Rugby union round-up: Swansea pull away from pursuers

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The Independent Online
A TREMENDOUS run of four priceless victories had taken Swansea to the top of the First Division in Wales before yesterday's game, and they had been rewarded with the Heineken team of the month award. There was a further reward yesterday: a home match against Cross Keys, who are anchored to the foot of the division without a point all season.

The All Whites accepted their opportunity with alacrity, running in no fewer than 15 tries in a record 95-22 win. It underlined their superiority (and the inequality of top-level Welsh rugby) that this was effectively Swansea's second XV - there were 11 changes from the side that beat Dunvant in midweek. They are now five points clear at the top.

Swansea's try-scorers were Iwan Jones (3), Mark Titley (2), Iestyn Lewis (2), Steve Barclay (2), Ian Davies (2), David Weatherley, Aled Williams, Robbie Jones and Mark Evans. Jason Parfitt scored two tries for Cross Keys, and Richie Nicholls one, but the battle was always one-sided. Dunvant's bad week continued with a 23- 12 defeat at Aberavon.

In the Courage National League One, Gloucester defeated Orrell 10-6 in a poor quality game dotted with errors - most of them Orrell's. They missed Dewi Morris badly; a mistake from his replacement, Gary Povall, let in Ashley Johnson for the only try of the game. Tim Smith converted, and also scored with a penalty. Orrell's penalties came from Gerry Ainscough, who later left the field with a leg injury, and his replacement, the former England colt Alun Peacock. Without the resting Kyran Bracken, Bristol still swept aside Newcastle Gosforth 26-0. Leicester were without Neil Back, who had a pressing engagement in Cardiff, and the injured Tony Underwood, but still beat London Irish 22-10.

In National League Two Saracens entertained Rugby, but neither side played entertaining rugby. Saracens won the blustery, stop-go contest 6-3. In the League Three, Richmond were defeated 22-15 at home by Coventry, for whom Richard Gee, Mark Douglas and Steve Chapman scored first-half tries; they led 22-0 after half an hour. Richmond replied with second- half tries from Chris Hornung and the England under-19 international Nana Dontoh.