13th July 2014, 11:20
Round 9 results
Quest for the title goes to the last weekend
Cardiff Spartans 16 Bridgend Blue Bulls 54
By Aled Davies at Llandaff North RFC
Bridgend Blue Bulls kept their hopes of a home playoff place alive with a convincing 54-16 victory over Cardiff Spartans. Without many of their regular starters, Dale Wood moved from the backs into the forwards for the match and looked right at home in the pack as he grabbed a hat-trick. Paul Songhurst touched down twice with Xavier Manaseitava, Nathan Trowbridge and Bulls veteran, Craig Fox also grabbing tries. The game started slowly with both teams testing each other out. Bridgend had to remain patient but it wasn't long until the scoring was opened when Matthew Davies switched with winger, Manaseitava before he touched down in the corner.
Cardiff hit back immediately, making the most of some lacklustre defence from the Bulls, crossing for an easy try beneath the sticks. The Bulls became frustrated, dropping balls and gifting possession to the opposition frequently but they eventually re-established the lead as Songhurst powered over from a tap penalty.
Trowbridge then crossed out wide after Alex King and Lee Harben-Jones linked up, confusing the Cardiff defence. The half came to an end as Fox took a snipe down the blindside, catching his opponents unaware and the hooker managed to weave his way over to put further daylight between the two teams.
Bridgend remained on top in the second half with Wood scoring early on. King, again involved, popped inside to the winger cum prop and he raced in to score under the posts. The ill-disciplined Spartans were down to 11 men as Songhurst grabbed his second of the match soon after. A quick penalty saw Cardiff exposed out wide and the centre coasted through the defence to score.
The Spartans had a spell of dominance in the match and managed to touch down twice in quick succession before the Bulls managed to recompose themselves. Wood was on the score sheet once more as a patient set gave the Bulls strong field position. The prop displayed his versatility as he found himself at dummy-half, only to pick up and score again.
The kick off fell straight back to Wood, who coasted through the defence like a hot knife through butter. The man of the match touched down to complete his hat-trick. The scoring was complete when late call-up, Mitch John gathered the ball from kick off, replicating Wood's final try, except with a little less speed and guile.
Aber Valley Wolves 26 Torfaen Tigers 26
By Rob Davies.
Reigning champions Torfaen Tigers and league newcomers Aber Valley Wolves shared the spoils in what was very much a game of two halves at Senghenydd RFC.
The Tigers dominated early on as they crossed for tries through fullback Ryan Evans and front rowers Fraser Young and Craig Price, Luke Brown adding two goals to give them a 14-0 half time lead.
The visitors continued their dominance early in the second half as captain Louie Pengelly and centre Jack Watkins both crossing for tries, Brown converting both, to take the score to 26-0 to the visitors on the hour mark.
With the game seemingly in the bag, for the second time this season the Tigers imploded in the final quarter, as to their credit the Wolves stuck at it and aided by field position gained from Tigers’ ill-discipline, they set about mounting an unlikely comeback, crossing for tries through Jacob Wright, Lloyd Rowlands and a brace for Alun Ford, Ford converting all four to cut the Tigers lead to 26-24 with a minute to play. Tigers’ livewire hooker Ryan Bates was then controversially penalised for moving off the mark when he had seemingly not been held and Ford kicked the penalty from 45metres to tie the scores and send the race for first place into the final week of the season.
CARDIFF DEMONS 22 GWENDRAETH VALLEY RAIDERS 90
By Andrew Thorne
Gwendraeth Valley Raiders virtually secured their place in the end of season play-offs with a convincing win over Cardiff Demons.
The game started as it was to go on as straight from kick off within the first set of six, the Raiders worked their way to the Demons half, and with a quick play the ball and some great angles from the forwards the gap opened for Pivot Shane Lee to break through for the first try of the day.
Unfortunately for the Demons they were unable to get their hands on the ball and with some superb attacking plays it seems tries were the order of the day for the raiders, For the first 15 minutes of the game the Raiders continually found weaknesses in the Demons defence, scoring a further four tries, two from winger Dafydd Phillips, one from loose forward Alan Pope and one from second row Ben Phillips taking the score to 26–0 after 15 miutes.
With the Raiders’ confidence building, they started to play an open game of rugby offloading in the tackle and forcing plays. This however resulted in knock-ons and a few close interceptions from the Demons, with the Demons starting to find their feet they managed to force a number of penalties and found themselves on the Raiders try line with a fresh set of six, defending furiously. After a number of sets on their own line as a result of bad discipline the Demons got their first points from John Evans.
After a word from the coach the Raiders went back to what they do best and played their style of rugby and added a further four tries to their tally, two from Pope, two from centre Dan Fox.
With the game looking like it was in the bag the Raiders started to get lazy in defence resulting in Kyle Rose and Lewys john crossing for the Demons.
The Raiders responded immediately with a try of their own from Daniel Maiden who scored a lovely try, after finding the defence napping he broke through the centres and run 50 metres to score a great individual try.
The Demons managed one more try, but that was it for the day with 20 minutes still to go the Raiders upped the pace and scored a further six tries, two from winger Matthew Davies who scored the try of the match after running the length of the pitch from a restart beating five defenders, two from centre Josh Taylor, one from second row Andrew Rees and one from the veteran Andy Thorne who scored his first for the club.
The score line was helped through the boot of Andrew Rees who kicked 12 from 16 in addition to a surprise kick when veteran Neil Williams kicked a conversion from a difficult position.