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Edinburgh: 14 (11) Ospreys: 15 (8)

International calls and injuries, long-term or otherwise, have left the cupboard a bit bare when it comes to fielding centres for Edinburgh.  But the Gunners appear to have unearthed another gem in the form of Dougie Fife, who marked his debut last night with a display of powerful running and good lines that earned him a try, the man of the match award and the grudging respect of the visiting Ospreys.  He showed little sign of nerves and was a shining light in an otherwise disappointing Embra effort.  The capital side were pipped at the post by even-more-understrength Ospreys, for whom South African winger Dirksen scored a fantastic try that was ultimately the difference between the two sides.

The loss was all the more frustrating given that Edinburgh were 8-0 up at the end of the first quarter and should have gone on to win.  That they did not was due to a lack of accuracy across the park, as well as their lack of control of the breakdown.  Had Phil Godman notched two simple penalties, they would have won.  Had the support play been sharper, they would have converted the try-scoring opportunities.  While the half back partnership were commendably zippy at times, there were times when one felt that Chris Leck could have done a bit less directing traffic at the back of the ruck, which tended to kill momentum at key points.

Dirksen's wonder try was one thing, but one also felt that Edinburgh could have done with a little of Dan Biggar's calm control at 'out half' for the visitors.  The odd deep breath now and again among the playmakers and a bit more focus on securing field position would have paid dividends, given the stability of the Embra scrummage, if not their lineout.

After the Ospreys had spent the opening five minutes camped in the enemy half, it was Edinburgh who got on the board first, Godman knocking over a penalty for offside on 13 minutes.

Five minutes later, referee Colgan erred in adjudging that the ball had been passed back in to the 22 to Biggar, or Biggar had himself retreated into the 22, or goodness knows what else before he kicked straight to touch.  None of that was the case, in fact, and Edinburgh were gifted an attacking lineout in the enemy red zone as a result.  They probed right off the lineout, with Netani almost putting Paterson over before the ball was shifted back left.  The ball was juggled out for Fife to score a fine debut try, Godman missing the conversion from wide out.

Biggar dropped a quick goal, Parks-style, on 21 minutes after the Ospreys had seemed to run out of ideas in attack after a couple of phases.  Five minutes later, the Ospreys kicked a penalty to touch and drove Hibbert over for the try off the subsequent lineout.  Godman put the Gunners back in the lead just before the break with his second penalty.  11-8 Gunners.  The sides were evenly matched, and Bishop in the centre and former Newporter Fussell at full back had looked particularly impressive for the Ospreys.  Both Cox and Gilchrist had had solid games in the boilerhouse for Embra.  That said, there hadn't been much to write home about in the first period, with both defences looking pretty sound.

Godman's third penalty on 52 minutes gave Edinburgh a bit of a cushion and they had decent field position immediately afterwards.  However, right winger Dirksen countered from his own 22.  Mossy showed him the outside, which unfortunately he took with some alacrity, beating the covering Visser and charging up the touchline.  He kicked on, gathered and touched down for a superb individual try.  Biggar's conversion put the visitors ahead for the first time in the match.

Although Edinburgh were on the attack for much of the final period, they just could not break through.  With new signing Ulises 'Bajadita' Gamboa coming on at tighthead, the Edinburgh scrummage seemed more effective.  The first scrum after his arrival, the Gunner pack were so low they were virtually subterranean - in true Argentinian style - and the Ospreys coughed up a penalty as a result.  But they went to the well once too often, Roddy's decision to go for a scrummage rather than taking a kickable penalty on 67 minutes looked like one of those classic 'what were you thinking?' moments when a free kick was subsequently awarded against them for engaging too early, allowing the visitors to clear the danger.

The alarming thing is that it is the Newporters at Rodney Parade who are next up.  Given that they are relatively untroubled by international calls, this is going to be a tough one.   

MAN OF THE MATCH: Tonight's debutant, DOUGIE FIFE.


Edinburgh: Godman 3P, Fife 1C

Ospreys: Biggar 1C 1DG, Hibbert 1T, Dirksen 1T


Edinburgh: Paterson, T. Brown, Fife, Houston, T. Visser, Godman, Leck, Traynor, Walker, Gilding, Gilchrist, Cox, McInally, Grant, Netani. Replacements: Hislop for Traynor (77), Kelly for Walker (63), Gamboa for Gilding (50), Lozada for Gilchrist (60). Not Used: MacDonald, Black, Hunter, S. Visser.

Ospreys: Fussell, Dirksen, Isaacs, Bishop, E. Walker, Biggar, Fotuali'i, D. Jones, Hibbard, Rees, Gough, King, Smith, Lewis, J. Thomas. Replacements: Webb for Fotuali'i (54), Bevington for D. Jones (49), A. Jones for Gough (49), Bearman for King (64). Not Used: Baldwin, Taylor, M. Morgan, Parker.

Att: 3,209

Ref: Colgan (IRFU).