Gloucester claimed their first league win of the season in tremendous style, defeating Northampton 19-14. They were down to 14 men after 20 minutes when the referee Chris Rees sent off the former Scottish international prop Peter Jones for stamping, but the dismissal seemed to inspire them and their seven-man pack took it upon themselves to set up victory. The remaining prop, Andrew Deacon, was especially inspired and scored his side's only try early in the second half. Northampton's woes began when the likely England flanker Tim Rodber trooped off the field with a shoulder injury after just eight minutes, and was taken to hospital for a check-up.
While the collisions between the Big Four occupied most of the attention in the Heineken First Division, there were some grim battles at the foot of the table. None more so than at Pontypool, who improved their dismal record to two wins in 11 matches at the expense of their Gwent neighbours, the bottom club Cross Keys. Mark Ring scored a try and kicked two penalties in a 17-3 victory. Pontypridd continued to chase the Big Four, defeating Aberavon 28-7, while Bridgend beat Division One new boys Dunvant 15-6.Reuse content