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Leinster: 13 (13) Edinburgh: 6 (3)

Reinhold Messner, the great South Tyrolean mountaineer, was the first man to climb all fourteen of the world's highest mountains solo.  He also made headlines some years ago when he discovered a perfectly preserved Bronze Age warrior in a glacier, high up in the Italian Alps. What was not publicised at the time was that the gentleman in question was clad in Edinburgh Rugby garb, and whose opening gambit was "I reckon I've got a few years of playmaking at the highest level left in me yet."  As regular readers will have guessed, the mystery warrior was none other than veteran stand-off Duncan "Hodgey" Hodge.  The old boy started last night's game at 10, and his two successful penalties earned Edinburgh a losing bonus point in a disappointing match.

The loss to the league leaders, though, means that they are beginning to disappear over the horizon, and while Ulster have a decent shot at overhauling Leinster and winning the Magnersleague title this season, the odds on Edinburgh doing so themselves are beginning to lengthen.

Two penalties and a conversion from classy Argentine stand-off Felipe Contepomi, and the game's only try, notched by busy back row Heaslip were enough to give the Dubliners the points.  Although Edinburgh had plenty of pressure in the latter stages, they could not break through the resolute home defence.

Worryingly for Edinburgh and Scotland, Simon Webster lasted little more than half an hour before being carried off with an ankle injury, his place being taken by Lucio "Big Hit" Lopez Fleming, the Pampas Predator.  Ally Hogg, however, did get another 80 minutes of game time as he eases back towards full match fitness.


Leinster: Try: Heaslip. Pens: F Contepomi (2). Con: Contepomi

Edinburgh: Pens: Hodge (2).


Leinster: R Kearney; G Brown, K Lewis, C Warner, M Berne; F Contepomi (capt), C Whitaker; R McCormack, B Jackman, W Green; T Hogan, D Toner; S Keogh, N Ronan, J Heaslip. Replacements: S Wright for R McCormack (7 mins), G Easterby for C Whitaker (49 mins), B Blaney for B Jackman (61 mins), O Finegan for T Hogan (73 mins).

Edinburgh: A Warnock; M Dey, B Cairns, S Webster; D Hodge (capt), J Senio; A Dickinson, A Kelly, G Cross; M Mustchin, C Bentley; A Strokosch, R Rennie, A Hogg. Replacements: A Jacobsen for A Dickinson (31 mins), L Lopez Fleming for S Webster (32 mins), D Young for G Cross (half time), G Laidlaw for L Fleming Lopez (66 mins), L Fleming Lopez for J Senio (68 mins), D Lawrie for A Kelly (73 mins).

Referee: N Owens (Wales).