Late Laidlaw score gives Edinburgh away win
September 7, 2012
Greig Laidlaw gave Edinburgh their first win of the season with a late drop-goal
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Scotland fly-half Greig Laidlaw kicked a drop-goal two minutes from time to give Edinburgh a 21-19 win against Cardiff Blues in their RaboDirect PRO12 clash on Friday night.
The hosts seemed certain to celebrate their return to the ground with victory when Leigh Halfpenny's fourth penalty put the Blues 19-11 ahead. But a converted penalty try pulled the deficit back to a single point, and after Cardiff had missed two chances to stretch their lead, Scotland outside-half Laidlaw ensured Edinburgh bounced back from last week's defeat to Munster in dramatic fashion.
Edinburgh opened the scoring with a Laidlaw penalty, after a high kick earned a scrum which occurred 35 yards out - Irish referee David Wilkinson adjudging it was the Welsh side who had taken it down.
Edinburgh went close to a try in the 10th minute when centre Nick De Luca forced his way over the line but could not ground the ball.
That ended a good attack by Edinburgh where a long pass by De Luca put wing Lee Jones one on one against Blues full-back Halfpenny.
The Wales man made the tackle and the Blues defence were just able to scramble back.
Cardiff Blues got on the scoreboard when Halfpenny landed a straightforward penalty as Edinburgh infringed around the edges of a ruck, but the visitors hit straight back with the only try of the first half.
Second row Sean Cox showed a neat bit of handling skill to beat one man with a dummy and then draw another to put left wing Tim Visser clear with a run to the corner.
He just evaded Halfpenny covering across to get the ball down in the corner.
Laidlaw missed the conversion from wide out and also pulled a penalty from a similar spot to where he had landed the opening kick of the evening.
That opened the door a little to the Blues and it was Halfpenny who took the opportunity.
He landed penalties in the 38th minute and two minutes into injury time to give the Blues a single-point lead at half-time, both going over from more than 40 metres out.
Visser nearly added to his tally two minutes into the second half, kicking over the top, but as he looked like winning the race for the ball it trickled over the dead ball line.
Then it was the turn of the Blues to threaten, turning an under-pressure scrum in their 22 to attacking ball through captain Andries Pretorius at number eight.
He came away with the ball and left wing Tom James was able to burst clear with a 60-metre run. He went for the line himself rather than looking for support and Jones made the tackle.
However, the Blues were not to be denied, piling on the pressure in the opposite corner. Visiting full-back Greig Tonks won the ball on his own line, but was sent to the sin bin for doing so illegally.
Blues and Wales wing Alex Cuthbert steamrollered the central defence to burst through under the posts, with Halfpenny converting from in front.
Halfpenny added another penalty but Edinburgh's scrum claimed a penalty try from five yards out, easily converted by Laidlaw.
That brought them back within a point. Rhys Patchell and Ceri Sweeney missed penalties for the Blues and in the end it was left to Laidlaw to claim the spoils.
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