The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Blue Bulls wing Grant Epton and stand-off Gareth David were the heroes in Bridgend?s 64-12 victory over the Valley Cougars at Sardis Road. Epton picked up four first half tries while David scored 24 points thanks to eight conversions and a brace of scores. The Cougars could not cope with the speed and agility of either player and their devastating finishing gave the Bulls a 42-4 half time lead
Carle Ellis also grabbed a brace, his first coming after a superb break from Daryl Dyke, Lenny Woodard scored after intercepting a loose pass and sprinting 90 metres while Craig Fox and Nathan Strong also went over for the Bulls. Ten of the Eleven tries were converted with David kicking eight and both Craig Fox and Nick Roberts kicking a conversion each. Young Roberts, an 18-year old still in school had a fine debut and is defiantly a star of the future.
The Cougars did hit back with tries for Lee Slow and Carl Thomas and at times looked the sharper side in the second half but Bridgend, led by Nathan Strong were just too good.
At Pontypool the Cardiff Demons just failed to get the double on Torfaen and the match ended in a thrilling 34 all draw. Steve Bailey, Matthew Entwhistle, Gareth Davies, Scott Bendon, Nolan Nicklin and Steve Mailly all scored for the Tigers with Entwhistle also kicking five goals.
Andy Jones scored twice for the Demons with Lewis Frances, Tom Burnell, Jack Davies and Damien King also crossing and Darren White matched Entwhistle in kicking five conversions.
Meanwhile, at Pil Harriers Ross Palmer gave the Titans an early lead with a field goal which Newport never lost in their 45-28 win over Swansea Valley Miners. Chris Vitalini scored twice for the home side with further tries coming from Lee Fletcher, Peter Ovey, Richard Davies, Earl Palmer, Dan Clements and Mark Wheeler.
But Swansea did not roll over and claimed five tries of their own from player-coach Dai Hawkins (2), Paul Boyce, Chris Vogts and Alan Simmons all crossing.
On Wednesday the Swansea Valley Miners host the Valley Cougars in a re-arranged game at Ystalyfera RFC while the Blue Bulls host Newport Titans next Friday 8th July at The Brewery Field. Both games K.O at 7:15pm.
Newport Titans 45-28 Swansea Valley Miners
Torfaen Tigers 34-34 Cardiff Demons
Valley Cougars 12-64 Bridgend Blue Bulls