Rugby Union Round-Up:: Gloucester on the grind

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The Independent Online
THE West Country giants Bristol and Gloucester roused themselves with a vengeance yesterday from their defeats on the opening Saturday of the Courage championship season.

Gloucester, on the receiving end of a record league defeat by Wasps last weekend, handed out a 48-12 thrashing to West Hartlepool at Kingsholm. A hat-trick of tries by Simon Morris, two from Paul Holford and one each for Tim Smith and Mark Mapletoft, who also supplied five conversions and a penalty, delighted Gloucester's director of rugby, Barrie Corless.

'That was much more positive,' the former England centre said. The result also confirmed that West Hartlepool, whose points came via four Kevan Oliphant penalties, have much to do to avoid an immediate return to League Two.

Bristol, who went down with honour at Bath last weekend, caught Sale with the backlash at the Memorial Ground, although the 44-22 scoreline flattered the visitors. The England full-back Paul Hull, who scored one of the home side's five tries, a brilliant solo effort, and created two others, was in outstanding form.

Bristol's other try-scorers were Mark Regan, David John, Derek Eves and Gavin Sharp while Mark Tainton broke the club's record for points in a league match with five penalties and two conversions. Sale's consolation try came from Jim Mallinder while the player- coach Paul Turner kicked their remaining points.

Waterloo and Saracens are the only League Two sides to have won both their opening games. Waterloo inflicted a

25-13 defeat on London Scottish while Saracens saw off London Irish 35-22 in a seven- try contest at Southgate. Saracens' four touchdowns came from Andy Tunningley, who also contributed two penalties and three conversions, John Green, Anthony Diprose and Peter Harries, while Andy Lee completed the scoring with a drop goal. For the Exiles, who at one stage led 15-8, Gary Halpin, Cameron Short and Rob Saunders all went over.

Harrogate, 23-3 conquerors of Morley, and Blackheath, who shaded Rugby 15-11, are the lone '100 per centers' in League Three.

Watsonians head the McEwan's League in Scotland after a 47-17 win at Currie.