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Cardiff 12 Gunners 17

No prizes for originality, but you get the picture.

Edinburgh Rugby completed the Celtic double over tonight's hosts with this hard-fought win in a scrappy game. As a result, the Gunners put some daylight between themselves and Cardiff, and are now looking good to clinch a Celtic Cup pace if their current momentum can be maintained through the home games against Leinster, Connacht and The Borders during the Six Nations.

"A classic" might not be the first phrase that would spring to mind in reporting this match, not would "a humdinger" or even "a corker". But a win's indubitably a win, and all the more important when secured away from home. The Gunners decided the game in the first half, then defended solidly in the second to take the points home.

Derrick Lee opened the Gunners' account on 20 minutes with a well-taken try, beating two defenders after a fine Blair break had got past the cover; the Laney conversion making the score 7-0.

After half an hour, Cardiff's first real attack of the game almost ended in disaster for them, when Mike Pyke, the Cantering Canuck, intercepted an attempted chip in his own 22. The big man fed Laney in space and the Chainsaw used his searing pace [Are you sure about that one? - Ed] to run almost the length of the park. He was caught just short, before passing to Di Rollo ten yards out. Sadly, The Grim Reaper was unable to hold the pass. Laney's penalty from the breakdown nevertheless stretched the lead to 10.

In injury time at the end of the half, the Gunners won quick turnover ball and Simon Webster was released on a characteristically mazy run to cruise under the posts from distance to give the Gunners a 17-0 half-time lead, richly deserved on the balance of play.

Cardiff's Powell clawed back a score on 44 minutes off a driving maul, but Thomas missed the conversion. Then, after Nathan Hines was carded when he was slow in rolling away in the tackle as the final quarter began, the Blues took advantage of the power play with a Jones try, goaled by Macleod.

The Gunners then took the sting out of the game, keeping Cardiff under control as the clock ran down. Indeed, a minute into injury time, the Chainsaw missed a penalty that would have put the Blues away for sure, but no matter. There was to be no going back for Cardiff, who went down to their first home defeat to a Scottish side, while Edinburgh recorded their second Celtic win in Wales this season in three attempts.

For a second week, hyper-critical observers might suggest that, with two tries on the board at half-time and the game under control, Edinburgh should really have gone on to secure the bonus point. But the win now leaves the Gunners eighth in the Celtic League. They are ahead of Ulster by a point, one point behind seventh placed Connacht with a game in hand, and only two points behind sixth-placed Llanelli. Even Glasgow are now only three points ahead of the capital club. All in all, a pretty good evening at the office.

"It's always tough to win in Wales but we are getting things together in Scotland", said enigmatic Man of the Match, SIMON WEBSTER.

BLUES: Macleod 1C, Powell 1T, Jones 1T
EDINBURGH: Laney 1P 2C, Lee 1T, Webster 1T


CARDIFF BLUES: N MacLeod; D Dewdney, T Davies, J Bryant, J Vaughton; L Thomas, R Powell; J Yapp, R Thomas, M Jones, D Jones (capt), N Budgett, N Thomas, R Sowden-Taylor, K Schubert. Replacements: B Evans, G Williams, R Sidoli, M Molitika, N Robinson, N Walne, S James.

EDINBURGH RUGBY: D Lee; M Pyke, M Di Rollo, B Laney, S Webster; P Godman, M Blair; A Jacobsen, D Hall, C Smith, F Pringle, N Hines, T Blackadder (capt), A Strokosch, D Callam. Replacements: A Kelly, A Dickinson, N Pike, S Cross, R Lawson, P Boston, C Joiner.

Referee: Lewis (Ireland)