Planet Rugby

Edinburgh undone by clinical Ospreys

02nd March 2007 22:20

Share:

Edinburgh's dream of bringing the Magners League title to Scotland for the first time was clinically demolished by the streetwise Ospreys, with the Scots falling to a 30-12 defeat at Murrayfield on Friday night.

Despite putting out a seriously under-strength line-up, home coach Lynn Howells had expressed confidence that his shadow squad could carve out the success they needed to keep in touch at the top of the table.

But they could find no answer to the pace, power and know-how of the Neath-Swansea combine, superbly orchestrated by former All Blacks scrum-half Justin Marshall.

The home side were in the hunt at the midway mark - but after that it was a one-way affair as the Welsh team secured the bonus point.

Edinburgh had looked the hungrier outfit during the initial sparring session, but they did not look like turning pressure into precious quick rewards.

Veteran stand-off Duncan Hodge, who insists he can still figure in Scotland's World Cup plans, controlled matters in the first quarter with a variety of accurate positional kicks.

He was handed an opportunity to edge the Gunners in front in the seventh minute when they earned a penalty close to the halfway line.

The kick was advanced 10 metres because of backchat from Marshall, but Hodge's effort drifted past the right-hand post.

Ben Cairns then burst into the contest with a bullocking 50-metre run which took the capital troops deep into enemy territory.

The move was carried on by Argentinian Lucio Lopez-Fleming and they were awarded a penalty.

The anticipation of the home fans turned to frustration as they watched Ally Strokosch being penalised for holding on to the ball too long after a quick tap and dash by Cairns.

The reprieve spurred the Welsh side into mounting their first threatening raid of the game through a Marshall chip - but the move came to nothing.

It was an all-action end to the half. Edinburgh powered in front with a 25th-minute touchdown by utility forward Matt Mustchin.

The impressive Lopez-Fleming inflicted the initial damage with a long arcing run before being felled by a high challenge.

From the penalty line-out, Mustchin broke away from the melee and wheeled over the line, reaching full stretch to place the ball down. Hodge confidently banged over the conversion.

Then came a stirring reply from the Ospreys. First - also from a line-out close to the corner - the ball was flashed across the field for Jonny Vaughton to finish in style.

The score acted as a real spur to the visitors and it was no surprise when flanker Steve Tandy picked up a simple second try when he was left unmarked on the left.

Edinburgh's problems intensified six minutes after the restart when former Springboks star Stefan Terblanche stretched their lead with a penalty.

Terblanche returned to the spotlight almost instantly to effectively seal the fate of the Gunners.

It was another Murrayfield tale of woe for Phil Godman. Less than a week after his blunder paved the way for Italy's shock Test win, his insipid challenge allowed Sonny Parker to make a clean break before giving the scoring pass.

Jason Spice slotted the conversion to leave Edinburgh trailing by 13 points with time slipping away.

And even worse was to come when Marshall turned on the pace and power to make sure of the valuable bonus point.

Cairns clawed back a touchdown for the hosts - but the Ospreys had the last word when substitute hooker Huw Bennett ploughed over.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:

Tries: Mustchin, Cairns

Con: Hodge

For Ospreys:

Tries: Vaughton, Tandy, Terblanche, Marshall, Bennett

Con: Spice

Pen: Terblanche

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

Touch judges: Iain Heard (Scotland), Ronnie Dumma (Scotland)

Assessor: Douglas Kerr (Scotland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411