Record Quins try, try and try again

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HARLEQUINS indulged in a 14-try orgy en route to an astonishing 91-21 victory at West Hartlepool yesterday which smashed the Courage League One aggregate record by 15 points. This spree also enabled Quins to relieve Leicester, who were on Pilkington Cup duty, of second place in the table on points difference, but the London side have played two more games.

Eight Quins' players got on the scoresheet, six of them each bagging a brace of tries - Gareth Allison, Spencer Bromley, Will Greenwood, Daren O'Leary, Mike Watson (against his former club) and Jim Staples. In addition, the captain Andy Mullins scored a try as did Paul Challinor, who also kicked nine conversions and a penalty. West, who look doomed to relegation after their 12th defeat in 12 league outings this season, collected three second-half tries of their own after trailing 65-6 at the interval.

Dick Best, Quins' director of rugby, said: "We've tried all season to keep the ball alive and support the carrier, and everything worked today. Ironically, the problem we have with goalkicking is one reason for our expansive game, but we feel it's the way forward. As the game goes into the professional era, we need to match the quality of rugby played in the southern hemisphere."

Northampton's 100 per cent record in League Two is still intact after 13 games though their 48-0, eight-try thrashing of Bedford was quite restrained compared with Quins' exploits. The Irish centre Jonathan Bell and flanker Budge Pountney claimed two tries apiece while Gregor Townsend and Tim Rodber were among the other scorers.

Richmond returned to the top of League Three with a 15-10 home success over the previous leaders Coventry. But Rosslyn Park's pitch failed to recover from the pounding it received during the National Schools Sevens last week, so their match with Rugby Lions was postponed.

Pontypridd, last season's beaten finalists, remain on course to go one better in the Swalec Cup after a hard-fought 20-15 quarter-final win at Newbridge. Neil Jenkins was on target with five penalties while the scrum- half Paul John scored the decisive try.

Neath continued their recent high-scoring run with a 44-17 success against the Second Division leaders Dunvant. That tie yielded 10 tries, eight more than in Newport's 16-10 victory over Caerphilly. In the Heineken First Division, Bridgend won 38-29 at Swansea while Treorchy inched nearer to safety by beating relegation rivals Abertillery 20-12.

Following Bath's Cup success, the England flanker Andy Robinson had double cause to celebrate when Colston's, where he teaches, retained the English Schools Under-18 title with a 20-0 victory over QEGS, Wakefield at Twickenham. RGS, High Wycombe beat Wellington College 17-13 in the Under-15 final and England won the Under-16 international against Wales 15-3.