Torfaen Tigers’ chairman Rob Davies has said that this weekend could be the biggest in his club’s history with a derby tonight (Friday) at Cwmbran RFC and three junior finals on Saturday at Caerphilly RFC writes Ian Golden.
This evening sees the Tigers host West Wales Raiders at Cwmbran RFC in a crucial game that could go a long way to seeing who qualifies for the end of season play-offs (kick-off 7.30pm), whilst Davies believes that the club has surpassed itself by reaching all three junior Grand Finals.
Saturday in Caerphilly sees the Tigers face Aber Valley Wolves at Under 13s level (kick-off 11am), South Wales Rabbitohs in the Under 15s (kick-off 12.15pm) and Cardiff City RL in the Under 17s Final (kick-off 1.30pm).
Davies said: “This is a massive achievement for the club. We’ve exceeded all expectations.
“We thought our Under 17s would have a strong season after being crowned champions last year. But for our Under 13s and Under 15s to also go on and reach their finals, in our first year playing at those levels, is fantastic.
“The Under 13s have worked hard through the season and have built week on week, and the Under 15s are a naturally gifted side and are still learning and have done really well so far.
“Our opponents are all established clubs. Cardiff have been doing well for years at junior level, Rabbitohs are still undefeated so they’ll be a stern test, and Aber Valley have taught us some lessons a couple of times this year which we’ve learnt from.
“All the coaches from all three sides have put a lot of hard work in, it’s a massive day for the club and it shows that the future is bright for Torfaen Tigers.”
He continued: “We’ve moved to Conference League South game against West Wales Raiders to Friday, as the senior boys wanted to support the junior sides. We’ve built a one-club mentality over the course of the last season. We all help one another and leave egos at the door.
“It’s do or die tonight. Whoever comes out of this game on top will probably go on to get fourth place and a play-off spot. Hopefully we can build on the performances of the last couple of weeks and get the win, which would be a great start to the weekend.”
A win for the Tigers won’t quite see them in the play-offs. It will put them three points above the Raiders with one game left to play, but the Llanelli side have a game in hand on the Tigers, one being at home to Valley Cougars, and would need to win both to overtake them.
Valley Cougars will seal a top two place and a home game in the play-offs if they beat Gloucestershire All Golds’ second string at Treharris RFC on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm).
The All Golds need a win to keep up any realistic hopes of clinching fourth spot.
The sides have met twice this season with both encounters being close but Cougars winning on each occasion.
“Every game against the All Golds is tough,” said Cougars’ coach Dafydd Hellard. “We know that they’ll be well coached and they still want to get to the play-offs.
“But we want to get to second place this week and do Torfaen a favour in the process. We’ll have a strong side out and we’ll be going for our third win in a row against them this season.”
The weekend was meant to conclude with the 14th Welsh Grand Final but this has now been postponed to Sunday 21 August as a double header (kick off tbc) with the Kingstone Press League 1 Shield game between South Wales Scorpions v Oxford at Caerphilly RFC.
Following last Saturday’s Welsh Conference semi-final game between Bridgend Blue Bulls and Cardiff City Rugby League which, as confirmed by the referee’s official disciplinary report, was marred by poor behaviour from both sides, Wales Rugby League informed both clubs that a replay of the fixture would be required in order to determine Aber Valley Wolves’ opponents in the Final.
This replay was scheduled to take place during finals day this Saturday (13 August) at 3pm at Caerphilly RFC.
Cardiff RL were leading 34-22 at the time of the abandonment but under the protocols in place the result cannot stand because less than 60 minutes was played, and an agreement could not be reached between the two clubs.
However, following discussions between all parties, Cardiff RL have disappointedly decided to withdraw their senior team from this year’s tournament. Cardiff City RL’s under 17s coach Alf Harvey has confirmed that his side remains unaffected by this decision and will compete in their Final match.
Therefore, this year’s Welsh Grand Final, on Sunday 21 August, will be a repeat of the last two, with Aber Valley Wolves facing Bridgend Blue Bulls.
Wales Rugby League do not condone violence or abuse of any kind, and this will be reflected by ensuring that all known perpetrators from Saturday’s match will not eligible to play in the Grand Final. These sanctions will be meted out in accordance with the Community Rugby League guidelines set in place by the Rugby Football League.
WRL would like to thank all the people who willingly give up their time to help at all levels of the community game, the players and staff who totally respect their fellow players and officials, and the officials who respect the players and staff from all clubs. This is a time to pull together and right the wrongs collectively and we look forward to an exciting last two weeks of the domestic season, played and supported in the true competitive respectful spirit of Rugby League.
Friday 12 August 2016
Conference League South
Torfaen Tigers v West Wales Raiders (Cwmbran RFC, 7.30pm)
Saturday 13 August 2016
Conference League South
Valley Cougars v Gloucestershire All Golds Reserves (Treharris RFC, 2.30pm)
Welsh Junior Grand Finals
All at Caerphilly RFC
Aber Valley Wolves v Torfaen Tigers (11am)
South Wales Rabbitohs v Torfaen Tigers (12.15pm)
Cardiff City RL v Torfaen Tigers (1.30pm)