Irish jig time for Jarvis

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The Independent Online
It Was make or break time for Swansea and Cardiff in the Heineken Cup this weekend, with each having gleaned just two points from their three European matches so far.

Both sides crossed the Irish Sea, Swansea to the north to take on Ulster, while Cardiff travelled to Munster. It was the competition's leading points scorer, Lee Jarvis, who put Munster to the sword as Cardiff won a seven-try thriller 37-32. The young fly-half was his usual reliable self with the boot, notching three penalties and four conversions, but also produced two tries. The skipper Jonathan Humphreys and the winger Nigel Walker weighed in with a score apiece.

Munster were always in touch thanks to five Conor Burke penalties and tries from Alan Quinlan, Anthony Foley and John Kelly but Cardiff held their nerve to cement second place in Pool D.

Swansea nurtured the fond memory of their 33-16 win over Ulster at St Helens, but found the Irish a different proposition at home. The Swansea coach John Plumtree had said before the game: "We have got to beat Ulster or we're history in this competition." But it was history that beckoned as Ulster won the Pool B clash 28-20.

Two Richard Rees tries and one from Aled Williams kept hopes alive, but the kicking of Stuart Laing and some ferocious tackling from the flanker Andy Ward ensured Ulster were always in the driving seat.

At least Swansea fared better than Caledonia, who were humbled 52-6 in Treviso. The Scotland full-back Rowan Shepherd scored the visitors' only points but gifted the Italians two tries with needless mistakes. Things didn't all go Italy's way though, as Milan found out in Toulouse after a 69-19 rout. Toulouse ran in 11 tries to head Leicester at the top of Pool A on points difference.

In the European Conference Castres beat Saracens 32-18 in Pool H thanks to the Thomas Castagnaide show, the France international scored two tries, three conversions and two penalties.

The top of the English second division is looking cramped, with Bedford, Coventry and London Scottish all on eight points. Bedford drew level with Coventry after beating them 22-15 away, while London Scottish squeezed past visiting Orrell 20-19.

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