Rugby Union: Fists fly in Pau's show

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The Independent Online
For a second successive season, Llanelli and Pau disgraced the Heineken Cup with an ill-tempered confrontation which was disfigured by at least half a dozen punch-ups. The French side ran in six tries and won 44-12, but the main talking point will be the failure of the referee Leo Mayne to control this Pool E match which saw just two yellow cards - for the visiting captain Robin McBryde and the Pau flanker Nicolas Bacque, who was one of three players sent off during the corresponding fixture last season.

Toulouse struggled to maintain their 100 per cent record in Pool A when they overcame an 11-point deficit to win 19-14 in Milan. Fabio Gomez, the Italians' Argentine scrum-half, touched down inside three minutes and Toulouse only regained the initiative with a second-half try from the wing Xavier Garbajosa.

Paul Grayson demonstrated his recovery from the hip injury which forced his withdrawal from the Lions tour of South Africa by kicking Northampton to an impressive 25-13 home victory over Begles in the European Conference. The England fly-half landed six penalties and converted Gregor Townsend's try as the Saints returned to form following their midweek defeat by Connacht in Galway.

Mark Mapletoft, one of Grayson's rivals for the England No 10 shirt, monopolised his side's scoring with six penalties as Gloucester claimed their second successive victory by edging Toulon 18-15 at Kingsholm. But there was no joy for Bristol whose dismal start to the season continued with a 28-13 defeat at Ebbw Vale. In another Anglo-Welsh meeting, Bridgend lost 43-11 at Richmond, two of whose six tries came from the Western Samoan fly-half Earl Va'a.

Montferrand, fresh from last weekend's eclipse of Sale, overran their visitors Newport 58-32 with four of their 10 tries supplied by the 21- year-old wing David Bory. Newport, who saw off Montpellier last Sunday, collected four touchdowns of their own, including a brace from Chester Robinson. Stade Francais went one try better than Montferrand as they thrashed the Romanian champions Farul Constanta 83-10 while Neath surprisingly capitulated 50-10 at home to Narbonne.

London Scottish and Coventry head Division Two of the Allied Dunbar Premiership with three victories from three starts. The Exiles won 36-17 at Waterloo while Jez Harris kicked six penalties in Coventry's 23-15 success at Fylde. Another ex-Leicester player, John Liley, was similarly prolific for Moseley. He was responsible for all their points, but the Midland side still went down 21-16 at home to West Hartlepool. Bedford made it two wins out of two with a 32-17 victory at Exeter and Blackheath shaded a 29-27 thriller at home to Wakefield. In the first round of the RFU Knock-Out Cup, Cheltenham hammered visitors Okehampton 138-0.

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