Majesty of Guscott

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JEREMY GUSCOTT, the former glamour boy of English rugby, recaptured some of the limelight from his international partner Will Carling with a majestic display in Bath's 55-20 victory over Orrell in League One of the Courage Clubs Championship yesterday.

Shrugging off the campaign to replace him as Carling's co- centre for England's forthcoming game against South Africa with his club captain Phil de Glanville, Guscott ran in a brilliant 50-yard solo try and gave the passes which sealed two more of Bath's eight tries - by Victor Ubogu and, ironically, de Glanville.

Jon Callard scored 25 of Bath's points (two tries, six conversions and a penalty) while Mike Catt and Adedayo Adebayo, with two in the first 15 minutes, supplied the other tries.

Orrell were out of touch almost from the start, especially once their full-back Simon Mason had missed four early penalties. He did eventually kick two, and he also converted tries by his captain Paul Johnson and hooker Martin Scott, but by then the match was beyond the visitors' grasp.

Saracens face a winter of struggling to avoid relegation following their 24-11 home defeat by Bristol in yesterday's "live" television match. Kevin Maggs, the right wing, and second row Simon Shaw were Bristol's try scorers while Mark Tainton landed four penalties and a conversion. Saracens' try came from the former Wasps prop Garry Holmes, and Andy Tunningley kicked two penalties.

Northampton, who have vowed to purge their relegation blues by winning all 18 of their League Two fixtures this season, made it four out of four with a 23-0 home success against Wakefield. Newcastle lost 23-30 at home to Bedford, their second successive defeat since appointing Rob Andrew as their development director. Richmond and Rugby are clear at the top of League Three with 100 per cent records after victories at Rotherham and Reading respectively.

Neil Jenkins, the Wales fly-half, provided 28 points as Heineken League leaders Pontypridd hammered the previously unbeaten Newport 38-3. The day's biggest points tally came from Swansea, who beat Aberavon 66-5 and scored nine tries, including three from Rhodri Jones, standing in for his brother Robert, the British Lions scrum-half. Aberavon have now conceded 212 points in five league outings this season and could well be destined for a swift return to the Second Division.

Neath secured their first maximum haul of bonus points with seven tries in their 42-12 victory over Newbridge, but they lost their captain, the Wales lock Gareth Llewellyn, with a rib injury. Bridgend also managed a "maximum" with eight tries in their 56-3 mauling of Abertillery. Treorchy continue to prop up the table after their 29-20 home defeat by fellow strugglers Ebbw Vale, for whom Byron Hayward kicked 19 points.

Shannon, Insurance Corporation League champions in Ireland last season after winning all 10 of their games, lost 9-6 away to current leaders St Mary's College.

Melrose are the new leaders of the Tennents Scottish Championship after beating Gala 29-12.

The International Rugby Football Board have decided in Tokyo to increase the number of countries competing at the 1999 World Cup in Wales from 16 to 20.

Plans have fallen through for the All Blacks centre Frank Bunce, 32, to join Gloucester. He has signed a contract which binds him to the New Zealand Rugby Union until next September.

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