at under 17 level.
The Tigers were hot favourites to win the Premier League game and they made the best possible start, scoring three tries in the first 12 minutes.
Euaun Morris picked up a loose ball to go over for Torfaen’s first after five minutes. Easily converted by Dai Thomas to make it 6-0.
The score was increased five minutes later when Jon Wells scored in the corner for a try that went unconverted.
Straight away, Torfaen scored a third, Morris making use of the Cwmbran slope to run over in the same corner with the kick again sailing wide.
Gareth Howells hit back for Bridgend with an unconverted try just after the quarter-time break, taken for drinks due to the searing heat in Cwmbran.
The break certainly did the Bulls good. They went over for a second straight away through Rhys Pope.
After Bridgend were temporarily reduced to 12 men, Torfaen took advantage as Liam Silver fed Wells to go over. Thomas converted to give Tigers a 20-8 half-time lead.
Despite going uphill after the break, Torfaen started strong and quickly put the game out of Bridgend’s reach. Liam Silver scored two break-away tries and Sam Taylor followed suit. Thomas converted all three to give the Tigers a 30-point lead 15 minutes into the half.
Bridgend refused to give up. Anthony Burnell got a try back but Torfaen addressed the balance straight away as Morris went over for his hat-trick try which Thomas improved. Bridgend stalwart Xavier Manaseitava sold a nice dummy to score another one back before the hour with Pope scoring his second not long after that. All of Gareth Howells’ conversion attempts were wide of the mark.
Tries: Euaun Morris 3, Jon Wells 2, Liam Silver 2, Sam Taylor
Goals: Dai Thomas 6
Tries: Gareth Howells, Rhys Pope 2, Anthony Burnell, Xavier Manaseitava.
WEST WALES RAIDERS 48 CARDIFF BLUE DRAGONS 4
By Peter Tiffin at Parc Stebonheath
In Llanelli, West Wales Raiders staged a triple header of games which culminated in their Premier League side beating Cardiff Blue Dragons 48-4.
The day began with the Raiders’ under 13s taking on Cardiff Blue Dragons in a reverse fixture of last weekend’s game. With lots of running rugby and plenty of tries, the Raiders won 56-14.
The second game of the day saw Aber Valley Wolves travel down to play against the Raiders in an under 15s fixture. The first half was more than a little one sided as the Raiders went 50-0 up, but the Wolves came back in the second half and proved why they hadn’t lost a game this season before today. The game ended Raiders 84 Wolves 16.
The Premier League game began very quickly with Cardiff scoring after three minutes when Liam Maule went over from a chip on the last tackle.
However after that, it was all Raiders. It didn’t take them long to come back as under 17’s graduate James Smith took advantage off a mistake from kick off to score and unconverted try.
Raiders took the lead through a Curtis Ford try with Sean Collins, Andrew Rees-Spowart and Rhys Cherry all following him over. Three conversions from Aaron Lewis put Raiders 26-4 up at half-time.
The start of the second half was a tight affair as both teams put a lot of effort in their defences with some big hits. It took 25 minutes for the first points of the half, as full back Sam Pridgeon went over from a well worked play. This seemed to rejuvenate the Raiders as they went on to score three more tries – one from senior loose forward Alan Pope and two from captain Daf Phillips. Aaron Lewis added all three conversions.
Head coach Jon Ellis said: “Three games at Stebonheath Park saw our young talent pools playing at under 13s and 15s, with both coming away with convincing wins and culminating in the seniors winning well against Cardiff. This was a fantastic day of rugby league in West Wales and it shows the future is bright for the region within the sport.”
Tries: James Smith, Curtis Ford, Sean Collins, Andrew Rees-Spowart, Rhys Cherry, Sam Pridgeon, Alan Pope, Daf Phillips 2.
Goals: Aaron Lewis 6
Tries: Liam Maule
WELSH PREMIER LEAGUE P W D L F A Diff Pts
Valley Cougars 3 3 0 0 152 44 108 6
Torfaen Tigers 5 3 0 2 168 148 20 6
West Wales Raiders 3 2 0 1 124 86 38 4
Cardiff Blue Dragons 4 2 0 2 126 118 8 4
Bridgend Blue Bulls 4 1 0 3 112 166 -54 2
Rhondda Outlaws 3 0 0 3 56 176 -120 0
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