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Edinburgh: 22 (3) London Wasps: 15 (10)

The award by this column of a highly imaginative nickname for prominent Gunners has sometimes been a bit of a mixed blessing.  In many cases, rugby's greatest accolade has been followed shortly therafter by the gentleman in question's departure from the club.  One thinks of such stalwarts as Dougie "The Dingwall Dynamo" Hall, Mike Pyke, The Cantering Canuck and - a personal favourite - Lucio "Big Hit" Lopez Fleming, The Pint-Sized Pampas Predator.  Gone, but not forgotten.

Happily, the same fate has yet to befall Dr Geoff Cross, The Planet's Poshest Prop.  The medically qualified man mountain lit up the second half of this game in a quite unexpected way.  More of that later.

In the meantime, it is a pleasure to report a satisfactory win over the visitors from High Wycombe and a decent performance to boot.  That said, it was actually what went wrong for the home side during the match, as opposed to what went right, that offered most encouragement for the coming season.  Embra created loads of try-scoring chances.  But a lack of sharpness meant that they failed to notch more than three tries.  In the first half alone, four dead cert tries went abegging as unforced handling errors saw the final pass go astray.  Even Matt Mustchin uncharacteristically guddled a fifth in the second period. Once the rust has gone, the Gunners should take up from where they left off at the end of last season.

They need to sort the set piece out, though.  Wasps generally had the edge in both the scrummage and lineout, although one was impressed with the jumping of Steve Turnbull, in particular.  Meanwhile, facing a quality visiting back row including England caps Haskell and Worsley, the youthful Embra combination of McKenzie, Newlands and old boy MacDonald performed very well.

In a pre-season game made up of two conventional halves, with minimal substitutions during the first period, Wasps looked sharp from the off. But when Edinburgh eventually got hold of the ball, they should really have scored.  McKenzie made great ground from his own 22 before the ball was shipped right.  Cairns took it on deep into the enemy 22.  Today's skipper looked like he might have scored, but unselfishly passed inside, resulting in a knock on.  But Godman knocked a penalty over shortly after to put the hosts into a 3-0 lead.

After Hugo guddled a great Cairns floated pass with the line ahead of him and two free runners outside, Wasps' tighter gameplan saw them take control for 20 minutes. The game was played under whatever ELVs have actually been introduced this term, including the limited ability to take mauls down.  This meant that there were very few of the latter during the game, but Wasps took one over for a Barnard try on 20 minutes, Flutey missing the difficult conversion.

Over the next 10 minutes, Edinburgh missed another couple of tries, Webster and De Luca providing much creative input.  But as the home side were regaining the upper hand, Wasps crafted an opening for Voyce to score a fine try in the left corner.  Another missed conversion left the half-time score 10-3 to the visitors.

A host of Embra replacements joined the fray after the break, including the return from exile of Chris Paterson, who slotted in at full back.  The Gunners continued to play the wide open offloading game that was a feature of last season.  A lovely Godman flip in traffic saw de Luca nailed just inches short.

Greig Laidlaw had a good game in oposition to Eoin Reddan.  But he does have a tendency to make a little half pass motion before he passes to his stand off from set piece and breakdown alike.  Particularly when facing teams who like the rush defence, that can put his 10 under unnecessary pressure.  However, he set up de Luca beautifully off an attacking scrum five, the classy centre dancing over for Edinburgh's first try on 45 minutes.  Godman's conversion narrowed the gap to 10-7 Wasps.

Immediately afterwards, Edinburgh were on the attack again.  A delicately floated Mustchin pass on the home 10 metre line saw Andy "Turny" Turnbull race up the right wing.  He offloaded to the supporting Godman, who scored a great try in the corner.  Paterson missed the difficult conversion.

Wasps came right back, though, with Haskell nipping over untouched after a series of forward drives close in.  With the conversion missed, it was 15-15 entering the final quarter.  Then came Dr Cross' pivotal moment.

Gissing recovered breakdown ball on half way, the ball reaching the good doctor.  The big man thundered ahead at extraordinary pace, leaving the defence for dead, then cut infield.  A Patersonian shimmy bamboozled the covering van Ginsbergen before the tighthead dived theatrically under the posts for the deciding try, goaled by Paterson.  Not even the great Tom Smith in his pomp could have matched it.  Unbelievable.

Edinburgh ran down the clock with little difficulty for a useful win.  It was only a pre-season game, both sides were not at full strength, the set piece needs urgent attention before Munster visit Murrayfield on 5 September etc etc.  But all the same, the excellent 4,250 plus crowd at Murrayfield got a taste of what's to come this season.  It looks good.  Next up, Bath away.

A new feature for 2008/09 - the CHRIS HOY-RELATED FASCINATING FACT OF THE WEEK: As a youngster, Sir Chris rowed for Scotland and won a British Championship silver in the Junior Coxless Pairs.

Edinburgh: Hugo (C Paterson 40 min) M Robertson, B Cairns (Capt)(C MacRae 23 min), N De Luca (H Southwell 64 min), S Webster; P Godman (D Blair 55 min), G Laidlaw (B Meyer 55 min) A Jacobsen (K Traynor 76 min), R Ford (A Kelly 40 min)(R Ford 78 min), G Kerr (G Cross 40 min), S Turnbull (C Hamilton 58 min), B Gissing, F McKenzie (M Mustchin 40 min), A MacDonald, S Newlands.

Wasps: M Van Gisbergen, J Lewsey (C Bishay 65 min), L Mitchell (R Hoadley 60 min), D Waldouck, T Voyce; R Flutey (J Staunton 40 min), E Reddan (Capt)(M Robinson 60 min), T Payne, R Webber (D Varley 65 min), P Bernard, T Palmer (D Leo 50 min), R Birkett, J Haskell, J Worsley (H Ellis 60 min), J Hart.

Scorers: Edinburgh - Tries: De Luca, Godman, Cross; Convs: Godman, Paterson; Pen: Godman. Wasps - Tries: Barnard, Voyce, Haskell

Referee: Andy McPherson