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Embra Edged at Newport

Newport: 17 (0) Edinburgh Rugby: 10 (10)

A half time lead of ten points turned into a frustrating seven point loss at Rodney Parade as Embra failed to continue their four game Celtic winning run against the Dragons. 

In a game played in heavy rain throughout, eventually the home side's significant territorial advantage paid off.  The replacement of ineffectual stand-off Hercus by Craig Warlow early in the second period also proved crucial.  The replacement's tactical kicking, coupled with some conssitently disappointing defensive work by the Embra back three, set up the pressure that told in two second half tries and an injury time penalty.

Embra scored a fine first half try through tyro winger Dave McCall, converted by veteran stand-off Duncan "Hodgey" Hodge, who also added a penalty just before the half.  Although the youngster then retuired hurt, one plus from the game was returning Lion Simon Taylor's performance; the great man put in some useful work and lasted the pace well in an energy sapping contest.

In the final analysis, Edinburgh paid the price for playing virtually the entire second half in their own half.  Although there were odd flashes of promise, they could not find a way through the Dragon defence.  When the mistakes came, Newport, their pack and replacement back row Fitesimanu took advantage.  Some consolation will be the losing bonus point.


Dragons: A Thomas; G Wyatt, N Brew, A Smith, A Brew; M Hercus, A Walker; A Black, K Crawford, L Harrison, A Hall, L Charteris, C Charvis (capt), J Ringer, J Bearman.
Replacements: B Daly, J Corsi, B Griffiths, N Fitisemanu, R Fussell, C Warlow, G Baber.

Edinburgh: Ander Monro; Mike Pyke, Andrew Easson, Ben Cairns, David McCall; Duncan Hodge (capt),Greig Laidlaw; Dave Hewett, Andrew Kelly, Alasdair Dickinson, Matt Mustchin, Steven Turnbull, Alasdair Strokosch, Alan MacDonald, Simon Taylor.
Replacements: Steven Lawrie, Kyle Traynor, Chris Bentley, Ross Rennie, Simon Cross, Alastair Warnock, Lucio Lopez Fleming.

Referee: Colin Stanley (Ireland)