Christopher Wilson at SGS WISE Campus, Bristol

The Bristol All Golds’ return to the SGS Arena ended in a comfortable nine-try triumph over the SCL West league leaders, Torfaen Tigers.

Captain for the day, Jack Uren crossed twice in the first half as did Darrion Ball with Darren Forde adding a score for a 28-10 interval lead.

A scrappy second period littered with stoppages saw Mike Harrison go over before Kieran Webb, Tom Gaffney and Luis Smith all touched down in the last 15 minutes.

Webb was only playing as Mason Robbins tweaked a hamstring in the warm-up, Connor Massey being elevated to the starting line-up and Webb taking his place on the bench.

The Tigers were also hit by late cry-offs and started with just twelve players, however, they fought like, well, Tigers and caused the All Golds plenty of problems with their quick play-the-balls and hard, straight running.

Sadly, injuries to young winger Curtis Kelly (shoulder) after half an hour and stand off Diecel Jones (leg) midway through the second period, meant they finished with ten fit men, though one was a passenger on the wing after a knock to the ankle.

On an overcast and blustery day, the strong crosswind caught Ball’s opening kick-off, handing the Tigers the initiative right from the start.

They kept the ball well and, thanks to a string of penalties, camped on the home line before Tyler Andrews smashed his way over for a try goaled by the reliable boot of Mike Hurley.

The All Golds soon replied. On their first set of the game after a dozen minutes, Uren found a gap near the Torfaen line to burst over from close range. Ball missed the extras.

With a quarter of the game gone, back-to-back penalties gave the Tigers good field position and Rob Davies’ unstoppable run took him over the stripe.

Both sides then coughed up the ball cheaply, and, as he did against Cheltenham, Ball took the ball from a scrum and coasted through the defence for the try. Hamilton’s goal tied the scores.

It was nip and tuck for the next ten minutes until the home side got an overload down the right and Forde outpaced the cover to score under the posts.

Three minutes later, Uren took off from a play the ball just inside the All Golds’ half, broke the line and won the race to score. Just before the interval, Ball raced over in a similar vein again from a scrum, adding the extras for a comfortable 28-10 half-time advantage.

Refreshed by the break, the Tigers roared back at the start of the second half and Hurley used his size and strength to score. He added the extras, too, to put doubt in the All Golds’ minds.

It took the sinbinning of Ross Rochelle for persistent team offences – the All Golds conceded ten penalties in the game, earning just one themselves – to spark them into life.

Harrison ran a superb line off Ball for a great try and the home side started to find some fluency.

Smith was ankle-tapped with the line in sight before Massey made good ground out of defence before Mason Ball took the move on for Webb to finish under the posts.

From the restart, Luke Panting’s huge charge up the middle was taken on by Webb and Uren before Gaffney took the final pass to coast over the line.

Rochelle was denied a debut try after a forward pass as the home side dominated the final few minutes and Smith finished the scoring in the final minute after another flowing move cut the brave but tiring Tigers defence to ribbons.

The All Golds climb above Swindon into second place in the table and, with home and away games against Devon Sharks to come before the visit of Swindon St George, they will be eyeing top spot in the play-offs.




ALL GOLDS: Luis Smith; Connor Massey, Dom Williams, Darren Forde, Tom Gaffney; Darrion Ball, Greg Hamilton; Ed Tait, Jack Uren (Capt), Luke Panting; Tom Austin, Aaron Ryan; Mike Harrison; INTERCHANGE: Kieran Webb, Dylan Thomas, Mason Ball, Ross Rochelle.


Tries: Jack Uren (14, 35), D. Ball (22, 39), Forde (32), Harrison (53), Webb (66), Gaffney (68), Smith (77)

Goals: D Ball 3 from 4, Hamilton 3 from 5.

TIGERS: Sam Baker; Sam Taylor, Louis Ford, Jarrad Hinnem, Curtis Kelly; Mike Hurley, Diecel Jones; Louie Pengelly (Capt), Grant Harrington, Tyler Andrews; Mike Bagnall, Rob Davies; Darren Moyle.


Tries: Andrews (8), Davies (20), Hurley (43)

Goals: Hurley 2 from 3

Scoring sequence: 0-6, 4-6, 4-10, 10-10, 16-10, 22-10, 28-10, (HT), 28-16, 34-16, 40-16, 44-16, 48-16, (FT)

Penalty Count: 1-10

Referee: Malcolm Holmes


Image: Torfaen’s Rob Davies is unable to stop All Golds’ Jack Uren from opening the scoring (Image courtesy of Lewis Mitchell Photography)