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Rugby Union: NO NEED FOR REDS ALERT SAYS DIXON; Swansea 28 Caley Reds 13.

GLASGOW Caley chief Richie Dixon refused to press the panic button after his side's latest Celtic League defeat.

And he begged success-starved Reds fans to be patient in the wake of Saturday's 28-13 reverse at Swansea, saying: "We are not battle-hardened enough because we are still new to this scene."

Caley have now lost all three encounters against Welsh opposition - and to make matters worse, their injury crisis grew deeper with the loss of hooker Gavin Scott.

He was replaced by teenager Dougie Hall, who has never even played at Premiership level in the club scene.

Coach Dixon admitted: "It was a huge blow when Gavin went off. Dougie is only 19 and this was a big learning experience for him.

"He was excellent around the field, but his throwing wasn't as accurate as Gav's and we ended up winning very little line-out ball after that.

"We weren't competitive enough and that's because we only played friendlies last year."

Swansea broke the deadlock in the 10th minute when centre Richard Jones blasted his way through a gap between Hayes and Ian Jardine to score close to the posts to give Arwel Thomas a simple conversion.

He then punished Caley with a 45-metre penalty after a needless late tackle on Wales wing Matthew Robinson as he kicked out of his own 22-zone.

Just two minutes later handling in a ruck near the 10 metre line cost Glasgow yet another three points when Thomas landed a second penalty. The only chance Glasgow had had in the opening quarter was a 30 metre penalty shot for Hayes, but he sent it wide.

Things did improve for the visitors, and Jardine rounded off good driving work by the pack as he dodged his markers for a touchdown, which Hayes converted.

They were rocked just before the break, however, when when hooker Chris Wells surged over from a line-out won by lock James Griffiths, who struck himself after the restart.

Hayes gave the Reds a glimmer of hope with two quick penalties, but they were killed off by wing Richard Rees, who scorched over after taking a quick throw by the alert Robert Jones.

Meanwhile, Pontypridd's 100 per cent record was broken when they were held to a surprise 20-all draw by Neath at Sardis Road.

Ponty points machine Lee Jarvis - whose long-range kicking exploits had snuffed out Glasgow Caley Reds and Newport - proved he is mortal after all as he fluffed two late penalty attempts and was wildly off-target with a drop-goal bid.

Jarvis had already kept his side in the hunt after Neath claimed touchdowns through wingers Ricky Johnston and Shane Williams, replying to one from Lenny Woodward.

Elsewhere, Caerphilly broke their duck by pipping Bridgend 34-33, Llanelli's beat Cardiff 60-18 and Dunvant crashed to Ebbw Vale 65-25.

GLASGOW Hawks recorded the result of the day in the National Premiership by beating Hawick 59-3.

Elsewhere, Heriots thrashed Melrose 53-13 and Gala pipped Border rivals Kelso 38-36.

Watsonians thumped Jed-Forest 30-3 and Currie beat West of Scotland 48-13.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Boyd, Kevin
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 27, 1999
Words:504
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