Bentley in overdrive

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The Independent Online
Rob Andrew's Newcastle bandwagon rolls on, and yesterday it was the turn of once-mighty Moseley to suffer as the Courage League Two leaders cruised to a 75-9 victory at The Reddings.

The former Great Britain rugby league wing, John Bentley, led the way with three of the visitors' 11 tries and the British Lions scrum-half, Gary Armstrong, maintained his record of scoring in each of Newcastle's seven league games with his 13th try of the season. After landing three conversions, Andrew handed over the kicking duties to Tim Stimpson and England's full-back elect was on target with seven of his eight attempts. The only blot on Newcastle's day was the ankle injury suffered by Tony Underwood. The England wing had a precautionary X-ray but he should be fit for next month's international against Italy.

Richmond are still second, a point behind, after a 64-8 home success over Rugby. Jim Fallon, another rugby league recruit, helped himself to three tries and there was a brace apiece for former Welsh internationals Allan Bateman and Adrian Davies. Spare a thought for poor old Rugby, though. Trounced 156-5 at Newcastle a fortnight ago, they cannot have relished the prospect of yesterday's outing.

Martin Offiah, sidelined for a month with a toe injury, marked his belated debut for League Two's other big spenders, Bedford, with a try in their 44-30 home win over Rotherham.

Bedford are fourth in the table, one point adrift of Coventry, 66-6 winners yesterday over London Scottish. Andrew McAdam claimed a hat-trick of tries and former Leicester fly-half Jez Harris amassed 26 points.

Wasps' poor Heineken Cup form continues. Following last weekend's defeat by Cardiff at Loftus Road, they lost 49-22 in Limerick to Munster. There were emphatic European Conference wins for Sale (52-22 at home to Newport), Swansea (62-12 over Gloucester) and Northampton (31-11 away to Connacht), but Bridgend were held 24-24 at home by Dinamo Bucharest.

Liam Botham, son of former England cricketer Ian Botham, produced another fine display at centre as West Hartlepool hammered visitors Hawick 81- 8. Botham did not add to the try he scored on his debut last weekend, but the former England schools wings, George Truelove and Michael Wood, each got four.

Francois Pienaar, South Africa's World Cup winning captain, was carried shoulder-high from the pitch by his Transvaal team-mates in Pretoria after their 31-21 victory over Northern Transvaal had secured a place in next weekend's Currie Cup final against the holders Natal , who beat Free State 35-20 in Durban. Pienaar is a controversial omission from the Springbok squad to tour Argentina, France and Wales this winter.

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