Planet Rugby

Edinburgh sneak win at Scarlets

04th December 2009 21:01

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Richie Pugh for Wales

Try-scorer: Richie Pugh

Edinburgh moved joint top of the Magners League standings on Friday thanks to a nerve-racking 17-16 away victory over the Scarlets.

The Scottish side had to come back from 8-3 and 13-10 down either side of half-time but were indebted to tries by Greg Laidlaw and Craig Hamilton.

The Scarlets, who have now only won two games in eight, scored two tries themselves through Richie Pugh and Lee Williams but it was not enough against a more streetwise Edinburgh, although they did register a losing bonus point.

The Scarlets were without Wales quartet Matthew Rees, Mark Jones, Dafydd Jones and Morgan Stoddart. But centre Jonathan Davies and scrum-half Martin Roberts returned, while fly-half Stephen Jones was named on the bench.

Chris Paterson captained Edinburgh in the absence of injured duo Mike Blair and Allister Hogg.

In damp, cold conditions the clash was never going to be a classic and that is how it worked out in the opening 30 minutes as both sides made too many mistakes.

The Scarlets opened the scoring on three minutes with a Rhys Priestland penalty after Edinburgh openside Ryan Grant failed to release at a ruck.

Four minutes later the Scots levelled with a neatly-taken drop-goal from outside-half and man of the match David Blair, and that was how the scoreline remained for most of the rest of the half. Priestland missed a second penalty shot on 22 minutes but five minutes later the Scarlets broke the try deadlock.

An initial break by Jonathan Davies was taken on by Lou Reed, before Andy Fenby jinked his way down the touchline before sending openside Pugh over for an unconverted try as the Scarlets led 8-3 at the interval.

Edinburgh stoked up the pressure after half-time and after going close a couple of times the try came through scrum-half Laidlaw and Paterson's conversion took the Scots into the lead for the first time.

The Edinburgh score heralded the arrival of Stephen Jones from the replacements bench. He replaced Daniel Evans on 48 minutes.

Three minutes later the Scarlets were back in the lead as Jones put over Lee Williams for the second try but Jones could not add the conversion.

But the Scarlets' celebrations were short-lived as they went behind again five minutes later when Blair went through a gap to put replacement lock Craig Hamilton over for a converted try.

The Scarlets' problems were compounded when replacement flanker Josh Turnbull, who had only been on seconds, was yellow-carded for a dangerous challenge on Nick de Luca.

Intense pressure from the Scarlets got them within a point with 12 minutes left when Stephen Jones planted a penalty goal.

But after that Edinburgh dominated territory enough to hang on for the victory.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Tries:
Pugh, Williams
Pen: Priestland, Jones

For Edinburgh:
Tries:
Laidlaw, Hamilton
Con: Paterson 2
Drop: Blair

Scarlets: 15 Daniel Evans, 14 Lee Williams, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Jon Davies, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 David Lyons (capt), 7 Richie Pugh, 6 Simon Easterby, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Iestyn Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Phil John, 17 Emyr Phillips, 18 Vernon Cooper, 19 Josh Turnbull, 20 Tavis Knoyle, 21 Stephen Jones, 22 Gareth Maule.

Edinburgh: 15 Chris Paterson (c), 14 Mark Robertson, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 Nick De Luca, 11 Tim Visser, 10 David Blair, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Scott Newlands, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Alan MacDonald, 5 Scott MacLeod, 4 Steve Turnbull, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Andrew Kelly, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 Craig Hamilton, 19 David Callam, 20 Ross Samson, 21 John Houston, 22 Jim Thompson.

Referee: Carlo Damasco (Italy)
Assistant referees: Tim Hayes (Wales) Ken Bowen (Wales)
Television match official: Nigel Whitehouse (Wales)
Assessor: Vernon Brown (Wales)

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