Rhondda Outlaws, South Wales Jets and Bridgend Blue Bulls all recorded wins on Saturday as the 20th South Wales Men’s League kicked off.
The Outlaws, defending their trophy, saw off Cynon Valley Cavaliers, who were playing their first game at open age level. The Outlaws cruised to a 64-18 victory with former Wales international Steve Parry running the show, scoring six tries. Chris Harris pitched in with two, plus eight goals, whilst Calum Jones and Bryce Roberts, who are both in the Wales U18 squad to face England Lions next Saturday, each scored one, as did Jordan Williams and Shaun Watton. Replying for Cynon Valley were Alex Burton, another potential U18 international in Connor Lacey and Lewys Blayney, with three goals from Peter Richmond.
South Wales Jets, formed as a charity rugby union side three years ago, were playing their first game of league, but many of their players had already played in the domestic Welsh competition or in League 1, and it was a former South Wales Scorpions player Dafydd Hellard who scored their first ever try (pictured) in the 13-man game before departing injured. Another, Ross Price, scored a hat-trick of tries whilst Shane Lee, still signed with London Skolars, scored a try and kicked nine goals, whilst Ben Pinnock also scored three tries. Also pitching in with a try apiece were Lee Goddard, Jamie Marsh, Sam Pridgeon, Alex Langworthy, Dean Higgs, Rhodri Evans and Diezel Jones. Ben Jones kicked a solitary goal.
The Jets may have won 80-4 but all the points in the game came from players signed to their club. A very weakened Torfaen Tigers side, who borrowed six players from other clubs to field a squad of 16 and keep the game on, almost scored in the first minute through Jermarie Chatham, who is still on Cornwall’s books. They eventually got a try through Anthony Noonan, on loan from Jets for the afternoon.
Richard Lewis, who played in the first Welsh Grand Final for Aberavon Fighting Irish back in 2003, lined up for them again as they hosted Bridgend Blue Bulls, but was unable to lead them to victory. It was a repeat of that first final and again the Bulls won, edging out their hosts 38-30. It was 12-10 to Aberavon at half-time, with the home side scoring through a try and goal from Aaron Lewis, and a try from Dylan McLachlan and goal from Isaac Morgan. Rhys Pope and Oscar Wong scored for Bridgend with Corey Harris converting the first try.
Aberavon started the second half well with an Aaron Lewis try converted by Ryan Pugh. Two tries from Isaac Morgan and a goal each from Lewis and Pugh brought the score up to 30-10. Then Bridgend came-back with five straight tries, through Pope, Dylan Thomas, Nathan Morgan, Ben Rees and Harris – the latter converting three times and Lewis Ingram adding a further goal.