Rotherham on rise

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Rotherham's thrashing of near-neighbours Wakefield gives them a great chance of appearing in the Allied Dunbar Premiership One next term.

The South Yorkshire side coasted to a 46-10 win over their White Rose rivals in Premier-ship Two and now play the Premiership One bottom side, Bedford, in a play-off for the top-flight place.

In the Welsh-Scottish League Llanelli held out against a determined Neath fightback but victory was marred by the sending-off of star winger Salesi Finau.

The Tongan was dismissed for a high tackle on the Neath replacement scrum-half, Andrew Jacobs, in the 54th minute. He will now miss next Sunday's Heineken Cup semi-final clash with Northampton. Coincidentally Neath also had their Tongan winger, Dave Tiueti, sent off in the dying seconds for the use of an elbow.

Llanelli, back to almost full strength after fielding a much-depleted line-up against Pontypridd, moved into a seemingly unassailable position with a 25-11 lead midway through the second half. There were tries for Welsh international trio Chris Wyatt, Dafydd James and Matt Cardey and two conversions and two penalties for Stephen Jones.

But Neath fought back spiritedly to run Llanelli close with two tries from their South African star, Shaun Van Rensburg, and a conversion and four penalties for Cerith Rees.

Swansea took a major step towards qualifying for next season's Heineken Cup with a 47-24 crushing of Edinburgh Reivers. A flurry of points for Swansea in the first half settled the game, with livewire hooker Chris Wells leading the All Whites' charge with two tries.

Internationals Mark Taylor, Colin Charvis, Richard Rees and Matthew Robinson also crossed for tries.

Pontypridd kept alive their hopes of finishing in the top five thanks to 23 points in the second half at the Brewery Field. They trailed 12-8 at half-time but recovered to win 31-17 - Lenny Woodward, flanker, and Geraint Lewis, wing, scoring the tries.

Newport march on towards second spot in the league - they were 44-14 winners at Caerphilly after the Castletown side opened the scoring with a try after 16 seconds from Sean Marshall. But they took control with tries from Andy Marinos (2), Ben Breeze (3), Rod Snow and Dale Burn. Shane Howarth kicked nine points from a penalty and three conversions.

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