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Cougars win Welsh derby and Raiders push Cov close

4th June 2016, 21:26

Cougars win Welsh derby and Raiders push Cov close

Valley Cougars consolidated their position at the top of the RFL Conference South table with a dominating performance against Torfaen Tigers in game one of Big Welsh Derby day in Cardiff Arms Park.

CONFERENCE LEAGUE SOUTH

VALLEY COUGARS 60 TORFAEN TIGERS 16

By Ian Golden at Cardiff Arms Park

 

Valley Cougars consolidated their position at the top of the RFL Conference South table with a dominating performance against Torfaen Tigers in game one of Big Welsh Derby day in Cardiff Arms Park.

 

First opportunity to score came to Torfaen’s Danyl Davies but he fumbled the ball with almost a clear run to the line.

 

Jack Watkins had the first chance for the Cougars but good tackling from the Tigers backline forced him to drop the ball.

 

The same player made a fantastic run minutes later but was again stopped by solid Tigers defence.

 

However Cougars did eventually break through when a good passing move saw Liam Watton ground. Mike Hurley’s kick went off the post and through to make it 6-0.

 

The second came from Yousif Sulliman moments later as was released on the wing following a penalty. Hurley’s kick was wide.

 

A good move saw Lee Goddard in for the third Cougars try. Hurley converted to build the score up to 16-0.

 

And from kick-off, Cougars went in again as Jamie Marsh was released on the wing. Hurley converted again.

 

Tigers finally got on the board just after the half hour when Matt Williams went in under the sticks and Matt Cummins converted.

 

But Cougars addressed the balance straight away when player-coach Dafydd Hellard set up Marsh to go in from his second. Hurley’s goal made the half-time score 28-6.

 

A Scott Giles try increased Cougars lead 10 minutes into the second half. Hurley converted again before getting a try of his own and improving to bring the score up to 40-6.

 

Scott Britton added the next try which went unconverted but Hurley did convert the next, scored by Goddard to bring up the 50.

 

Tigers struck back again and it was the same two Matts partnership with Williams scoring and Cummins converting to make the score 50-12.

 

They weren’t finished yet. Jamie Tucker forced his way over for another Tigers consolation but Cummins missed the kick.

 

But Cougars had the final say with two quick tries. They regained the ball from the restart and Martin Luckwell forced his way over with Hurley converting. Rhodri Morris added the next with Hurley missing the final kick of the game for a 60-16 win.

 

 

WEST WALES RAIDERS 40 COVENTRY BEARS RESERVES 50

By Peter Tiffin at Parc Stebonheath

 

Coventry Bears Reserves, who fielded six players who had turned out for their first team just three days earlier including Queensland born Wales squad member James Geutjiens, overcame West Wales Raiders 50-40 in an exciting encounter at Stebonheath on Saturday.

 

With Coventry being the only team to beat the Raiders at their home ground last season, everyone knew they were in for a very tough game.

 

From the start Coventry settled in very quickly to pull ahead with three unanswered tries as former Wales junior international Joel James, James Redman and Chris Barratt all crossed. James converted all three.

 

All three were very similar with plays stretching the Raiders’ defence and then having more numbers out wide.

 

As the scores were 18-0 after 15 minutes of play it was time for the Raiders to make some changes and introduce Dan Fox and Alan Pope back in to the mix. The change proved fruitful as the Raiders then scored three tries with Dafydd Phillips sniping under the posts, Andrew Spowart receiving a high cross field kick to go over in the corner and Harry Boots stormed up the middle scoring under the posts, all three tries were converted superbly by pivot Luke Williams.

 

With ten minutes of the half remaining, Coventry found themselves in a fantastic after winning a penalty. The Raiders centre popped his knee and Redman was given space left by the injured player to score.

 

However with minutes remaining, Raiders scored from a scrum playing down the short side allowing speedster Curtis Ford to score in the corner with millimetres to spare.

 

This left the half time score West Wales Raiders 22-22 Coventry Bears.

 

The second half started exactly as the first with Coventry coming out much quicker and scoring 20 unanswered points through capitalising on mistake after mistake from the Raiders around the ruck.

 

Pivot James Redman bossed the Coventry attack time after time making the tries much easier for his own team mates. He completed his hat-trick in the second half with Steve Pahal, Tawanda Chipadza and Barratt all crossing and three more goals from James making the score 44-22 to Coventry.

 

Another serious injury to a Raiders player made things a lot worse but they showed grit to recover with 15 minutes remaining as they turned on the style.

 

First, Alan Pope smashed his way through what looked like an impenetrable defensive line then Dan Fox scored in the exact same corner with a deft pass from Luke Williams and the final try of the frantic fight back saw winger Andrew Spowart take a fantastic change of directional kick from centre Dan Fox to place down in the corner.

 

Straight after this try, the Raiders again scored through hooker Daf Phillips diving from close range under the posts. With the try awarded, Luke Williams immediately converted with a drop goal only for the referee to the rule out the try and award a knock on!

 

With the score 44-34 to Coventry and only four minutes left, Raiders had another opportunity which they took with Alan Pope again finding the smallest of gaps to score again. Luke Williams quickly converted and Coventry had as slender four point lead.

 

The raiders set up to ready to go again but with a knock on from the kick off on their own try line the heads dropped and Coventry capitalised by ending the game a Jono Miliszewski try converting by James, giving Coventry a 50-40 win.

 

Raiders head coach Jon Ellis said: “We played some dumb rugby league today and the boys know that, but on the flip side we demonstrated just how better we are when we put our mind to it. We know where we went, we know what we do right, it's just a case of getting back on the paddock and working on our weaknesses. We will be back.”