Rugby Union: Cardiff go top as Walker celebrates with try spree

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CARDIFF hurdled over Swansea at the top of the Heineken League as former Olympic athlete Nigel Walker celebrated his Wales squad call-up with four tries in the 46-12 hammering of Aberavon, writes Huw Richards.

Simon Hill weighed in with a hat-trick as Cardiff crossed eight times to overtake Swansea on tries. Hero for the champions in their 28-0 win at Newbridge was Aled Williams, an unlucky exclusion from the national squad, with two tries in his 23 points. Simon Davies, overtaken in the pecking order by Walker, scored their other try. Newbridge flanker David Roberts, already suspended once this season, faces a long ban after a last-minute sending-off. Other early bathers in Wales were Pontypridd's Mark Rowley in the 28-15 defeat at Neath and South Wales Police prop and skipper Mark Pugh, dismissed for fighting as Police went down 35-5 in the derby with Bridgend. Dunvant set a Heineken League record with a twelfth consecutive Second Division win - 21-6 over Cross Keys - but second placed Narberth fell 12-0 at improving Llanharan.

Reigning champions were on form in the Scottish divisional and Irish provincial divisional championships. South of Scotland sealed the title and a clash with next season's All Black tourists by beating Edinburgh 19-15 while Ulster withstood a spirited Irish Exiles challenge, winning 16-13 at Rosslyn Park. Ulster were indebted to the line-out dominance of Tweed and McBride and an ill- judged pass from Ireland full-back Jim Staples, intercepted for the decisive try by centre Bill Harbinson. Exiles, who showed all the enterprise, revived excitingly in the last quarter and claimed a late pushover try by Aran Verling, but Ulster hung on and will seal the title if they beat Leinster in Belfast next weekend. More succesful fast finishers were Lancashire, who trailed Yorkshire for 75 minutes in the 100th Roses match, then scored twice through Spencer Bromley to win 23-16.