Rugby Union: Irish and Bristol return to form

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The Independent Online
London Irish and Bristol, the clubs propping up the Allied Dunbar First Division table, found the Cheltenham & Gloucester Cup much more to their liking yesterday with morale-boosting home wins over Second Division opponents.

The Exiles ran in four tries while beating Orrell 26-19 and Bristol went three better in their 50-14 hammering of Coventry.

A bad-tempered game at the Memorial Ground boiled over when Coventry's former Bristol centre Garath Reayer was sent off for stamping although the visitors later claimed it was a case of mistaken identity. In addition, two home players, Kevin Maggs, who makes his Ireland debut against Canada next Sunday, and Craig Short, were yellow-carded for dangerous tackles.

Cambridge University's preparations for the Varsity Match in just over a fortnight suffered an unwelcome jolt when they lost 37-15 at London Scottish, two of whose six tries came from their scrum-half Colin Morley. In the other C&G ties, Wakefield won 17-5 at Fylde, Moseley, with the former Leicester and England A wing Steve Hackney touching down twice, beat Waterloo 37-20, and Rotherham piled up eight tries en route to thrashing Exeter 55-22.

Worcester are back on top of Jewson National League One following a 62- 15 victory at Reading and a surprise 33-17 home defeat for the previous leaders, London Welsh, by Newbury. Caerphilly maintained their two-point lead in the Welsh National League First Division with a 30-22 success at Cross Keys and Shannon opened their bid for a fourth successive Irish First Division title by defeating visitors Dungannon 20-13.