11th June 2011, 17:58
Conference Report 2011 Week 4
CPC Bears secure historic first win in the Conference Premier
CARDIFF DEMONS 16 CPC BEARS 54
By Simon Davies and Ian Golden
CPC Bears recorded their first ever victory at senior level with 54-16 victory over a spirited but depleted Cardiff Demons.
The Bears scored their first try in the third minute when Nathan Beck found the gap on the overlap.
They scored five more before the interval with Charlie Rogers, Adam Sinnot, Jake Geehan, Aled Jones and Beck all running over, the last of these being a skilful 80-metre run on the hooter. Cardiff scored their first on the half-hour through Mike Hurley.
The second half was similar to the first with the Bears scoring six times. Beck grabbed his hat-trick, Jeffries notched a second, Craig Griffiths and Andrew Flynn each touched down, while the final two for the Bears were both scored by Chris Thomas.
The Demons didn't give up throughout the game and continued to show spirit in the face of adversity. Carl Fish and Doug Hann each scored tries for the home side and the latter could have scored another late on but dropped the ball as he was reaching for the line.
So the Bears went home with a much cherished victory but the Demons must be credited for their attitude and commitment as they still managed to run in three tries against a full quota of players from West Wales.
TITANS LET BIG LEAD SLIP IN 15 TRY THRILLER
By Simon Green
The only two unbeaten teams in the Welsh Rugby League Conference Premier Division went head to head in Machen and gave the crowd a 15 try thriller, with the Bulls eventually running out 42-36 winners.
The Titans were by far the better side at the start scoring three early tries through Dale Tucker, Shaun Weed and an excellent solo effort from hooker Rhys Meredith, Callum Rowlands added two goals for a 16-0 lead.
The visitors then hit back in the 12th minute when a great scoot from Craig Fox sent Gareth Howells over under the posts. Howells converted his own score but Meredith then kicked a penalty goal to make it 18-6.
A break from Bridgend centre Lloyd Ryland then sent burly prop Charles Stevenson racing 40 metres to the line, Howells again converting. The Blue Bulls then suffered a blow losing stand-off Matthew Hutchings with an ankle injury and the Titans took full advantage claiming a fourth try through Jack Williams after fine play from Jarrod Hinnem and Daniel Esposito.
That gave the home side a 10 point lead but the Blue Bulls rallied before the break claiming two late scores through Andy Milne and Richard Howells, the second coming from another Ryland break, but both kicks were missed and the Titans lead 22-20 at half time.
The Bulls almost scored in the first minute of the second half but James Elton knocked on over the line, then a break from Jamie Tucker looked certain to result in a Titans score but a fine tackle from Chris McGrath kept him out.
Seven minutes into the second half Bridgend did finally take the lead when Rhys Dowling gave a great pass to send 18 year old Bulls fullback Huw Rosser racing 80 metres for a fine score, Howells adding the extra two.
The lead then changed hand again and again, Andy Whittingham hit back for the Titans before Dave Norman scored outwide for the Bulls. Kristian Hawkes then brought the scores level at 30-30, Rhys Hendley missed the conversion but midway through the half kicked a penalty to give the Titans a two point lead.
The next score would be crucial and it went to Blue Bulls loose forward Nathan Hawkins after good play from Matthew Hocking and Gareth Howells, then former Crusader Grant Epton put Bridgend two scores clear for the first time, Howells converting both tries for a crucial 10 point lead.
But the Titans had the final say when Rhys Hendley just managed to squeeze over in the corner, that put the home team within six and they were unlucky not to sneak a draw as a Mark England break should have seen them claim a late try, but the Blue Bulls held out for a 42-36 win.
This was a great attacking game with lots of excellent young players on show and many will be playing together for the Wales Dragonhearts in there Four Nations Campaign which begins against Ireland in Limerick on Saturday 2nd July.
Titans try scorers:Dale Tucker,Shaun Weed,Rhys Meredith,Jack Williams,Andy Whittingham,Kristian Hicks & Rhys Hendley Goals:Calvin Rowlands (3)Rhys Hendley
Bridgend Blue Bulls Try Scorers:Gareth Howells,Charles Stevenson,Andy Milne,Richard Howells,Huw Rosser,Dave Norman,Nathan Hawkins & Grant Epton Goals:Gareth Howells (5)
VALLEY COUGARS 'A' 38 TORFAEN TIGERS 30
By Karl Jones
Valley Cougars 'A' got back to winning ways at the expense of Torfaen Tigers - but two tries in the last two minutes from the visitors gave the Cougars a late scare.
The 'A' team contained a number of players with first team experience this year and that told in the early exchanges with Rhodri Morris controlling things well from dummy-half.
The first try of the game involved three of those players that have represented the Cougars in the Conference National, Morris feeding Liam Williams who broke a tackle before a subtle offload sent Mike Herbert racing clear to score under the posts - Carl Thomas adding the extras on seven minutes.
Having edged in front, the Cougars began to win the battle for territory and Liam Watton profited, bursting through two challenges to score on his debut. Moments later, the 'A' team got their third try via an angled run from Eddie Davies which saw him power over from close range.
With the Cougars making their advantage count, a physical contest threatened to boil over; Daryl Carter was sent to the sin bin for a high shot on 24 minutes, leaving the Tigers to arrest the slide with just 12 men.
Thomas was next to get on the scoresheet after a well-worked move. He converted his own try to extend the lead to 22-0 on the half-hour mark.
The Tigers looked capable of threatening the Cougars once they attacked in the wider channels, and full back Rob Gardner went over before Mark White got a second for Torfaen shortly afterwards, ensuring that the visitors were not out of the contest as half time loomed.
Shortly after the restart, Craig Jones linked up well with Carter to get Torfaen's third try meaning that the score was only one converted try apart, but after the Cougars kick off was re-gathered by Matthew Crane, Morris poached a try from close range after strong running from Ieuan Simms and Chris Speck.
The Cougars were then able to put some breathing space between themselves and the Tigers as Nel Sloane joined the line from full back and weaved his way through to score. Thomas was again on target with the conversion extending the lead to 34-16.
Two minutes later, Simms scored the try of the game after a break from Ben Thomas saw him link up with centre Aled Richards, before turning the ball inside to Carl Thomas, and finally onto Simms to dive in at the corner.
Jamie Williams immediately pulled a try back for the Tigers after some strong running was backed up by a number of offloads, disorientating the 'A' team's defence and creating gaps for the Tigers to exploit.
After White raced home for his second to set up a grandstand finish, Rhys Miller touched down with a minute to go but ultimately the Tigers had left themselves too much to do.
DYFFRYN DEVILS 36 NEATH PORT TALBOT STEELERS 38.
By Cara Thomas
The NPT Steelers ended the Devils unbeaten home since their introduction to the Championship with a nailbiting win at pen-y-banc RFC.
The Steelers started strongly and scored a converted try within the first 5 minutes to take the lead. Both teams then exchanged two tries a piece in an end to end open game. The Devils then took control of the half with two converted tries to lead 20 points to 14 at the interval.
The Devils continued the second half where they left off with two well worked tries and conversions to take the score to 32 - 14. The Devils then took their foot off the pedal and the Steelers took full advantage with two well created tries and a conversion to reduce the deficit to 32 - 26.
Ill discipline was costing the home side dearly, as they repeatly gave away penalties giving the Steelers excellent field position which they scored an unconverted try to take the score to 32 -30.
In a thrilling last 5 minutes, Daniel Gruppy scored for the Steelers, as he touched down he was fouled and the referee awarded a 8 point penalty try which allowed the Steelers to regain the lead at 38 - 32.
In the last minute the Devils Captain Jon Sanegar crossed from close range to take the score to 38 - 36 with the conversion to come. The Devils were denied the draw by the width of the post as the ball rebounded off the woodwork.
The Devils Coach Chris Davies commented on the huge strides his players have made since their introduction to rugby league in 2010 he said " When my debutants get a grasp of the rules and plays of the different code of rugby we will be a force to be reckoned with".
The Steelers Coach Richard Lewis was impressed by the performance of his young side he said "after a difficult start to the season due to a player exodus, we have rebuit our squad and this win has brought a new found believe amongst the new players".