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The Independent Online
WEST HARTLEPOOL, under threat of relegation for most of the season, guaranteed their League One future in the Courage Clubs' Championship yesterday with a brave 17-12 victory at Bristol.

Steve Cook and Owen Evans scored the visitors' tries with the full-back Tim Stimpson supplying two conversions and a penalty.

The England scrum-half Dewi Morris, who retires after the World Cup in South Africa, bade farewell to Edge Hall Road by running in the last of Orrell's seven tries in their 43-14 League One hammering of Gloucester. There was also a brace apiece from Ian Wynn and Gerry Ainscough.

With only next Saturday's fixtures remaining, any one of six sides - London Scottish, London Irish, Waterloo, Fylde, Moseley or Nottingham - could still go down with Coventry from League Two.

Warwickshire are the new CIS county champions after their full-back, Jim Quantrill, outkicked the Northumberland fly-half, Dave Johnson, by five penalties to three in the final at Twickenham.

In Wales, Newport secured their Heineken First Division future with a 30-13 home win over Dunvant, who now need to beat Newbridge next Saturday and hope that Abertillery lose at Swansea to avoid the drop with Pontypool. Ebbw Vale moved ahead of Abercynon in the Second Division promotion race with one game to go following their 39-18 success at Maesteg.

New Zealand made a timely return to form when they thrashed Canada 73- 7 in Auckland yesterday. More significant even than the victory margin was the prolific debut of Andrew Mehrtens, 21, in the fly-half shirt which has been up for grabs since the departure of Grant Fox. Mehrtens scored 28 points - an international record for a debutant - which consisted of three penalties, seven conversions and one of his side's 10 tries.

Argentina, like Canada enjoying a less than auspicious build-up to the World Cup, lost 33-16 to Australian Capital Territory in Canberra, and had their veteran wing, Diego Cuesta Silva, sent off for stamping.

Andre Joubert, South Africa's first-choice full-back, had a mixed return after a month out with an ankle injury when he landed only four of his eight kicks at goal during Natal's 25-21 win over Waikato in Durban.