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Last Updated: Friday, 5 September, 2003, 20:09 GMT 21:09 UK
Warriors march over Borders
Aisea Havili
Borders (0) 12
Tries: K Utterson, D Kane. Con: G Morton.
Celtic Warriors (31) 49
Tries: A Havili, S James (2), G Wyatt, N Kelly. Cons: N Jenkins (3). Pens: Jenkins (6).
Att: 4,000
The Celtic Warriors confirmed the pundits' suspicions that they would prove perhaps the strongest of the new Welsh regions with a demolition job on the hapless Borders.

The Bridgend-Pontypridd amalgam rattled up 31 first-half points without reply at Netherdale to snuff out the home challenge - and ensure a bonus point for scoring more than four tries.

Five-pointers from Aisea Havili, Shaun James (2), Gareth Wyatt and Nick Kelly, added to the ever-lethal boot of Neil Jenkins, ensured that there would be only one winner of this contest.

Borders salvaged some pride with late touchdowns from Kevin Utterson and Dan Kane, along with a conversion by Gareth Morton, but their display was blighted by basic errors and carelessness.

Former Lions and Wales hero Neil Jenkins broke the deadlock with a penalty and then repeated the feat almost immediately.

If we're going to compete in this league we need to show more character
Borders coach Tony Gilbert
Tongan ace Havili got the first try - it will also be his last for a while as he leaves the region to perform World Cup duty for his country.

Jenkins banged over two more penalties in quick succession, while Clark Laidlaw missed an easy one for the home team.

The match ended as a contest when Shaun James bagged his two tries before the interval, the first coming after a slip by Andy Turnbull.

James completed his double by intercepting a Laidlaw pass, Jenkins converting both and adding a further penalty.

The Wyatt and Kelly scores rubbed salt into the Scots' wounds, before they gave the crowd something to take home with a late rally.

The result will be a timely boost to the Warriors after a troubled week.

Growing financial problems at Pontypridd have led Bridgend owner Leighton Samuel to suggest that his club will become the dominant partner in the region unless Ponty can produce additional funding.

Borders: G Morton, N Walker, S Cranston, K Utterson (captain), A Turnbull, C Laidlaw, G Armstrong, A Johnston, Steve Scott, G Cross, D Weir, C Stewart, A Rennick, D Kane, C Feather.
Replacements: R Ford, G Graham, R MacLeod, T Walker, C Cusiter, G Townsend, S Paterson.

Celtic Warriors: G Cull; G Wyatt, D Bishop, S James, A Havili; N Jenkins, S Martens; P Booth, A Joy, C Horsman, D Jones, N Budgett, R Jones, R Bryan (capt), C Harris.
Replacements: D Goodfield, M Jones, N Kelly, R Parks, P John, R Mustoe, M Nutthall.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)



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