Rugby Union / Round-Up: Sinking Exiles

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The Independent Online
SIMON Geoghegan scored another try yesterday, but this time it was not a match-winner. London Irish desperately needed to beat Wasps in order to stave off the threat of relegation, but two tries from Lawrence Dallaglio and one apiece from Philip Hopley and Steve Bates put paid to their hopes long before Geoghegan's last- minute score.

Ystradgynlais, of the Third Division, accounted for First Division Newport in the fifth round of the Swalec Cup. In the sixth round yesterday, however, normality was restored, and home advantage for the underdogs could not prevent Neath beating them 26-3. Mike Lewis, Ystradgynlais's top scorer, kicked a consolation penalty.

Maesteg Celtic from the Central Glamorgan League did their supporters proud with a stirring Swalec Cup performance against South Wales Police. The lawmen were too strong in the end, though, and won 37-14. Colin Stephens converted seven of Llanelli's eight tries in their 57-5 demolition of Second Division Llandovery.

In Scotland the championship was all but sewn up when the title challengers Edinburgh Academicals were surprisingly defeated 21-11 by mid-table West of Scotland. Melrose, whose game was snowed off, are now practically assured of their third title in a row.

France have made several changes for their clash with England next weekend. Flanker Laurent Cabannes returns after a four-month lay-off, Philippe Benetton moves to No 8, and there are new caps for prop Laurent Benezech and William Techoueyres on the right wing.