10th August 2018, 10:48
The teams are preparing for Sunday's Grand Final Day at Sardis Road
The eight sides contesting Welsh Grand Finals Day on Sunday at Pontypridd RFC have concluded their preparations and are looking forward to the big day out.
Please share the finals day poster
It all starts at 10am with the under 13 final between Bridgend Blue Bulls and Aber Valley Wolves. The Wolves then take on Cardiff Blue Dragons at 11.15am in the under 15 final. Cardiff’s under 17 side then face Torfaen Tigers at 12.45pm before the Premier League final at 2.45pm where the Tigers compete with reigning champions Valley Cougars.
Admission for the whole day is just £5 for adults and £3 for children with £2 from each adult ticket sold going to Dafydd Hellard’s testicular cancer treatment. Programmes priced £1 each will also be available.
The Cougars are aiming to become just the second Welsh side to go unbeaten in the Welsh leagues in successive seasons. The only team to have managed this in the past are Bridgend Blue Bulls in the first two seasons of the modern domestic Welsh competition in 2003 and 2004.
Cougars team manager Liam Price said: “Our aim this season was always to reach the Grand final and retain the trophy we won last year. As it stands, a win on Saturday will see us go unbeaten for two seasons in a row. Although we have won the two meetings against the Tigers this year we are fully aware when it comes a final form goes out the window. They will be eager to take our unbeaten tag off us and become Welsh champions in doing so. Preparation has been good this week and we go into the game focused knowing that we have a tough game ahead.”
Torfaen coach Ian Newbury said: It’s always a tough encounter between us and the Cougars. We had two close games this year and we feel we let ourselves down in both so we’re looking forward to putting that right on Sunday. Its cup final rugby now and there’s a real belief in this group that we can come away with the win. As a club, we’re also very proud of our junior sides, which have been in partnership with Warrington Wolves this season, and the players we’ve developed through our youth system over the years, so we’re delighted our under 17s have the chance to also take silverware this weekend.”
Cardiff Blue Dragons and Aber Valley Wolves have sides in two junior finals and they’re all excited for the big day.
Cardiff’s head of development, Alf Harvey said: “At junior level it has been a very successful season. Our participation levels have increased by 30% from last year and the community engagement has been amazing. To have two teams representing the club on finals day makes us all proud. Although victories for both teams would be great however regardless of the results we cannot thank the coaches and players enough for all their commitment to the club. Rugby League in Cardiff is growing year on year and we hope to see more success on and off the field as time goes on.”
Helen Treherne, general manager of Aber Valley Wolves said: “The club is so proud of all our age groups and we are especially happy that our under 13s and under 15s are both in the Grand Final. Both age groups have worked extremely hard this season and their and the coaches' hard work and dedication has definitely paid off. We have some serious talent in the club and it's fantastic to see the boys travelling along the pathway to regional and international honours and super league academies. The future for rugby league in Wales is bright.”
Bridgend Blue Bulls’ success story this year has been their under 13 side who go into their Grand Final unbeaten. Assistant coach Stephen Smith said: “This group of players have all worked hard since January and hard coach Jon Hanson has brought the best out in them. This group has been a real pleasure to coach and hope they have one more performance left this season. The future is bright with these young Bulls.”
Fixtures – all at Sardis Road, Pontypridd
Under 13 final – Bridgend Blue Bulls v Aber Valley Wolves (kick-off 10am)
Under 15 final – Aber Valley Wolves v Cardiff Blue Dragons (kick-off 11.15am)
Under 17 final – Cardiff Blue Dragons v Torfaen Tigers (kick-off 12.45pm)
Premier League Final – Valley Cougars v Torfaen Tigers (kick-off 2.45pm)