The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The weekend saw another great rugby league game played in superb summer sunshine. The Tigers travelled to Taffs Wells, the home of Cardiff Demons still feeling the effects of a depleted squad; several big hitting forwards still committed to playing for their respected Union clubs. Indeed, the lion share of the Tigers squad are provided by their host club, Pontypool United, who played their last game on Friday against Abergavenny.
The game started at a fast and frantic pace with many big hits early into the game as both teams competed for superiority. The first quarter was an even sided affair with both sides crossing the line. As each teams forwards contested the game the scene was set for wizardry from one the stand-offs. The Demons, Gareth Jones, dually obliged. His jinking elusive runs flat footing the Tigers defence line to dictate the game. His link play with forwards and backs began to gain momentum and saw the Demons stretch to a half time lead of 22:10.
The early exchanges of the second half gave the Tigers hope of a come back. A flurry of offensive drives saw the Demons pegged back. Cardiff absorbed this pressure and a 70 yard interception try all but killed off the Tigers challenge. Disheartened but not dispirited the Tigers maintained their hard hitting tackling, as typified by their Man of the Match Steve Maley.
Gradually the combination of heat and battle fatigue took its toll. Gareth Jones continued to evade tackles crossing the line 2 more times in the game to secure Man of the Match and a hat-trick of tries. Cardiff ran-out eventual winners 44:18.
The Tigers will be looking to regroup and gain confidence next week as they entertain Swansea Valley Miners who travel to Conway Road on the back of 106:16 at the hands of Newport Titans.