Edinburgh tame the Dragons
April 22, 2011
Edinburgh's Greig Laidlaw touches down against the Dragons
© PA Photos
Edinburgh continued their end-of-season flourish and extended their winning run in the Magners League to three matches by seeing off a lacklustre Dragons side 27-15 at Murrayfield on Friday night.
Tries by Greig Laidlaw, Tim Visser and Chris Paterson, who also weighed in with a 12-point kicking haul, saw off a Dragons side who responded with tries from Aled Brew and Adam Hughes - plus five points from the boot of Jason Tovey.
The hosts made the perfect start and from the kick off earned a penalty which Paterson stroked over. Edinburgh dominated the next 29 minutes but failed to add to their points tally. The closest they came was when Visser - the league's top scorer - broke from halfway and swatted off one tackler then chipped ahead, only to be beaten by Jonathan Evans in the race for the line.
But although the Scots ran the ball at every opportunity and played some attractive handling rugby, they failed to penetrate a Dragons defence that coped comfortably with the relentless pressure.
There was a feeling that Edinburgh would pay the price for their profligacy in sight of the line and so it proved when Tovey darted through a gap in the home defence and fed Brew, who powered over for the opening try of the night, with the creator adding the conversion.
The Edinburgh response was immediate. Visser broke from halfway and offloaded to Laidlaw, who skirted the final two defenders, slowed then accelerated away to touchdown. Paterson converted then hammered over a long-range penalty to give his side a 13-7 advantage at the break.
The opening minutes of the second half followed the same pattern as the first but this time Edinburgh's pressure yielded points, with Paterson sending Visser thundering over for his 14th try of the league campaign.
Paterson added the extra points, then was the beneficiary when Visser returned the favour eight minutes later to send the fullback scampering round behind the posts before stroking over the conversion.
Tovey clawed back three points with a penalty but was off the mark with the conversion attempt after Adam Hughes raced onto a kick ahead that eluded Visser and plunged over for the try.
Both teams were reduced to 14 men when Andrew Coombs and Esteban Lozada were sent to the sin-bin following a punch-up involving a handful of players from either side. But the absence of the duo made little difference as the match petered out amid a flurry of handling errors.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton