Swansea lock out Cross Keys

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The Independent Online

Swansea left several of their star players on the sidelines yesterday, but still encountered little difficulty in demolishing Cross Keys 55-3.

Swansea left several of their star players on the sidelines yesterday, but still encountered little difficulty in demolishing Cross Keys 55-3.

The Welsh/Scottish League leaders were far too strong for the visitors despite resting their leading try-scorers Matthew Robinson, Colin Charvis and Scott Gibbs along with their prolific kicker Arwel Thomas. Indeed, if Swansea's New Zealand coach John Plumtree had not rung the changes, Cross Keys' record of 83 tries conceded in 11 league losses this season would probably now be even worse.

Pontypridd retained their unbeaten league record against Caerphilly with a 41-7 success at Sardis Road. Four first-half tries knocked the stuffing out of the underdogs as the home side went in at the interval with a 29-0 lead.

Newport unravelled a disappointing Edinburgh Reivers team 55-15 at Rodney Parade, running in eight tries and shipping just two. The former Wales fly-half Shane Howarth added 15 points with the boot for the Amber and Blacks, who were making up for the disappointment of last week's defeat by a 14-man Neath side. Tries by David Officer and Craig Joiner in a seven-minute period during the second half gave the Reivers some respectability only for them to let slip three tries in the final six minutes.

Cardiff made hard work of their home meeting with a struggling Ebbw Vale side who have shown little form so far season. Cardiff secured the three points with a 27-16 win, but not before trailing 14-16 at one stage during the second half. Victory was finally secured on the back of touchdowns from Dan Baugh and Steve Moore and the last of Neil Jenkins four penalties.

Worcester, smarting from last weekend's upset at Moseley, resumed normal service at the top of National League One with a 51-3 thrashing of London Welsh at Sixways. Sateki Tuipulotu, their Tongan wing, was his usual productive self, supplying one of their seven tries, five conversions and two penalties.

Worcester head the table by six points from Leeds who were equally devastating as they chalked up a 63-13 home win over Exeter. Leeds helped themselves to 10 tries, including a brace for Shaun Woof.

Even though promotion is far from guaranteed for the winners of this season's second division, Worcester and Leeds are showing an impressively clean pair of heels to the chasing pack. Bedford, who yesterday hammered the bottom club Waterloo 37-9 with two tries from their prop David Hinkins, are in third place a full 14 points behind Leeds.

Moseley, fresh from their heroics against Worcester, fought out an entertaining 20-20 draw in another derby match at Birmingham/Solihull. There were also wins for Coventry, Manchester and Henley over Wakefield, Otley and Orrell.