Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
The first ever Total RL.com Welsh Rugby League Conference Grand Final will be played on Saturday August 7th at Aberavon Greenstars RFC.
A weekend long event is being planned by the Welsh Rugby League and will start with an under 17 match on Saturday at 11.00am which is expected to be between Aberavon Fighting Irish and Cardiff Demons.
12.30 and 14.30 on the same day sees the two senior finals, the Welsh Shield and the Welsh Grand Final respectively while under 15 and under 13 finals will be played on Sunday August 8th.
All seven Welsh clubs having a chance of competing in one of the senior finals on the Saturday. The top three clubs at the end of the season go into the main play-offs while the remaining four compete for the Shield. The regular season ends on Saturday July 24th and there is still plenty to play for.
Bridgend Blue Bulls, the unbeaten league leaders are favourites to go through to the final automatically following Aberavon's shock defeat at Valley Cougars last weekend. However, only a complete drop in form would prevent the Irish from playing in the Semi-Final match on July 31st.
Their opponents in that match will be Torfaen Tigers or Newport Titans. Newport currently hold third place with 11 points from 9 games while Torfaen are just a point behind but have a game in hand. The two teams meet on July 17th at Pontypool United RFC.
The fight is also on for home advantage in the Shield Semi-Finals, also to be played on July 31st. The losing team from Gwent are guaranteed a home tie while Cardiff are favourites to also have the advantage. The oldest Welsh club are currently in fifth place on four points but are closely followed by Swansea Valley Miners on three and Valley Cougars with two. Cardiff must play each of these clubs in their last two fixtures while Swansea and the Cougars match up on July 17th.