Neath 47 Caledonia 10.

CALEY'S hopes of ending their disappointing Celtic League campaign by capturing their first major scalp on Welsh soil were ruined as they turned in yet another patchy display at The Gnoll last night.

The Reds ended up with only three away victories in their maiden season in the competition - including the early-term success against ''local'' rivals Edinburgh Reivers at Gala.

Their other wins were bagged against Caerphilly and Dunvant, the two bottom sides, and coach Richie Dixon knows he will have to inject a dose of mental toughness before hostilities are resumed in September.

Caley made a shaky and error-strewn start, so it was no surprise that Neath raced into a quick 6-0 lead. They broke the deadlock in the seventh minute when stand-off Cerith Rees slotted a penalty after visiting captain Andy Nicol was caught offside.

Rees squandered another instant opportunity, but made amends with penalty No.2, again for an offside verdict against the careless Reds. This was the wake-up call that Caley needed and they stormed back in positive style to claim the initiative.

Full-back Tommy Hayes got them off the mark with a 30-metre penalty, with the first touchdown coming just 60 seconds later. Flanker Marty Waite provided the platform with a beautifully-weighted chip-ahead into the danger zone.

His back-row partner Roly Reid celebrated his surprise Scotland tour-squad summons by pouncing to control the awkwardly bouncing ball and flop over. Hayes added the extra points.

Neath battled back immediately to regain the edge, despite another missed penalty by Rees. A charge by winger Dave Tieuti split the defence, giving centre James Storey time and space to skip over in the corner.

Reds began to re-assert themselves and set up two further scoring chances which they failed to accept. First, the fired-up Reid was almost through when he was brilliantly hauled down by Storey.

Then former Test centre Ian Jardine was unable to cling on to Nicol's pass when he was in a promising position. Caley were made to pay dearly for their slackness as they conceded two more touchdowns before the interval.

The powerful Tieuti earned the next one, taking not only a couple of markers, but the touch-judge across with him. Then in the second minute of stoppage time, Neath left the Reds with a mountain to climb as hooker Meffyn Davies crashed through close to the posts in the wake of a rolling maul to give Rees a simple conversion.

Caley coach Richie Dixon reshuffled his line-up at the break, sending on Scotland hooker Gordon Bulloch for Gavin Scott and introducing Ian McInroy at centre in place of Jonno Stuart.

Reid was again in the thick of the action with another tremendous charge down the centre of the field, but the move collapsed a few metres from the line.

Again, the Welsh made the most of their reprieve by getting their side of the scoreboard clicking, Rees banging over a simple third penalty to effectively take his team out of sight.

Neath stepped up the pace ever further and capitalised on their superiority with tries from lock Peter Sidoli on his first-team debut and Tieuti, with Rees converting both.

The rout was rounded off in the second minute of injury time as centre Storey crashed through to complete his double and clinch the man-of-the-match award, Rees slotting the kick.

It certainly was revenge of the most emphatic kind for the Welshmen after their defeat north of the border in the earlier stages of the season.

Neath - M Singer (Stephens 66); T Tieuti, J Storey, T Davies, R Johnston; C Rees, Martyn Davies (Jacobs 49); Duncan Jones, Meffyn Davies (Jones 66), A Millward (Jones 72), S Martin, P Sidoli, Delme Jones, B Sinkinson, N Bonnar-Evans (Phillips 57).

Glasgow Caley - T Hayes; M Bartlett, I Jardine, J Stuart (McInroy 40), A Bulloch; B Irving, A Nicol; A Watt, G Scott (Bulloch 40), D Herrington, S Campbell, J White, R Reid (Petrie 65), G Simpson, M Waite (Flockhart 55).

Referee: T Rowlands (Treorchy)

Scoring sequence: (Neath first) 3-0, 6-0, 6-3, 6-10, 11-10, 16-10, 23-10 (HT) 26-10, 33-10, 40-10, 47-10.

Scorers: Neath: Tries - Storey 2, Tieuti 2, M Davies, Sidoli. Conversions - Rees 4. Penalties - Rees 3. Glasgow Caley: Tries - Reid. Conversions - Hayes. Penalties - Hayes.

qThe Northern Bulls claimed their first Super 12 victory of the season when they beat the Wellington Hurricanes 47-33 after an exhausting 99-minute match at Loftus Versfeld yesterday.

Until the seventy-sixth minute, the South Africans were facing the ignominy of becoming the first side in the four-year history of the competition to go an entire season without a victory.

After leading 23-13 at halftime, the Bulls trailed 23-28 with seven minutes of regulation time left.

That deficit was erased with a penalty try awarded by Australian referee Stuart Dickinson after the Hurricanes were adjudged to have collapsed a scrum on their own tryline.

Jaco van der Westhuyzen, the Bulls' stand-in fly-half after Springbok Jannie de Beer left the field with a knee injury, widened the gap with a conversion and subsequent penalty.

Dickinson then allowed a staggering 16 minutes of second half injury time, featuring a flurry of three tries.

Bulls centre Eugene Meyer's converted try in the fourth minute of injury time took the score to 40-28.

Hurricanes' right wing Brad Flemming scored for the visitors seven minutes later. The conversion was unsuccessful.

Bulls fullback Hannes Venter scored his second try via an interception to seal the victory in the fifteenth minute of time added on.

The win was some consolation for a Bulls team which, before this triumph, last won a Super 12 match on May 2, 1998. They finish the season with one victory, eight losses and two draws.

The Bulls did South African rugby a favour with this victory, boosting the semifinal hopes of the Cats and Stormers.

On a larger scale, however, the injury to De Beer could prove costly for Springbok rugby only weeks ahead of the start of the international season.

Northern Bulls - H Venter; P Treu, D van Schalkwyk, E Meyer (H Pedro 88), F Welsh (J van der Westhuyzen 19, Welsh 63), J de Beer (J van der Westhuyzen 63), D de Kock (J van der Westhuizen 52), A Leonard, S Bekker, R Kruger (P Joubert 66), K Otto, W Basson (M Frank 57), J Espag, N Drotske, S Wagner (O du Randt 41)

Wellington Hurricanes: C Cullen, B Flemming, A Ieremia, J O'Halloran, D Lilley, D Holwell, J Spice, G Falcon, K Vanisi, F Tiatia, P Tito (I Afeaki 78), D Waller, G Slater, N Hewitt, K Yates (T Tuirirangi 80).