Cardiff's new century

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The Independent Online

Cardiff took advantage of their title rivals' continued involvement in the WRU Challenge Cup by moving to the top of the Welsh-Scottish League Premier Division in the most emphatic manner possible yesterday.

Dunvant were the unfortunates on the end of a 116-0 defeat as the wing Nick Walne ran in six of Cardiff's 18 tries to mark the first time a three-figure score had been achieved in the top flight of Welsh domestic rugby. The fortunate thing for Dunvant was that Neil Jenkins was not there to cause even more damage with his boot. The outside-half was rested, but Paul Burke proved an adequate replacement converting 13 of the tries.

The two clubs who may yet make a race of it with Cardiff were both given early frights in the quarter-finals of the WRU Cup. Llantrisant took their illustrious neighbours Pontypridd all the way despite having Matthew Newlands sent off for persistent infringements at the start of the second half. The Second Division side were 24-16 down with 20 minutes left, thanks to the kicking of Kevin Jenkins and a try by the scrum-half Ian Worgan, but touchdowns from John Colderley, Ceri Sweeney and Richard Field put Pontypridd through to the semi-finals 45-26.

Ebbw Vale also made heavy weather of seeing off lowly Bonymaen, being just three points to the better after 40 minutes, before a powerful second half show eased the Blaenau Gwent side to a 59-18 victory.

In Allied Dunbar Premiership Two, Rotherham stayed clear at the top of the table beating West Hartlepool 52-7 at The Friarage. Two tries by the Canadian international Mike Schmid, together with two from Martin Dawson and John Dudley, kept Rotherham four points ahead of Worcester who beat London Welsh 23-10.

Kevin Yates, the former Bath prop who was banned from the game for six months in 1998 for biting an opponent, has landed himself in trouble at the beginning of his career playing for the New Zealand Super-12 side Hurricanes. The England international was sent off 10 minutes from the end of his side's match against South Africa's Cats in Wellington for punching the hooker Leon Boshof. But Hurricanes clung on to beat the Cats 29 to stay in contention at the top of the Super 12 table.

In Scotland, Heriots celebrated their BT Premiership title running in 11 tries from nine of their players to beat Gala 77-29. The wing Ian Stent went over for a hat-trick of tries and it was the champions who came up with a gala performance.

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