Bristol down while Leicester still top - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bristol down while Leicester still top

05/04/2009 06:56:58 AM Comments (0)

Bristol were relegated from the English rugby union Premiership after London Irish won 38-21 at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

Needing assistance from Sixways, Worcester's 22-8 victory over Saracens instead sealed Bristol's fate with two matches of the regular season remaining.

History repeated as the west country club were condemned to a season in National One at the same venue they endured relegation in 2003 - the last time they went down.

Tries from Scott Linklater and David Lemi, the first after an impressive spell, offered Bristol a glimmer of hope that quickly vanished with Luke Eves grabbing a late consolation score.

Worcester's win over Saracens puts them 13 points ahead of Bristol with just a possible 10 available.

The Warriors' fortunes before kick-off lay in their own hands and, although edgy, they seemed determined to win after suffering two defeats inside the last six days, one of them at Bristol.

At the other end of the table, Leicester remain in first place after defeating Sale 37-31.

The Tigers lost Julian White after 23 minutes for punching Andrew Sheridan, but Alesana Tuilagi and Scott Hamilton gave the hosts a 17-15 half-time lead, Neil Briggs put Sale in front before Hamilton, Dan Hipkiss and Sam Vesty secured Leicester's win.

Second-placed Harlequins served notice of their title credentials by sinking play-off rivals Bath 19-3 at the Recreation Ground.

The league leaders' 13th Premiership victory this season owed everything to a courageous, defensive display.

They absorbed all that Bath could throw at them after grinding out an interval lead through a penalty try when they exerted punishing scrum pressure.

Former Bath fly-half Chris Malone kicked a conversion and three penalties, while England international Danny Care added a drop-goal.

Wing Paul Diggin scored two tries and fly-half Stephen Myler kicked 16 points in a 40-22 victory for Northampton over Gloucester to deliver a serious blow to the Cherry and Whites' Premiership play-off hopes.

England hooker Dylan Hartley and captain Bruce Reihana also touched down for Northampton. Myler landed four penalties and two conversions, with his replacement Barry Everitt contributing two late conversions.

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