Cardiff prove unexpected victims of Cull

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The Independent Online

Ebbw Vale staged one of the upsets of the Welsh/Scottish League season when they put Cardiff's title ambitions on ice with an improbable 22-20 success on a Eugene Cross Park pitch coated in snow. The home side's winning points arrived with a fifth successful penalty kick by their full-back Gareth Cull in the final minute of a match which Cardiff had led 17-3 at half-time.

Cull clocked up 17 points to augment Vale's sole try by their fly-half Scott Mitchell. Nick Robinson landed two penalties for Cardiff and also converted tries by the wing Anthony Sullivan and the lock Adam Jones, his first for the club.

Edinburgh, for whom Kevin Utterson touched down twice, consolidated their mid-table position with a 35-21 victory at Caerphilly. Chris Paterson and Craig Smith also went over for the visitors while Ken Morris and Sione Tuipulotu crossed for Caerphilly.

Rotherham's 48-6 romp over Henley, which included a hat-trick of tries for the right wing Oriel Ripol, maintained their three-point lead in National League One. Second-placed Worcester kept in touch by beating Moseley 33-12.

Leicester's march to a fourth successive Zurich Premiership title may be a foregone conclusion, but the relegation battle at the other end of the table is far from clear cut.

Leeds, currently 11th out of 12, entertain the bottom club Wasps at Headingley today knowing that victory could put them nine points ahead of their rivals – a more than useful cushion in light of several difficult forthcoming fixtures.

But Leeds' director of rugby, Phil Davies, refuses to become too fired up about the game. "In our position we can't afford to start picking games to perform in," he said. "It's just as important we play our best in all games and let the results take care of themselves."

Leeds' trip to Sale last weekend was frozen off and Davies believes this has enabled his troops to prepare properly for their attempt to avenge a 64-14 drubbing by Wasps in November. "Wasps gave us a real lesson at Loftus Road last month and that is something we have used during training," added Davies.

Matt Holt replaces the injured Rob Rawlinson at hooker for Leeds while Wasps recall the wing Shane Roiser and Simon Shaw at lock.

Saracens have already sold 11,500 tickets for this afternoon's Premiership contest against Harlequins at Vicarage Road. Sarries, thrashed 43-6 at The Stoop earlier in the season, welcome back their Scotland lock Scott Murray following a shoulder injury.

Shannon stretched their advantage in Ireland's AIB League to five points when they saw off Dungannon 22-14.

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