Rugby Union: Dallan pair sinks Llanelli

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The Independent Online
Llanelli's chances of reaching the Heineken Cup quarter-finals for a second successive season were dented by a surprise 42-25 defeat in Treviso yesterday.

The Scarlets led by 12 points through tries by Garan Evans, Matthew Wintle and Rupert Moon before being hit by five Italian touchdowns during a 15- minute period straddling half-time. Manuel Dallan and Massimiliano Perziano scored a brace apiece and the Australian back-row forward Julian Gardner also went over before Darril Williams claimed a late consolation try for Llanelli. Francesco Mazzariol kicked 17 points for Treviso but Frano Botica managed only five for the visitors.

Llanelli must now draw with Caledonia at Stradey Park next weekend to be sure of a place in the play-offs for three quarter-final spots, especially as Pau will in effect wrap up Pool E by beating Caledonia in Perth today.

Pontypridd kept alive their hopes of claiming one of the six play-off places with a 46-26 Pool C victory over Scottish Borders at Sardis Road, though their task should be made clearer today at Brive where the holders entertain group leaders Bath. Jon Callard and Andy Nicol begin their reigns as player-coach and captain respectively, but Bath will be without their injured Lions, Jeremy Guscott and Ieuan Evans.

Leinster stumbled to a 23-6 Pool A win over Milan in Dublin and Munster lost 21-6 at Bourgoin in Pool D, but Irish sides had a better day in the European Conference. Connacht consolidated their position at the top of Pool D with a hard-fought 22-15 victory over Begles in Galway and London Irish saw off Romanian visitors Farul Constanta 46-10.

Despite the Exiles' result, Stade Francais sealed Pool C by winning 35- 20 at Dax and Colomiers tightened their grip on Pool E by thrashing Bridgend 69-20. Sale's interest in Pool B ended with a 17-11 loss at Newport.

Bedford lead Allied Dunbar Premiership Two by two points after claiming their fifth win in five outings, a 34-21 home success over Waterloo which featured two tries from the former England and Lions wing Rory Underwood. The two teams with which Bedford were tied before yesterday's games - London Scottish and Coventry - both lost. The Exiles went down 24-3 at Rotherham and Coventry were shaded in a 28-27 thriller away to Blackheath. The former England wing Nigel Heslop ran in a hat-trick of tries as Orrell moved up to second with a 35-9 home win over Fylde.

Caerphilly continue to lead the Welsh National League First Division by three points following a 21-13 win over Treorchy.

In New Zealand, Waikato relieved the holders Auckland of the coveted Ranfurly Shield with a thrilling and unexpected 31-29 win at Eden Park, despite being outscored by five tries to three.

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