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Tries galore in Aviva A League

The tries flowed for two players in the Aviva A League in particular this week as Gloucester United hooker Darren Dawidiuk and Wasps A flanker Jack Willis notched up four apiece.

According to statistics compiled by Stuart Farmer Media Services, only 11 other players had scored four tries or more in a single Aviva A League game before.

Wing Marcus Watson holds the record with an incredible six for London Irish A against Gloucester back in October 2009, but just the four for Dawidiuk and Willis were enough to help their respective teams win this weekend.

Dawidiuk was the beneficiary of a dominant rolling maul as Gloucester swept aside Sale Jets 36-3 to maintain their unbeaten run in the competition this year.

Ollie Thorley and Ben Vellacott were the other Gloucester scorers as the West Country side were relentless in racking up their third victory from four to keep them atop the Northern Conference.

It was a more closely-contested affair at Wasps but Willis and company engineered a 33-17 victory over Bristol United in the Southern Conference.

Brendan Macken was the other try-scorer for Wasps, and coach Matt Davies also singled out Academy fly-half Connor Eastgate for special praise.

"I also thought some of the younger Academy players put in impressive performances, including Connor Eastgate, who marshalled the game well from 10 and Jack Willis and George Edgson both put in strong performances in the pack,” he said.

“It was also nice to see Will Porter come on at scrum half for the last 20 minutes, to make his A League debut. All in all it was a good win and we look forward to when the next A League games come round in March and April."   

Elsewhere in the Southern Conference, Saracens Storm maintained their perfect record as they swept aside Bath United 30-15.

Aviva Premiership Rugby regulars Nick Tompkins and Samuela Vunisa were among the try-scorers, and another in Ben Spencer collected 15 points from the tee.

“There was a lot of fight in them (Saracens Storm),” admitted coach Kevin Sorrell. “They showed a lot of character defending the try line for long periods of the second half. “It’s just good to see the hunger not to give them cheap points, or gift them field position. It was a real collective effort.

“The improvement from last week to this week was massive. We were a little disappointed in some areas in the Wasps game and we saw a significant improvement in that.”

But Harlequins A suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of Exeter Braves, as Aviva A League top-scorer Byron McGuigan took his tally to five with a double in an 18-3 win.

And while Gloucester are on top of the Northern Conference Newcastle Falcons closed the gap, moving into second place by virtue of their 24-3 success over Leicester Tigers Development Squad.

Andy Goode, back from retirement to cover for Falcons injuries at fly-half, kicked a conversion while there were tries for Santiago Socino – younger brother of Falcons centre Juan Pablo – while Ben Harris, Giovanbattista Venditti and Richard Mayhew also crossed.
Most tries in an Aviva A League game 

Tries Name Position Match Date
6 Marcus Watson Wing London Irish A v Gloucester United 26/10/2009
5 Alesana Tuilagi Wing Leicester Tigers Development v Leeds Carnegie A 06/09/2004
5 Jamie Harris Flanker London Welsh A v Harlequins A 22/09/2014
4 Wylie Human Full-back Bath United v Saracens Storm 19/01/2004
4 Roland Reid Wing London Irish A v Bath United 24/01/2005
4 Chris Bishay Wing Wasps A v Gloucester United 13/02/2006
4 Gavin Quinnell Flanker Worcester Cavaliers v Leeds Carnegie A 26/03/2007
4 Craig Morgan Wing Bristol United v Saracens Storm 10/12/2007
4 Jack Cobden Wing Leicester Tigers Development v Sale Jets 07/01/2008
4 Josh Drauniniu Wing Worcester Cavaliers v Sale Jets 14/11/2011
4 Shane Monahan Wing Gloucester United v Worcester Cavaliers 03/09/2012
4 Darren Dawidiuk Hooker Gloucester United v Sale Jets 04/01/2016
4 Jack Willis Flanker Wasps A v Bristol United 04/01/2016

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