Rugby Union Round-Up: Nippy Naylor

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The Independent Online
ORRELL prepared for next weekend's Pilkington Cup semi-final with a morale-boosting 27-6 victory over a Northampton side missing the England men Tim Rodber (helping the Army beat the Royal Navy 18-6 at Twickenham) and Ian Hunter. Orrell's leading light was the England Under-21 international winger James Naylor, who scored a try in each half, the first after a blistering run down the right. Northampton, captained in Rodber's absence by Martin Bayfield, responded with two first-half penalties from Paul Grayson. Bristol outplayed an unconvincing Gloucester for a 24-6 victory at Kingsholm.

At the top of Courage League Two, West Hartlepool spurned a chance to guarantee promotion when they crashed to a 23-13 home defeat by Nottingham, and second-placed Sale failed to take advantage, going down 16-13 to Moseley.

Unluckiest club of the day in Wales were relegation- threatened Pontypool, whose defiance of Cardiff ended with a 16-17 defeat. The ex-Cardiff star Mark Ring collected all 16 points only to see Mike Rayer kick an injury-time penalty to sink his team. Neath ran in seven tries as they stormed to a

47-20 win over Newbridge.

Third-placed Pontypridd also won but only after a shock from the bottom club, Cross Keys. The visiting Keys led 5-3 at half-time but Pontypridd got their act together in the second half to win 25-5 with three tries. Fellow strugglers Dunvant conceded five tries to Llanelli as they went down 27-20, while Bridgend beat Aberavon 59-20 in a 10-try spectacular.

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