Rugby Union Round-up: Irish looking fit to drop

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The Independent Online
WITH all the attention focused on the Pilkington Cup, Bristol and London Irish had the League One programme to themselves. The Irish, without their key internationals Simon Geoghegan and Jim Staples, slumped to an ill-disciplined 21- 8 defeat that may well doom them to relegation. They conceded 21 penalties, and Bristol's Mark Tainton scored from three of them; Rob Kitchin and Alastair Saverimutto got Bristol's tries.

In the Swalec Cup quarter- finals, Maesteg defeated Tenby United 35-7 in the all-Second Division clash at The Old Parish, reaching the semi-final for the first time. One of their four tries came from their centre Roddy Boobyer, who now joins his twin brother Neil, a Llanelli player, in the semi-final draw on Tuesday. Neil Jenkins ran riot in Pontypridd's 32-10 win over Newbridge in the other quarter-final, collecting 27 of the points with two tries, a conversion and five penalties.

Despite Jenkins' efforts, the most entertaining game in the Principality yesterday was between Cardiff and Barbarians at the Arms Park. Barbarians won 53-27, the first time in 110 meetings between the clubs that they have bettered 50 points. Perhaps the most significant statistic is that Craig Chalmers scored the only penalty of the match: all the rest of the points came from tries and conversions. Owen Thomas scored a hat-trick of tries for the home side, and Boroughmuir's Derek Stark went over three times for the Barbarians, whose other try-scorers were the Wakefield winger Jon Sleightholme (two), Craig Chalmers, Chad Lion- Cachet and the Dutchman Yves Kummer.

Tredegar had three players sent off in an eventful second half of their Heineken League division three match against Ystradgynlais. The centre David Davies, wing Paul Moyle and full-back Mark Fleet were all dismissed by the referee Peter Blake and Ystrad snatched a 13-11 win with an injury-time penalty try converted by Mike Lewis.