Rugby Union Round-up: Sale on Warr path

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The Independent Online
The whitewash nightmare endured by West Hartlepool in the Courage League last season continued yesterday when they slumped to their third successive defeat of the current campaign, away to Sale. West, eventually reprieved from relegation by officialdom, were thrashed 58-18 in a bruising League One encounter as their hosts ran in nine tries.

Dewi Morris, Mark Warr and Jos Baxendell each scored two tries while Sale's other touchdowns came from David Rees, Charlie Vyvyan and Simon Verbickas, who also kicked a penalty and five conversions. Victory came at a cost, though, as all four Sale substitutes were on by the end. Among the victims were Morris, who suffered a rib injury, and John Devereux, who hurt the ankle he broke earlier in the year.

Saracens enjoyed a comfortable 41-11 win over struggling Gloucester at Enfield FC despite trailing 6-3 at the interval. Tony Copsey scored two of their five second-half tries and was joined on the scoresheet by Kris Chesney and brothers Richard and Paul Wallace. Andy Lee, at outside-half for the injured Michael Lynagh, converted all the tries and landed two penalties.

Newcastle completed an astonishing 74-29 demolition job at Nottingham in League Two with Gary Armstrong providing four of their 12 tries. Newcastle share the top spot with Blackheath, 11-3 conquerors of newly affluent Bedford, and London Scottish, who shaded Wakefield 30-27. Richmond and Coventry, who drew last weekend, each exceeded 60 points yesterday, against Rotherham and Rugby respectively. The Welsh recruit Scott Quinnell supplied three of Richmond's nine tries while the Ireland full-back Simon Mason amassed 29 points. Robin Hardwick, the lone England squad member loyal to the RFU, scored two of Coventry's nine tries.

In the Welsh First Division, a late Jonathan Davies penalty enabled Cardiff to pip Treorchy 23-22 and record their first win of the season. Llanelli moved up to third with nine tries in their 55-5 eclipse of Newport, whose prop Sven Cronk was sent off after 43 minutes. Pontypridd made 13 changes to the team hammered last week by Leicester and ran in six tries en route to a 38-25 victory over Caerphilly. Wales centre Gareth Thomas helped himself to four of Bridgend's nine tries in their 64-29 defeat of Newbridge while Ebbw Vale beat champions Neath 21-15.