While the 2018 #NRL Pre-Season is still a few weeks away, there's a bunch of warm-up clashes happeni...
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Sunday 8th May
Total Rl.com Rugby League Conference Premier Wales (kick-off 2.30pm)
Torfaen Tigers v Newport Titans (Pontypool United RFC)
Valley Cougars v Swansea Valley Miners (Sardis Road, Pontypridd)
Wales Rugby League's top two clubs from last season's table head a potentially action-packed week two of the Total RL.com RLC Premier Wales this Sunday when Aberavon Fighting Irish host Bridgend Blue Bulls at Little Warren (kick-off 2.30pm).
Both sides put in overwhelming second half performances last Sunday to record opening day wins and Aberavon coach Chris O'Callaghan remains confident that the Fighting Irish spirit will present some serious obstacles for the Blue Bulls.
"Early season is a difficult time in Wales for rugby league." said O'Callaghan. "Last week we called on some of our younger players to stand up and be counted, and the likes of Gareth Moore, a product of our academy set up, has every chance of progressing through the ranks to play professional rugby. Geraint Davies is a far better player than when he took up rugby league only last season, Sean O'Brien never ceases to amaze me with his powerful surges and superb tackling and Chris Griffiths showed enough to suggest that he could also be a star in the making.
"Whilst further improvement will be needed if the we are to prevail, should we fail, it will certainly not be as a result of a deficit in the guts and passion department."
Valley Cougars are looking to have some of their big stars available to them for their first home match of the season against Swansea Valley Miners at Sardis Road this Sunday (kick-off 2.30pm).
The Cougars pull a lot of their players from local Union side, Pontypridd RFC who also play at the historic Sardis Road ground. Pontypridd will be playing in a local cup final at the Millennium Stadium the day before and Cougars coach Mark Rowley hopes that a few of them will be fit enough to play for the Cougars the day after.
"Swansea at home is a big game for us," said Rowley. "We beat them at Sardis Road last season and to do the same again, we need a strong side out. As well as Pontypridd, we hope to have a few players back from Nelson, Mountain Ash and Abercwmboi so if all goes to plan, we should get our first win of the season."
Torfaen Tigers had a bye in week one, but return to competitive action with the toughest of openers, a local derby match at The Jungle in Pontypool against Newport Titans (kick-off 2.30pm) who had a morale boosting win over the Cougars last week.
Torfaen Chairman, Adrian Fowler is very confident that his Tigers side will open the season with a win commenting: "Each season we have steadily improved so this year we anticipate a great campaign. We have a strong squad this year with Welsh international Damien Hudd leading the way. Jason Hill, Richard Jenkins, Leigh Taylor, Matthew Williams and Kevin and Craig Jones are also expected to star.
"We face our local rivals Newport Titans in the first game so the added spice will ensure a great match. Newport are a strong side once again so look out for an almighty rumble at the jungle on Sunday."