Rugby Union: Devereux double on debut

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The Independent Online
JOHN DEVEREUX marked his debut for his new club Worcester with two of their eight tries as they kept their Allied Dunbar Premiership Two title challenge on course by thrashing the bottom side Blackheath 51-3 at Rectory Field.

The former Wales centre, who will be 33 in March, had only switched to Worcester from Sale two days earlier but quickly found his feet to help his new club stay within two points of the leaders Bristol.

Fourth-placed London Welsh also ran in eight tries during their 49-17 demolition of Waterloo at Old Deer Park with doubles apiece for Adam Jones, James Storey and Mike White.

Jonathan Harper's try - the only one of the game - was enough to keep Rotherham third with a 19-12 home defeat of Coventry while Moseley's poor recent form continued as they went down 20-14 at Orrell.

Manchester still head Jewson League One despite slipping up 12-0 at Rosslyn Park. Second-placed Henley missed out on the chance to take over when their game away to fellow Tetley's Bitter Cup giantkillers Lydney was postponed.

Following Aberavon's 10-0 defeat by Canada on Friday night, local pride was restored in the Welsh Challenge Trophy when Newport beat Romania 46- 20 and Ebbw Vale held off the Blue Bulls of Northern Transvaal 20-13. Meanwhile, Swansea bounced back from a 10-3 half-time deficit to win their Anglo-Welsh friendly against visitors Wasps 27-13. Simon Davies, Rhodri Jones and Simon Mills, who is on loan from Sale, each touched down while Arwel Thomas landed three conversions and two penalties. The Scotland wing Kenny Logan supplied all Wasps' points.

Heriot's Former Pupils, the pacesetters in the first division of the Tennent's Velvet Premiership, suffered a 22-3 setback at Melrose to their title bid. The Borderers had opened up a 17-point gap by the interval and then defended stubbornly to thwart their visitors from Edinburgh before confirming their superiority when the wing Steve Laurie scored a marvellous breakaway try near the end.

Melrose, the Scottish champions in six of the last nine seasons and at present second in the table, were soon into their stride when their lock Scott Aitken dived over in the left-hand corner. The stand-off Alex Morris then kicked four penalties before Heriot's got off the mark midway through the second half when Gordon Ross found his range after Scott Nichol failed to release the ball in the tackle.

A pushover try five minutes from time by the Australian Andy Plastow, along with a pair of touchdowns from his fellow forward Andy Ness, earned third-placed Glasgow Hawks a 41-6 home win over Stirling County plus a vital bonus point.

Garryowen went top of the Irish first division with a 20-6 success at Terenure. The previous leaders Lansdowne trail on points difference after a 35-0 thrashing at Shannon, the champions for the past four seasons.