Edinburgh inflict further misery on Leinster
September 24, 2010
Tim Visser bagged one of Edinburgh's tries
© PA Photos
Leinster's miserable season continued at Murrayfield on Friday night, with Edinburgh powering to a bonus-point 32-24 win over their Irish rivals.
It was the home side's first win of the season and consigned Leinster to back-to-back defeats after they were shown up by Treviso last weekend. Prop Geoff Cross, fly-half David Blair and wing pairing Tim Visser and Mark Robertson scored for the home side, who would have won by a greater margin if not for late scores by Ireland internationals Jamie Heaslip and Rob Kearney.
Desperate to break their Magners League duck, Edinburgh got a flying start when Chris Paterson kicked a 40-yard penalty in the first minute - but their joy was short lived as Isa Nacewa pulled Leinster level three minutes later.
Leinster denied Edinburgh a sniff of the ball for the next five minutes, pulling the home side back and forth across the park as they searched for an opening. Eventually Edinburgh's discipline gave way and Nacewa landed his second penalty from 42 metres.
Two minutes later Paterson kicked dead from the halfway line, Edinburgh offended at the scrum and from inside his own half, Leinster fullback Kearney pulled the visitors further ahead.
It was into the second quarter before Edinburgh got into the opposing 22 and came close to scoring with a Scott MacLeod burst. The lock was pulled down inches short but from the scrum Tim Visser blasted into the line, came up short, popped up to Mike Blair and from MacLeod's offload, Cross went in under the posts.
Paterson's conversion took Edinburgh back into the lead and although Nacewa slotted his third penalty, it was a pumped up Edinburgh who upped the ante in the last 10 minutes of the half, Visser denied only by a try-saving tackle from Kearney.
Paterson missed an early second half penalty but the restart went straight out, with Ben Cairns breaking from the scrum. Allan Jacobsen's surge was halted but Paterson was on hand and his offload sent Visser spinning out of Shane Horgan's tackle for the try.
Edinburgh were merciless in attack for the next five minutes with the Leinster defence struggling. David Blair's long pass saw Robertson romp in for try number three with Paterson's conversion giving Edinburgh a 10-point lead.
The visitors remained under the cosh for the next 10 minutes and from a quick tap penalty, Mike Blair put brother David over for the bonus-point-clinching score, which he converted from out wide after Paterson had limped off with an ominous looking leg knock.
Blair added a penalty with 12 minutes left but finally Leinster roused themselves, having introduced Heaslip from the bench, and the big No.8 scored in the 70th minute. Nacewa's conversion was the spur for Leinster to throw everything at Edinburgh to collect at least a losing bonus-point. Kearney's last minute try arrived but the missed conversion meant a missed bonus as the hosts celebrated a much needed five-point win.
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter