2008 Junior Grand Finals Day

UNDER 13 FINAL – Newport Titans 22 Valley Cougars 10

Newport Titans under 13s won a pulsating Grand Final against a determined Valley Cougars side that never stopped trying to get back into the game.

Newport took an early first half lead with a Jordan Craton try following a fine set of six.

They followed that up with a Rhys Pugsley score under the sticks that centre Rhys Anderson converted.

Cougars then hit back with an unconverted try from full-back Luke Rees before a further Newport try from Anderson gave them a 14-4 lead at the interval.

Anderson extended Newport’s lead with a length of the field run for his second early in the second half.

And Craton echoed his team-mate with a brace of his own, a well-worked try to seal the game.

Cougars hit back with a Jack James try under the sticks that Levi Knowles converted and almost had a second try but Knowles was stopped short of the line.


UNDER 15 FINAL – Cardiff Demons 16 NPT Steelers 14

Wales Rugby Leagues biggest ever weekend kicked off in a deluge at Blackwood but the level of skill shown in both junior finals proves that the future of rugby league in Wales is in safes.

First up was the u15s grand final where the Cardiff Demons edged the NPT Steelers 16-14 in a seesaw game that would only be decided in the last minute.

The first ten minutes saw the two teams grinding out their sets in the appalling conditions. The deadlock was broken by the Demons when a high kick on the last tackle was tapped back and some quick hands got the ball out wide for captain Louis Denton to touch down in the corner.

At the twenty minute mark the Steelers piled on the pressure and limited the Demons to a thirty metre gain as they tried to bring the ball out of their own half. The Steelers came close on the first attempt and on the back of a penalty pushed the ball out wide for Tom Owen to touch down. The conversion from skipper Greg Rodgers gave the Steelers a 6-4 lead heading into the break.

Straight from the kick off the Steelers worked their way up the field and some great running up the middle from Evan Yardley set them up for a quick pass to Keiron Mattocks to extend the Steelers lead to six.

Six minutes later the Steelers gave away a series of penalties and found themselves defending their own line. The Demons took full advantage with Denton picking up his second of the game reducing the deficit to two.

The Steelers responded in style with a couple of half breaks putting them in great position for the high kick on the last by Courtney Davies. The ball was plucked out of the air by and touched down by Tom Evans to re establish the six point advantage.

Five minutes later some hard yards by the Demons forwards put them in great position on the Steelers twenty metre line. Once again quick Demons hands in very wet conditions pushed the ball out wide and full back Tom Mace scored to reduce the gap to two points with five minutes left on the clock.

In the dying stages of the game the Steelers seemed to be in complete control camping out in the opponents half. Demons Ryan Matson picked up the ball on the kick return and made a great break, shrugging off a number of tackles to set up Jordan Purcell who slid across the line to score. The conversion was missed but the clock ran out and the Demons were champions with a score of 16-14.

Demons Coach Jason Coleman said “The lads have put in a huge amount of work this season and today just makes it all worth while”.


UNDER 17 FINAL – Blackwood Bulldogs 28 Newport Titans 24

The second grand final of the day saw the u17s take centre stage and the Blackwood Bulldogs beat the Newport Titans 28-24 in another thriller that saw the lead change four times.

The rain eased for a fist half but in the slippery conditions it took both teams a while to adapt. The Titans got the opening score on the thirteenth minute when after an extended period of pressure Johnny Morris broke through the gap to score under the sticks. Nick Meakin converted to give the Titans a 6-0 lead.

Five minutes later the Bulldogs levelled, scoring an almost identical try from Alex Herbert which was converted by Aled Richards. The Bulldogs continued the pressure which paid of on the twenty fifth minute as Leon Cook extended the lead as he slid over the line in the corner.

Straight from the kick off a great drive from Bulldogs Keiron Brown saw him power over the line to extend the lead. Richards again added the extras making the score 16-6 at the half.

The weather closed in as the second half began and after a series of knock ons by both sides the Titans came out on top. First a try from Meakin who slid in the corner and five minutes later Johnny Morris broke the line again to pick up his second of the game taking the score to 16-14.

The teams then traded tries; first the Bulldogs stretched the lead with a touchdown from James Buckthorpe after a great break from Leon Cook which was followed five minutes later as Daniel Esposito touched down for the Titans. Richards added the extras for the Bulldogs increasing the lead to four.

With five minutes to go John Lavender powered over under the posts for the Titans and with he conversion from Meakin the Titans lead 24-22. Blackwood, however, had the last word as Matt McGovern ran thirty metres bouncing off tackles to touch down. Richards converted and with a score of 28-24 the Bulldogs were champions.