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Ospreys: 18 (12) Edinburgh: 19 (7)

Early last season, an even younger James Hook announced his arrival on the scene with a nerveless kicking display to boot the Ospreys to a narrow win over Edinburgh at the Liberty Stadium.  Tonight the classy first five eighth put in another quality display of goalkicking.  But the star-studded home side, still chasing a Heineken spot next year, were unable to break down the visiting defence.  Edinburgh's three tries, the last notched by openside Alan MacDonald in the dying minutes, were enough for their third win in Wales on the trot.

It's been some day in the Murrayfield portacabin.  First, "Big" Jim Hamilton signed from Leicester.  Not entirely unexpected, but extremely welcome nonetheless.  Then Chris Paterson agreed to return from his year's exile in the West Country.  And now this excellent away performance. 

Once again, the side confounded the doubters.  Not only did they keep their nerve to come away with a narrow win for the second game in the row, but they played all the rugby.

Certain gentlemen need to wash their mouths out however.  While your correspondent's experience of Irish folk is that they are no strangers to colourful vocabulary, their whistlers appear hypersensitive to that sort of thing.  Nick de Luca appeared to be penalised for "inappropriate language" by Fitzgibbon this evening. 

Things started well, with Ally "Hoggy" Hogg notching the injury-hit visitors' first touchdown after only eight minutes, converted by MacRae.  Hook's first penalty shortly afterwards closed the gap to four.

With both sides evenly matched, Hook notched three more penalties during the half to leave the Ospreys 12-7 ahead at the break.  They also had a man advantage, Hogg having been carded for not rolling away in the tackle.

Short-handed Embra began the second period in style, though.  Classy centre de Luca started and then finished a fine move with a try under the posts, converted by MacRae.  14-12 Embra.

The Gunners had little time to get used to being back to full strength.  Geoff Cross, The Planet's Poshest Prop, was carded shortly after Hogg's return, this time for taking down a maul.  Hook goaled the penalty.  And the Lions' playmaker-designate stretched the Ospreys' lead with his final penalty with just over ten minutes to go.

Edinburgh were not out of it, though, and their patience was rewarded in injury time with MacDonald's try in the corner.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Nick "Inappropriate" De Luca.


Ospreys: Hook 6P

Edinburgh: MacRae 2P, MacDonald 1T, Hogg 1T, de Luca 1T


Ospreys: Byrne, Brew, Parker, A. Bishop, Vaughton, Hook, Marshall, D. Jones, Bennett, Griffiths, Wyn-Jones, Evans, J. Thomas, Holah, R. Jones.

Edinburgh: MacRae, Turnbull, Cairns, De Luca, Maxwell, Godman, M. Blair, Allori, Ford, G. Cross, Mustchin, Gissing, Hogg, MacDonald, Callam.

Referee: Fitzgibbon (IRFU)