Jarvis puts the boot into Glasgow

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The Independent Online

So who said there were only four teams in Wales? What about Ponty? Just in case anyone thought the "Valley Commandoes" were ready to fade out of the big time in Wales they came up with a four tries to one victory over Glasgow in the Heineken Cup Pool Six.

So who said there were only four teams in Wales? What about Ponty? Just in case anyone thought the "Valley Commandoes" were ready to fade out of the big time in Wales they came up with a four tries to one victory over Glasgow in the Heineken Cup Pool Six.

Having been warned by the the ERC chairman, Jean-Pierre Lux, to be on their best behaviour this season, Pontypridd proved the perfect hosts off the field and the greatest of opportunists on it as they made it four wins out of four over Scottish opposition in the competition.

The boot of Tommy Hayes kept Glasgow, conquerors of Cardiff the previous weekend, in contention in the first half, but while he was helping himself to 20 points, his opposite number Lee Jarvis was doing even better. Jarvis topped Hayes' effort with 25 points as he grabbed a try, four penalties and four conversions to put his side on the right track before their trip to France next weekend.

George Best is backing Ulster to go all the way again in the Heineken Cup after watching his home province beat the Welsh champions Cardiff on opening night. Best was among a 12,000 capacity crowd at Ravenhill on Friday night to see David Humphreys inspire the home side to a32-26 victory that ended a run of six successive defeats in the tournament last season.

"It was great seeing George in the crowd and it was nice of him to come and support us. When we reached the Heineken Cup final two years ago George was kind enough to send us a good luck message," said Humphreys.

The Italian champions Roma gave a stirring account of themselves in Pool Five before finally going down 14-5 to the 1999 finalists, Colomiers. Although they were unable to match the victories of the other new boys, Gloucester and Biarrtiz, they certainly showed enough to justify their place in the tournament by matching the French side a try apiece.

Rotherham's first foray into Europe ended with well-deserved success as they beat Grenoble, Heineken Cup representatives last season, 35-5 in the Shield. Their player-coach Mike Umaga led by example as he inspired the Premiership's basement club with 25 points. His tally included two of their four tries and 15 points from the boot.

It was certainly a good day for the English in the battle against the French. Bristol beat a Waisale Serevi-inspired Mont de Marsan 41-24, despite being outscored 3-2 on tries, in a game that saw the Italian giant Valter Christofoletto sent off for a second yellow-card offence.

Harlequins held on to beat Perigueux 23-16 and London Irish were 42-10 winners over Aurillac.

But Newcastle Falcons were cut down to size in Pool One as they were beaten 28-15 by Benetton Treviso. The home side, relegated to the Shield for the first time this season, went off with a bang and were 23-5 ahead at the interval.

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