WRL’s Premier League has reached the semi-final stage with two mouthwatering clashes being played this Saturday at 2.30pm writes Ian Golden.
There is a slight restructure after reigning champions Bridgend Blue Bulls announced on Wednesday that they were unable to field a side this week, so Rhondda Outlaws have taken their place.
Minor Premiers Valley Cougars are favourites to keep up their unbeaten record but know that their local rivals Rhondda Outlaws will show no mercy in the match at Treharris RFC.
Cougars captain Scott Britton said: “With the Cougars having had the last couple of weeks off without fixtures, training has been intense with players really working hard to make the team for the last home game of the season.
“We are under no illusion that we are now in the knock-out stages, and that what we have done leading up to this point means nothing, so we will have to be at our best if we are to continue our good form.”
Torfaen Tigers will hope to make it three wins out of three against Cardiff Blue Dragons when they meet in Cwmbran but they know it won’t be easy against a capital side that will have trained hard for this encounter.
Tigers chairman Rob Davies said: “The business end of the season is here. We set ourselves two goals at the start of the year following the (temporary) demise of Conference League South. The first was to blood as many youngsters into the first team squad as possible and the other was to win the League. We have achieved part one with 10 teenagers having made first team appearances over the course of the season.
“On Saturday we can take a big step towards achieving goal two where a win would see us contest three of the four Welsh Grand Finals for the second year running. We know Cardiff will be, as always, a tough side to beat. We’ll have to be at the top of our game to make the final.”
Torfaen have already qualified for the Under 17s and Under 15s Grand Finals, the latter after beating Aber Valley Wolves 44-16 in the semi-final on Tuesday evening in Caerphilly. They meet Under 15s table toppers West Wales Raiders in this Final. Their opponents in the Under 17s showpiece will be Cardiff Blue Dragons with the top two sides going straight through to the Final in this age group.
The semi-finals of the successful Under 13s competition take place this Sunday with Aber Valley Wolves hosting Bridgend Blue Bulls at Ysgol y Gwyndy in Caerphilly (kick-off noon) and DC Wildcats facing West Wales Raiders at The Wern in Merthyr (kick-off 11am).
The full play-off fixture list is:
Saturday 5 August
PREMIER LEAGUE: Valley Cougars v Rhondda Outlaws; Torfaen Tigers v Cardiff Blue Dragons.
Sunday 6 August
Aber Valley Wolves v Bridgend Blue Bulls; DC Wildcats v West Wales Raiders.
Sunday 13 August
Aber Valley Wolves or Bridgend Blue Bulls v DC Wildcats or West Wales Raiders (11.00am)
West Wales Raiders v Torfaen Tigers (12.15pm)
Cardiff Blue Dragons v Torfaen Tigers (kick-off 1.30pm)
Valley Cougars or Rhondda Outlaws v Cardiff Blue Dragons or Torfaen Tigers (3.00pm)
All at Glamorgan Warriors RUFC