Shaw enough

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The Independent Online
SIMON SHAW, the young lock forward who was forced to miss England's Rugby World Cup campaign last summer because of an ill-timed knee injury, demonstrated his return to fitness and form with a rampant display for Bristol in their 12-3 home victory over West Hartlepool in League One of the Courage Clubs Championship.

At the Memorial Ground yesterday, Shaw emphasised his determination to challenge the two Martins, Bayfield and Johnson, for a place in England's second-row engine room, and was responsible for the forward dominance which Bristol, smarting after last weekend's thrashing at Wasps, enjoyed over West, who have lost both their opening games.

There were no tries in a scrappy encounter, and all Bristol's points came from their fly-half Mark Tainton, who kicked four penalties, while West replied with a Tim Stimpson penalty. The only black mark for Bristol was the yellow card shown to their Scotland prop Alan Sharp for stamping on an opponent.

Saracens, another side who lost heavily on the opening Courage Saturday (at Leicester), squelched to a 12-9 home win over Orrell - their first victory since returning to the top flight. In atrocious weather, the north London team failed to cash in on their territorial advantage. Andy Tunningley, their full-back, landed four penalties, the decisive one in injury time, but was off target with five other attempts.

Orrell's points came from their full-back Simon Mason, who kicked three penalties. Luis Tuigamala, the younger brother of Va'aiga, the Wigan rugby league star and former All Black wing, had a quiet debut for the visitors.

Pontypridd stayed on top of the Heineken League with a 10-try, 70-25 pasting of Aberavon. Neil Jenkins, the Wales fly-half, contributed 25 points. The champions Cardiff scraped an 11-8 win at Neath through a late Chris John penalty while Alan Harris scored a hat-trick of tries in Swansea's 53-20 success against Ebbw Vale. Newbridge ran in four late tries in eight minutes to upset hosts Bridgend 28-29, and Newport sprinted away in similar fashion to beat Abertillery 31-12.