Vale prove a pushover for lively Montgomery

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Percy Montgomery showed the more acceptable side of his rugby game yesterday with a dazzling 29-point display for Newport in their 61-9 Welsh Premiership victory over Ebbw Vale at Rodney Parade.

The 29-year-old former Springbok, who has been under a disciplinary cloud since being sent off against Swansea on Wednesday night for pushing over a touch judge, claimed two quickfire second-half tries in addition to kicking five conversions and three penalties as third-placed Newport thrashed the club with which they are due to merge next season.

Gareth Gravell also went over twice and there were further touchdowns from Ofisa Tonu'u, Alex Cadwallader, Rod Snow and Matt Mostyn. Byron Hayward replied with three penalties for Vale, who had scrum-half Gareth Betts sent off after 32 minutes for a dangerous tackle.

Matthew Rees scrambled a winning try in the fifth minute of injury-time which Neil Jenkins converted to hand Pontypridd a 17-15 success at Caerphilly. But the Parker Pen Shield finalists would have won had fly-half Justin Thomas not failed with a simple, 74th-minute penalty.

Jenkins also converted a try by Paul John and kicked a 50-metre penalty. Darren Davies and Ryan Howells crossed for Caerphilly with Thomas landed a penalty and a conversion.

Full-back Dan Scarbrough makes his first start for six weeks following a knee injury as Leeds attempt to overturn a 36-point deficit against visitors Saracens in the second leg of their Zurich Premiership wild-card semi-final today.

Leicester, European champions for the past two years, will definitely miss out on next season's Heineken Cup if they fail to beat Harlequins by more than three points in the other semi-final at Welford Road this afternoon.

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