30th June 2013, 11:47
SATURDAY'S CONFERENCE ROUND-UP
COUGARS TAME TIGERS WHILE CONWY WIN IN THE NORTH
By Gary Baker. Wales Rugby League Communications Manager
South Wales Conference
Valley Cougars 28 Torfaen Tigers 12
Cardiff 36 Newport Titans 22
North Wales Conference
Conwy Celts 86 Flintshire Falcons 28
VALLEY Cougars have taken a big step towards a South Wales Conference Grand Final place with a significant victory over Torfaen Tigers in Treharris on Saturday.
But Cardiff Demons are in no mood to let the Cougars have it their own way as they beat Newport Titans to set-up another massive match next weekend at the top of the valleys.
Meanwhile, Conwy Celts maintained their surge towards the North Wales Conference finale with a big win over Flintshire Falcons.
Cougars coach Paul Emmanuelli was not happy with the performance of his side despite them winning 28-12. However, Torfaen were left disappointed at three yellow cards handed out to them and a couple of other decisions that did not go their way.
Welsh Dragonhearts international Liam Watton was the try-scoring star for the Cougars as he ran over three times in the match. The centre struck either side of a further home touchdown by flying wing Dan Davies.
But the Tigers fought back and went into the break with a try from Ashley Goode on the stroke of half-time.
The Cougars lead 16-4 at that stage and increased it further with a sizzler from Cory Clark down the right wing. A couple of other missed chances could have increased the Valley advantage but Torfaen felt they should have had a penalty try and the Cougars have a man in the bin when Ian Manley was pushed from behind in the act of scoring after a kick-chase down the length of the field. The result was just a scrum.
Torfaen, though, did strike after 51 minutes when Mikki Witts found himself in space on the left wing to dive in at the corner.
But Watton's third try on 63 minutes, a straight-forward run-in from ten yards as Torfaen were stretched in their own 25, saw the result put beyond doubt.
And, despite having two more players binned in the last ten minutes, the Tigers had the last say when big Mark White drove over from five yards after considerable pressure inside the home danger area.
Yet, despite the tries, the most outstanding moment of the match was an amazing cover tackle that belonged in the Super League let alone the South Wales Conference.
It came from Torfaen's Gareth Rusby-Davies after Dan Davies ripped through the Tigers' defence on his own 25 and ran like an Olympic sprinter to the right corner. He was certain to score but Rusby-Davies just got back in time and put in a blistering tackle that knocked out the corner flag and put the Cougars star into touch.
It was the second game in a week for the Cougars after they beat Wales Students in Treharris on Tuesday and that, said Emmanuelli, seemed to have an effect on them this time.
“It was a good win but a poor performance,” he said. “Tuesday took a bit out of us.”
However, they are closing in on the top spot in the table, and Emmanuelli added: “It's an aim we set out for ourselves at the start of the season and, after losing our first game against Bonymaen, we have not looked back.”
Torfaen team manager Rob Davies was not happy with some decisions in the game and said: “There were two stonewall yellow cards for them which were missed. However, we have come here missing 11 first team players and competed for eighty minutes. Given that four months ago the club didn't exist, that shows how far we have come.”
As much as the Cougars celebrated, they will get back down to business this week for another huge clash in Treharris on Saturday when the Demons come to town.
Cardiff beat Newport Titans for a second time in a couple of weeks by 36-22, with Alan Pope scoring a couple of their tries.
Meanwhile, in North Wales, Conwy Celts put in a clinical display to beat Flintshire Falcons 86-28. The Celts lead 52-4 at half-time but Flintshire put in a gallant effort afterwards to score 24 points.
Ed Weston scored four tries, with Lee Davies getting a hat-trick of his own and Chris Jones adding two touchdowns. There were also tries for Matt Jones, Lewis Stockton, Ian Marshall, Michael Harrison, Jay Harding and Lloyd Jones. Marshall also added 13 goals.