This ANZAC Day we're honoured to share this 2015 piece by Andrew Ferguson.
Honouring Stan Carpenter...
48 hours ago
Could the tides be turning in the Total Rl.com Rugby League Conference Premier Wales? Although champions Bridgend Blue Bulls have started as strong as ever winning their first three matches, last season's other play-off sides, Aberavon Fighting Irish and Torfaen Tigers have both struggled to find form. Aberavon won their first match but were then hammered at home to Bridgend the following week while Torfaen have lost their first two matches against Newport Titans and Cardiff Demons.
Both have a chance to rectify this situation this weekend as they face sides that they have never lost to in the past.
The match at Taff's Well RFC on Sunday (kick-off 3.30pm) will be the fourth ever encounter between Cardiff and Aberavon. The previous three matches have all been close with Cardiff being unlucky to lose both of last season's matches.
Demons top scorer last season, Gareth Jones made a welcome return to the side last Sunday scoring a hat-trick of tries. Hoping to put in a similar performance this Sunday, Jones says: "The conditions were superb last Sunday and the whole team gelled. It was a great all-round team performance, one which we hope to repeat at Taff's Well this week."
Torfaen host Swansea Valley Miners with both sides chasing their first win of the season. Torfaen's coach, Kevin Weaver has been very disappointed with his team's performances so far this season and knows that a win is vital this Sunday.
"It seems like we?ve gone back three years." said Weaver, "This week's match is a must win for the club if we want to get in contention for the play-offs. Just because Swansea were hammered last week, it doesn't mean that we'll have an easy game. They're certain to have some new players, Dai Hawkins will be back for one. It will be a tough game."
Former Widnes Vikings hooker, Paul Young makes his debut for the Tigers this Sunday as they start to rebuild their season.
But the match that everyone will have their eyes on will be the top of the table clash at Pill Harriers between Newport Titans and Bridgend Blue Bulls. Both sides are unbeaten this season and go into this match on the back of excellent wins.
Newport beat Swansea 106-16 last week while Bridgend beat Valley Cougars 68-14. After seeing Newport's players in action in Wednesday night's Origin Match at the Brewery Field, Bridgend chairman, Simon Green said:
"This week could be our toughest test yet. The Newport players gelled extremely well and we can see what we're up against for Sunday. But as usual, we'll have a strong squad out as we want to retain our unbeaten record."
Cardiff Demons v Aberavon Fighting Irish kicks off at 3.30pm while the other two matches kick off one hour earlier at 2.30pm.
Sunday 22nd May: Total Rl.com Rugby League Conference Premier Wales
Cardiff Demons v Aberavon Fighting Irish (Taff's Well RFC, 3.30pm)
Newport Titans v Bridgend Blue Bulls (Pill Harriers RFC, 2.30pm)
Torfaen Tigers v Swansea Valley Miners (Pontypool United RFC, 2.30pm)