RUGBY LEAGUE: Danyl Davies scored a hat-trick of long-range tries as Valley Cougars scored nine tries in a 48-18 win over struggling Bristol Sonics on June 7 in National Conference League South.
The Blackwood side took the lead after just three minutes, Chris Speck crossing after running on to a perfect pass from man of the match Ian Newbury.
Bristol replied after 15 minutes with skipper Dom Swann dropping his shoulder and jinking through a gap in the defensive line to touch down.
The Sonics had a try disallowed for crossing, before the Cougars began to take command of the game.
First, scrum half Ian Newbury caressed his way through the Bristol line for an excellent solo score, before centre Mark Thomas finished off a neat left-to-right passing move, leaving the Cougars with a 16-6 lead at half -time.
Bristol started the second half brightly and were attacking the Cougars line out wide, but Danyl Davies stole the ball off his opposite number in a one-on-one tackle and raced 75 metres to touch down.
A further score from Gareth Wray gave the visitors a 26-6 lead with 50 minutes gone.
The possibility of a dramatic Bristol comeback was raised when impressive second-rower Rob Verber broke through some sleepy tackles to touch down, but a second long-range effort from the lightning-quick Davies restored the Cougars’ advantage.
Further scores from Karl Jones – touching down a brilliant Newbury grubber kick – Gareth Wray, as well as Davies, completing a deserved hat-trick, piled more misery on Bristol.
The Valley Cougars will face the Sonics in a re-match at Blackwood RFC on June 21.
• Match report by Matt Annis