Main RSS Feed Forum RSS Feed


Next Fixture

No Upcoming Fixtures Available

Latest Poll

Caullie Lug 16/17

View Results

Log In

Forgot Password

View Article


Leinster 35 - 13 Edinburgh

It seems strange to be looking at the wrong end of a 35-13 loss, yet feeling, if not exactly ecstatic, then certainly quite cheery about the whole thing. This was a game which, until the last ten minutes, was balanced on a knife edge and could have gone either way. The Gunners were playing with the sort of fluency and patience that we saw from them last year, and the potent Leinster backs had been kept largely under control by the Edinburgh defence.

Then things went horribly wrong, replacements D'Arcy and Hickie giving the home side the cutting edge they had lacked up to then, building on a distinct upping of the tempo by the Leinster pack, led by man of the match Victor Costello and ex-Lion Eric Miller. Meanwhile, the visiting set-piece disintegrated somewhat, finding it difficult to contain the home maul, and crucial Edinburgh errors led to several scores.

The game had started brightly for the visitors, on a superb evening for running rugby. Not long into the match, a bizarre try was almost scored when a Hugo clearance rocketed into Cullen's head, taking the big lock out for a few minutes. Di Rollo grabbed the rebound in his own half and raced down the wing. The ball came inside to Lee in the Leinster 22, but Hogg couldn't hold the scoring pass.

Leinster hit back immediately with New Zealander debutant Holwell goaling his first penalty. The Gunners' set piece was on top at this stage, and Paterson replied with a penalty of his own on nine minutes after Leinster offside.

But the Gunners were standing off in the tackle just a little too much, and only a crucial turnover five metres out after an excellent O'Driscoll offload cleared the danger. And the Gunners made the most of the reprieve with a superb sweeping attack on 14 minutes that saw the front row union featuring strongly on the wing. A super looping Blair pass to Hall set up the move, with the hooker feeding Jacobsen for Chunk to scoot over in the corner for a spectacular unconverted score.

As one would expect of two of the more entertaining sides in the League, this game went from end to end, with the home team snatching back the lead on 26 minutes when Byrne was driven over from a maul close in, Holwell converting. The rest of the half was Edinburgh's though. Hogg was tackled just short after a break by Hugo was taken on by Lee, but - as so often in this game - the Leinster back row turned the ball over in the breakdown and the Edinburgh chance was lost.

Holwell's 47th minute penalty stretched the home lead to 13-8, but there was no sense of panic in the Edinburgh ranks. Particularly not after what will be close to their try of the season on 54 minutes. A super Horgan counter up the right wing spelled danger for Edinburgh after the Gunners maul had made inroads into the Leinster defence, but spilled the ball. Yet he was turned over himself deep in the enemy half and the Gunners raced back on the opposite wing. The ball was shipped back across field via Jacobsen and Hall. Hogg took it on and was tackled just short of the line, but his offload found the supporting Lawson for a super unconverted try in the corner. 13 -13 and all to play for.

But a quickfire three tries in the final quarter, the first when Edinburgh's scrum were uncharacteristically driven off their own ball; the second a fine Hickie effort; and the third a breakaway by back row McCullen in injury time took Leinster out of reach. In hindsight, the introduction of Hickie and D'Arcy at 13 apiece was to prove the turning point in the game.

This was just one of those nights. The confidence is there, and the Gunners know that it was primarily their own errors that cost them the match. They return to Ireland next Saturday to face the on-form Connacht at the Sportsground in Galway. If you're going, call Edinburgh Rugby about tickets (0131 346 5252).


VICTOR COSTELLO. He and Dennis Hickie made the difference for the Lions. For the Gunners, the editorial vote goes to all-action Allan Jacobsen.


Leinster: Holwell 3P 3C, Byrne 1T, Hickie 2T, McCullen 1T
Edinburgh: Paterson 1P, Lawson 1T, Jacobsen 1T


EDINBURGH RUGBY: Lee, Hugo, Di Rollo, Joiner, Paterson, Laney, Blair; Jacobsen, Hall, Smith, Hines, Kellock, Blackadder ©, Hogg, Callam. Replacements: Kelly, Brannigan, Pringle, Cross, Lawson, Godman, Pyke.

Referee: N Williams (WRU)