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Total RL.Com Welsh Rugby League
Saturday 17th July - Total RL.Com Welsh Rugby League Conference Fixtures (2.30pm) Bridgend Blue Bulls v Aberavon Fighting Irish (Maesteg RFC) Torfaen Tigers v Newport Titans (Pontypool United RFC) Valley Cougars v Swansea Valley Miners (Sardis Road, Pontypridd)
By 4.30pm this Saturday, the final positions in this year's Total RL.com Welsh Rugby League Conference table could be just about wrapped up. The top two, Bridgend Blue Bulls and Aberavon Fighting Irish, meet at Maesteg RFC.
The game has been moved to the Bridgend valley club's ground as a gesture of thanks to the Union club who have loaned the Bulls ten players for their Conference season. Also, as player-coach, Kevin Ellis comments, it is a great way of spreading the game further a field.
"It's a great chance for rugby fans in the Bridgend Valley to see Rugby League live," Ellis said. "And what a game to see. This is a massive contest and should be a close game. As it's a neutral ground and Aberavon have a far larger squad than us to pick from I would actually install them as favourites. We're going to have to work hard to retain our unbeaten tag."
Bridgend have won every game in their 23 game history and are now only 6 games short of equalling Wigan's record, a record they will surpass if they win every game to retain the Harry Jepson Trophy in September. A win for them side this Saturday will see them qualify for the Welsh Grand Final on August 7th .
In the Gwent derby at The Jungle, Pontypool, a win for Newport Titans will put them into the play-offs in third place leaving Torfaen Tigers to narrowly miss out on the play-offs for the second successive season.
Despite playing away from a home, on a hard ground that no club likes to visit, the Titans will start as favourites thanks to their impressive form over the last few weeks. Three excellent wins over the bottom three sides, scoring 180 points in the process coupled with the handsome win over the Tigers earlier this season means that morale in the Newport camp is sky high.
Swansea Valley Miners travel to Sardis Road knowing that a win for them will not only seal a double over Valley Cougars but also a home match in the Shield play-offs.
Should they win on Saturday, Swansea will more than likely be facing Cardiff Demons at Ystalyfera RFC, whom they beat 32-30 at that very ground last Saturday.
Following the match, team manager Neville Price commented, ''It was a great win for us. We really played well. This stands us in good stead for the Shield now.''