Wales Rugby League



Bridgend beat the Champions in week 4

9th June 2014, 05:36

Bridgend beat the Champions in week 4

Owen Thomas scored a hat-trick as the Bridgend Blue Bulls made it three victories in a row, clinching a 32-20 victory away to last year’s champions Torfaen Tigers.


By Matthew Davies


Owen Thomas scored a hat-trick as the Bridgend Blue Bulls made it three victories in a row, clinching a 32-20 victory away to last year’s champions Torfaen Tigers.


Xavier Manaseitava, Mikey Kennedy and captain Nathan Hawkins also crossed for tries in a fiery affair which saw the referee show six yellow cards.


Three off the ball scuffles occurred throughout the match as all on-field 26 players got involved with the instigators getting sent to the sin bin.


The game started with the youthful Bulls XIII on top and it wasn't long until they got the first score of the game.


Bridgend edged closer as the fifth tackle loomed when the ball was whipped out to Hawkins. The skipper then faked a kick, backed himself and rode a tackle before stretching his arm out to score.


The visitors extended their lead soon after. Lee Harben-Jones received the ball from a scrum who set up Thomas to score beneath the sticks.


However, the momentum changed hands for ten minutes each side of the interval.


Two tries in quick succession from the home team, with Ryan Bates and Mike Davies both going over from short range, brought the scores closer together before the half time whistle sounded.


After the break, Luke Symonds, then Andrew Barlow, each scored well worked tries, both of which converted by Mike Davies as Torfaen looked in total control of the match.


However, the Bulls had been used to coming from behind, having done so in their previous two matches and that's exactly what they did.


A solid set provided the Bulls with strong field position before slick hands amongst the backs saw Manaseitava put into space on the touch line before he scored in the corner.


Thomas grabbed his second of the match soon after. Man of the match Kennedy broke down the wing and looked to be tackled. The defenders retreated in preparation of the next tackle but the winger got his hands free, popped off to Thomas who crashed over the line.


This time it was Thomas' turn to be the provider, sensibly giving possession to the speedster Kennedy who finished off to put the Bulls back in front.


Thomas scored once more to put daylight between the teams, finishing off another fine move out wide with a spectacular dive beneath the posts.


Also on Saturday, Gwendraeth Valley Raiders beat Aber Valley Wolves 42-40 in a thriller in West Wales.


Raiders keep the Wolves at Bay

Gwendraeth Valley Raiders 42 – 40 Aber Valley Wolves

Gwendraeth Valley Raiders got their league campaign back on track this Saturday by securing a win over one of the league favourites, the Aber Valley Wolves writes Andrew Thorne. The Raiders were still hurting from their defeat to the Bridgend Blue Bulls and with a few of the team missing and only one interchange on the bench they knew that this game was not going to be an easy one.

From kick off the GV Raiders were slow out of the blocks and with some sloppy defending the Aber Valley Wolves were gifted 4 tries one after each other, only managing to convert one, leaving the GV raiders some work to do, after a regroup the GV raiders showed great composure, completing their sets scoring two well worked tries one for Captain Alan Pope and one for hooker Aled Jones, with a great display of kicking from the full back Andrew Rees converting both tries bringing the score line back to 18-12 to the Wolves and remained that way until close to the Half-way point where the Wolves managed to gain another converted try leaving the halftime score 24 -12 to the Wolves

The second half was a much better encounter for the GV Raiders with the captain Alan Pope scoring in no time bring the score to 24 – 18. The Raiders were starting to grow into the game; the self-belief of the Raiders was justified in the most stirring manner, as they overcame what had the potential to be a white wash. Aled Jones took advantage of poor marker defence and stole 4 points, 2 meters out from the Wolves line, and then scored his third of the day. The Wolves however were not out and struck back with a try of their own but missed the conversion taking the score to GV Raiders 30 – 28 Aber Valley Wolves. With the scores so close and the raiders taking the lead for the first time frustration started to creep into the Wolves team  resulting in an of the ball scuffle, the altercation left the referee no option than to sin bin 2 players from the Aber Valley Wolves and 1 player from the GV Raiders.

With a player advantage the well-structured GV Raiders team found a weakness in the tired Wolves defence opening a gap for pivot Tomos Williams to score under the posts. The try of the match however was scored by raiders Captain Alan Pope, after noticing there was no full back at home he attacked the defensive line and re-gathered his own chip forward to score under the posts again with his impeccable kicking Andrew Rees converted his 7th of the day to give him a 100% record.

The encounter between these two team didn’t disappoint the crowd of spectators, both teams were physical in attack and defence holding nothing back in the contact area, with the score line at 42 – 28 with 10 minutes to go it looked like the Raiders could achieve a great win over an opponent who have been beating teams comfortably this season. The Wolves however had other plans and scored two tries but only managed to convert the one taking the score to 42 – 40, with some excellent exit sets and great defending by the Raiders this is all the Wolves could achieve. 



In Sunday's only game, Valley Cougars A beat Cardiff Spartans 34-20.