South Wales Jets win the 20th WRL Men’s Final

Ian Golden at The Wern, Merthyr Tydfil

South Wales Jets completed an unbeaten season by taking the Welsh title in a tough game against Aberavon Fighting Irish.

A record Grand Finals crowd of over 2,000 people watched eight matches at The Wern in Merthyr Tydfil with a boisterous crowd at the main event that completed ten hours of activity.

A try in the corner for Dafydd Hellard gave South Wales Jets the lead on six minutes. Paul Emanuelli’s conversion attempt went just under the bar.

The lead was soon doubled. Sam Pridgeon went in under the sticks and Emanuelli converted.

Connor O’Callaghan got Aberavon back into the game with a try in the corner. Dylan Agar couldn’t land the conversion.

Then they levelled. Iestyn Williams-Jones slipped through and Agar converted from under the sticks.

But Jets regained the lead on the half hour. Dafydd Hellard went over for his second of the game and Emanuelli converted.

Williams-Jones then got the Irish back into the game again, scoring his second try that Agar wasn’t able to convert and the Jets had a slim 16-14 lead at the break.

By the hour mark, the Jets had extended their lead to 26-14 after a Dean Higgs brace, the first from dummy half under the sticks that Emanuelli converted.

Aberavon were back in the game again on 28 minutes. O’Callaghan with another darting run over, with Will McCarthy converting.

However Emanuelli made things secure with a drop-goal in the final minutes.

1 Lewys Willacott
2 Jamie Marsh
3 Ben Jones
4 Sam Pridgeon
5 Ben Pinnock
6 Matthew Jacobs
7 Paul Emanuelli
8 Ross Price
9 Dean Higgs
10 Liam Watton
11 Diezel Jones
12 Dafydd Hellard
13 Mike Hurley
14 Lee Goddard
15 Craig Lewis (c)
16 Adam Watton
18 Rhys Davies
19 Mark Thomas

Tries: Hellard (6, 30), Pridgeon (8), Higgs (47, 60)
Goals: Emanuelli 3/5
Field Goal: Emanuelli

1 Lewis Francis
2 Nanthawat Naonan
3 Iestyn Williams-Jones
4 Dylan Agar
5 Jack Dacey (c)
6 William McCarthy
7 Scott Whitlock
8 Aaron Lewis
9 Kieron John
10 Dylan Mclachlan
11 James McCarthy
12 Lloyd Allen
13 Connor O’Callaghan
14 Dai Felton
15 Jack Davies
16 Jake Price
17 Tyler Hopkins
18 Mike Burgess

Tries: O’Callaghan (15, 67), Williams-Jones (22, 39)
Goals: Agar 1/3, McCarthy 1/1



Pontyclun Kings won the U8 final 16-4 thanks for a hat-trick of tries from Callan Jones. Lewis Jones added a fourth try with Morgan Thomas providing a late consolation for Aber Valley Wolves.

Swansea Rams U9s fought to a 28-16 win over Cynon Valley Cavaliers after being 16-0 up. Alex Hughes, Joseph John, Jac Jones and Tobie Wilcox scored the first four tries before Coban Humphreys got one back for Cynon Valley. Two tries for Elliot Ford and one for Jac Jones put the score out of Cavaliers’ reach but they didn’t give up. Humpreys completed his brace with Iestyn Tay also going over for two.

Torfaen Tigers broke a 10-game eight-year Grand Final losing streak as a club after their U10s beat Swansea Rams 32-4. Harri Sargent led the way for Torfaen with a hat-trick of tries. Jacob Groves, Lewys Webb, Dewi Harper, Joshua Evans and Max Griffin also scored. Swansea’s consolation came from Olly Midwinter.

A try in the last second for Quade Caddick gave Aber Valley Wolves a 16-12 win in the U11 Final as they beat Cynon Valley Cavaliers. The other Wolves tries were scored by Olly Brackin, Mason Lloyd and Jake Powell. Curtis Davies scored a brace of tries for the Cavaliers with Harrison Law adding another.

Bridgend Blue Bulls dominated the second half of the U12s final to beat Aber Valley Wolves 28-10. They went into a 10-0 lead thanks to two tries from Ioan Jones and a Che Tomas goal. Aber Valley were level at the break thanks to tries from Harry Evans, converted by James Milford and Cameron George. But two tries each from Jacob Maund and Will Mordecai, one of which was converted by Tony Millington, saw them home.

The U14 final was between the same two sides and had the same winners. Bridgend Blue Bulls beat Aber Valley Wolves. Bridgend was 20-14 down at half time, but three second half tries without reply gave them a 30-20 win. Rowan Pash, Jayden Stebbings, Tyler Rees and Joshua Harding scored the Wolves tries, with Tyler Rees and Ryan Williams kicking goals. Bridgend’s six different try scorers with Elis Thomas, Ryan Lanfear, Matthew Clatworthy, Zac Nottingham, Osian Thomas and Gethin Evans. Mason Wood kicked one goal whilst Trent Harben-Jones, son of former Celtic Crusaders player Lee Harben-Jones, kicked two.

Cynon Valley Cavaliers U16s made it third time lucky for their club on the day as they beat Aber Valley Wolves 34-14 to win their final. They were 24-0 up at half-time thanks to two tries from Harley Smith and one each from Ethan Williams and Morgan Oakley, all of which were converted by Mason Daniels. An unconverted Jack Piontecki try took the score onto 28-0 before Wolves hit back through Kai Sengul. Then came the move of the day so far as a great set of passes saw Darrin Barter over with Daniels converting. Wolves finished with further consolations through Sengul and Nathaniel Hagland with Lloyd Nash converting once.