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Glasgow 12 v Edinburgh 10

During The Open at Muirfield, back in the mists of time at some point in the '60s, golf legend Gary Player holed out from the depths of a particularly vicious bunker. "You lucky little South African" (or similar), observed an unimpressed local. "It's strange" replied the man in black, "the more I practise, the luckier I get."

The Gunners' first free weekend of the season last week may have given them a chance to put in a little extra practice of their own. But sadly their luck was out at Old Anniesland this evening, with the last straw being Chris Paterson's 78th minute penalty hitting the post, leading to Dan Parks' winning kick for Glasgow in injury time.

Before then, the Gunners had spurned a number of chances to score the tries that their play deserved, and had been unfortunate in the second quarter when on two occasions seemingly grounding the ball in the enemy in-goal area, only for referee Trevor to be unsighted. Residents of the dear green place, however, would no doubt argue that the capital side have had more than their fair share of luck in this fixture in recent years, and it was about time that the Warriors had some of their own for a change.

Although the heavy rain relented as the game kicked off, the Gunners were facing a stiff westerly wind in the first half, and Laney had to look lively to clear a loose ball early on with Barrow threatening. But Parks put the home team ahead on two minutes with his first penalty for an Edinburgh ruck offence.

The Gunners played sensibly into the wind early on, using the driving maul to good effect. Both Webster and Blair looked dangerous in the early exchanges, with the Blair-Godman hinge working well. As the game entered the second quarter, the Gunners began to put the home team under consistent pressure, putting together a series of good phases in the Glasgow half.

The pressure told with first Macfadyen, then Kelly being yellow carded in quick succession as the Gunners pressed on the Glasgow line. Yet although Edinburgh battered away at the home tryline during the power play, they could not secure the score, with 13 man Glasgow defending heroically. Indeed, it was the quality of the Glasgow defence, combined with the profligacy of the Gunners' attack, that was to decide the outcome of the game. And as Macfadyen and Kelly returned to the fray, Parks converted a penalty for Edinburgh offside to nudge his side 6-0 ahead.

Surprisingly for an Irish referee, Mr Trevor played very little injury time at the end of the first period, so the Gunners were left pressing on the Glasgow line once again, but scoreless at the half.

With the benefit of the wind in the second period, Edinburgh were clearly looking to get some points on the board. And they began brightly, with Webster only just bundled into touch in the home 22 from their first attack, and tackled just short a minute later. Shortly afterwards, a super Paterson run from half way set up his penalty for offside on 43 minutes that got the visitors on the board.

And they were in control for the next half hour, with Godman's crisp passing setting up waves of Edinburgh attacks. On 48 minutes, a great Laney dart broke down only when Hogg could not hold the uncharacteristically generous scoring pass ten yards out - perhaps as a result of his amazement that the maestro had not gone for the line himself. Five minutes later, it was Jacobsen who knocked on with the tryline beckoning. But a neat Parks dropped goal on a rare Glasgow incursion into the Edinburgh half stretched the lead to six once more with an hour on the clock.

The Gunners' pack was putting the squeeze on the Glasgow forwards, though, and it was from another Edinburgh scrum five metres out that substitute David Callam scored the pushover try as the home scrum disintegrated. Paterson's conversion from the touchline gave the visitors their first lead of the game with 15 minutes left. Both Laney and Godman found intelligent touches in the Glasgow 22 as the clock wound down, forcing the home team to play the game at the wrong end of the park. But then came Paterson's misfortune; Parks' successful riposte; and another Paterson penalty miss on the stroke of full-time to give Glasgow the narrow win.

Edinburgh will still be wondering how they contrived to lose this game. They had more than enough chances to put the game out of reach, and played the more adventurous rugby. It will not take much for things to fall into place - their two losses have left them with a points differential of a mere -3, after all - but too often tonight they lost the ball in contact, and continued early season rustiness in their handling frequently let them down.

One of the toughest away assignments of the season faces the Gunners next Saturday, with a trip to Stradey to face the Scarlets, who have also had a poor start to the campaign. Kick-off is at 5.30 pm. If you're going, call Edinburgh Rugby about tickets (0131 546 5252). Otherwise, why not come along to the Murrayfield Hotel to watch the game live on S4C? More details at


The editorial vote goes to PHIL GODMAN, who in his first regular start at stand-off for Edinburgh got his backs moving nicely. His kicking and defence were first rate too.


Glasgow: Parks 3P, 1DG
Edinburgh: Paterson 1P 1C, Callam 1T


GLASGOW RUGBY: Barrow, Kerr, Morrison, Henderson, Lamont, Parks, Pinder, Kelly, Bulloch, Harrison, Hall, Turner, Wilson, Macfadyen, Petrie ©. Replacements: Lawson, Murray, Dearlove, Beattie, Beveridge, Howarth, Logan.

EDINBURGH RUGBY: Hugo, Webster, Laney, Joiner, Paterson, Godman, Blair, Jacobsen, Kelly (Hall 61), Brannigan (Smith 51), Hines, Murray, Blackadder ©, Cross (Callam 61), Hogg. Replacements: Hall, Smith, Kellock, Callam, Lawson, Boston, Pyke.

Referee: O Trevor (IRFU)