Edinburgh bounce back to form
September 19, 2008
Nick De Luca grabbed one of Edinburgh's tries
© Getty Images
Edinburgh got their Magners League campaign back on track with a 32-12 victory over Scarlets at Murrayfield.
Edinburgh shook off their Magners League cobwebs with a clinical triumph over the high-flying Scarlets at Murrayfield. Andy Robinson's troops had gone into battle with two defeats to their name, while the visitors had won all three of their tussles.
But the recent records counted for nothing in a one-sided contest in which the Gunners bagged a precious bonus point.
They exploded into action from the start and had the Welsh outfit under the cosh for virtually the entire first half.
They rattled up 15 points - but it should have been more, as winger Mark Robertson emerged as the hero and villain.
Stand-off Phil Godman broke the deadlock in the 18th minute with a regulation penalty.
And Edinburgh's superiority, especially up front, was underlined when prop Geoff Cross was driven over for the opening try in the wake of a spell of converted pressure in the danger zone.
They stepped up the pace from the restart and were rewarded just three minutes later, thanks to the pace and guile of Robertson.
Chris Paterson inflicted the initial damage by luring several markers into space out wide.
He shipped the ball to Robertson, who ducked infield before dodging past two defenders and skipping in beside the posts - giving Paterson a simple conversion.
Robertson should have scored again in stoppage time when he won the race to reach Matt Mustchin's lob across the try-line.
But instead of merely flopping on the ball, he tried to scoop it up with the intention of racing behind the bar for an easier kick, and the gamble failed when it squirmed from his grasp at the vital moment.
Edinburgh kept up the initiative in the early stages of the second half, but a series of basic mistakes prevented further scoring until Godman banged over a speculative drop-goal out of the blue.
That was the cue for Robertson to make amends for his blunder by cruising over for his second touchdown after Ben Gissing had been blocked marginally short.
Paterson gleefully thumped over the goal from a wide angle to take the margin to 25.
The drama level rose when Morgan Stoddart clawed back a score for the Scarlets - only to see Nick De Luca bustle over for the hosts' bonus-point effort at the other end, converted by Paterson.
Martin Roberts snatched a late consolation try for the visitors, converted by Stephen Jones.
Edinburgh (15) 32 Scarlets (0) 12
Edinburgh: Tries: G. Cross, Robertson 2, De Luca. Cons: Paterson 3. Pens: Godman. Drop Goals: Godman.
Edinburgh: Paterson, A. Turnbull, Southwell, De Luca, Robertson, Godman, M. Blair, Jacobsen, Ford, G. Cross, C. Hamilton, Gissing, Mustchin, MacDonald, Hogg.
Replacements: Thompson for Paterson (70), D. Blair for Godman (68), Meyer for M. Blair (66), Kerr for Jacobsen (60), Kelly for Ford (60), J. Hamilton for C. Hamilton (55), Newlands for MacDonald (70).
Scarlets: Tries: Stoddart, Roberts. Cons: C. Thomas.
Scarlets: Stoddart, M. Jones, Higgitt, Davies, Brew, S. Jones, Martens, I. Thomas, Owen, Meeuws, Cooper, MacLeod, Turnbull, G. Thomas, Lyons.
Replacements: King for Higgitt (46), C. Thomas for Brew (53), Rees for Owen (46), John for Meeuws (53), Reed for MacLeod (60), N. Thomas for Turnbull (41).
Not Used: Roberts.
Ref: Alan Lewis (Ireland).
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton