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EDINBURGH COMPLETE ULSTER DOUBLE

Ulster: 14 (5) Edinburgh: 20 (17)



Internet-enabled Edinburgh supporters will be aware of a curious phenomenon.  During the week prior to Edinburgh-Ulster games, the Edinburgh Supporters' online chatroom is generally invaded by herds of good-natured Ulster residents, eagerly telling anyone with the inclination to keep reading how fabulous their team is, and how it is going to give the capital club a right good cuffing.  These incursions have lost some credibility in recent seasons in any case, but this week was a telling indicator of the low level of confidence in the Province at this time.  The Ulster cybermen were completely silent.  Not a peep.

So it was perhaps little surprise when Edinburgh emerged from this evening's trip to Ravenhill with their first win at the venue since 2003.  It was not the most scintillating of matches, but who cares? 

Edinburgh looked like a well-drilled, professional side and killed coachless Ulster's recent mini-revival.  Edinburgh's defence was superb throughout.  Their team spirit saw them through at a venue where so often in the past they have come close, but not emerged with the win.  This time, when they had the chances, they took them. 

A quickfire brace of tries from Edinburgh in the first half destroyed Ulster's confidence.  The loss saw Ulster tied with Connacht at the foot of the table.  Locals were even heard to wonder whether Ulster will qualify for Europe next year over their West coast rivals.  They look like a team short of confidence, making many of the errors that Edinburgh were making earlier in the season - failing to support the ball carrier, dropping restarts to lose momentum after scoring.

In the second half, Edinburgh essentially shut up shop in the poor conditions.  The forwards were outstanding up front, marshalled brilliantly by Mike Blair.  Ulster had to throw the ball about, yet seemed to rely overmuch on Dewey's bursts in the middle.  The visitors defended these with some comfort.

Ulster got off to a flyer, though, with international winger Trimble crossing the tryline after only three minutes for the unconverted score.  Godman missed a chance to pull three points back, failing with a penalty two minutes later.
 
Yet Edinburgh took control with tries from Matt Dey on 24 minutes and tonight's stand-in full-back Ben Cairns on 28 minutes.  Godman added the extras both times.
 
Immediately after Wallace had failed with a penalty effort, Godman knocked over one of his own on 33 minutes to leave Edinburgh ahead 17-5 at the half.

Godman ended Edinburgh's scoring for the night, with a penalty on 46 minutes.  But while Paddy Wallace pulled back 9 points for Ulster during the second half, and coach Williams rang the changes in an effort to spark a recovery, his team failed to seriously threaten Edinburgh's line. 

The match ended with Edinburgh pinning the home side in their half, sensibly picking and driving in the Ulster 22.  Mike Blair hoofed the ball into the touch at no-side for a fine away win.  The victory leaves the capital side on 18 points; just one behind Glasgow.  A good basis on which to build the rest of the season.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Another classic display from the quintessential openside sniffer, ROSS RENNIE. 

SCORERS:

Edinburgh: Godman 2C 2P, Dey 1T, Cairns 1T

Ulster: Wallace 3P, Bowe 1T

TEAMS:





Ulster: 15. Mark Bartholomeusz   14. Tommy Bowe   13. Andrew Trimble   12. Rob Dewey   11. Simon Danielli   10. Paddy Wallace   9. Isaac Boss   1. Justin Fitzpatrick   2. Rory Best   3. Bryan Young   4. Matt McCullough   5. Carlo Del Fava   6. Neil Best   7. David Pollock   8. Roger Wilson  
Replacements: 16. Nigel Brady   17. Declan Fitzpatrick   18. Ryan Caldwell   19. Kieron Dawson   20. Kieran Campbell   21. Niall O'Connor   22. Paul Steinmetz  

 

Edinburgh Rugby: 15. Ben Cairns   14. Andrew Turnbull   13. Nick De Luca   12. Matt Dey   11. Andrew Maxwell   10. Phil Godman   9. Mike Blair   1. Allan Jacobsen   2. Ross Ford   3. Gavin Kerr   4. Matt Mustchin   5. Ben Gissing   6. Roland Reid   7. Ross Rennie   8. David Callam  
Replacements: 16. Andrew Kelly   17. Augusto Allori   18. Craig Hamilton   19. Simon Cross   20. Ben Meyer   21. David Blair   22. Alistair Warnock  


(Referee: Rose (WRU)