TORFAEN Tigers put in a valiant display in their Tetley Challenge Cup debut on Saturday, but in the end it was South West London Chargers who roared to victory in Chiswick.
Tigers defended their line well throughout a very competitive match, in what was a bruising defensive test for much of the match-up, but ultimately the London Conference champions proved too strong for the local challengers, running out 12-6 winners on the day.
Tigers chairman Rob Davies called it a “scrappy affair” by two sides who proved worthy champions of their respective regions.
“It was an eye-opener and obviously we are disappointed to have gone out but I think it showed we have the quality to compete at that level,” said the former Tigers’ coach.
“We will now look to take this experience into our league campaign, when we defend our crown.
“I think the occasion contributed to what was largely a nervy affair, but it’s a massive opportunity to progress on the back of this.”
It took 24 minutes for the deadlock to be broken, when Terence Puna went through in the corner for an unconverted try for the home side.
The Londoners continued to attack, but it was a fantastic defensive effort from Torfaen to keep the score to just 4-0 at the break, especially when the penalty count was in favour of the home side.
Tigers’ Mike Edwards was the first-half star and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet a couple of times in the first 20 minutes, playing well and breaking the gain line every time he had the ball.
Neither side could break through in the second half until, again, just after the hour mark.
The try came to the Chargers – a well worked score finished by Paul Wojciechowicz , which was converted by Adam Tran took the score to 10-0.
Tran then added a penalty to make the score 12-0 to the Chargers.
The Tigers finally got on the score sheet with just seconds remaining on the clock when newcomer Gareth Roberts went over the whitewash.
Luke Brown converted, but it was too little too late and the Tigers were defeated, but by no means outclassed, in a very close encounter.
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