Planet Rugby

Border repel Edinburgh invaders

23rd March 2007 21:18

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A second-half try from wing Gary Law gave beleagured Border a much-needed 10-3 win in their Scots derby against Edinburgh in the Magners League on Friday.

Law squandered three easy penalty opportunities - but made ample amends with the try that made all the difference.

Both sides looked nervous during the scrappy opening exchanges with mistakes galore preventing fluent action.

Not only was the basic handling poor, the positional kicking was wayward and rushed.

Edinburgh earned the first scoring opportunity when the hosts were guilty of failing to release the ball in contact - and stand-off Duncan Hodge confidently slotted the 35-metre penalty.

Hodge's strike sparked a promising Gunners raid, during which they put together at least 12 well-controlled phases - only for hooker Dougie Hall to be bundled out of play.

There was even more frustration for the visiting fans two minutes later when winger Matt Dey spilled the ball on the overlap following slick work by Hodge and Marcus Di Rollo.

Having weathered the storm, Reivers hit back with a series of midfield surges featuring Gregor Townsend.

They pressured Edinburgh into giving away an offside penalty - but Law sent his effort sailing wide of the near post.

They suffered a further setback when Brendon Danial, who had already come on as a sub for Ben MacDougall, was forced off with a calf problem and replaced by Steve Jones.

Jones was quickly in the spotlight with a searing break in midfield, however the move disintegrated when Dougie Flockhart could not latch on to his long pass.

Borders kept up the momentum - but there was yet more gloom as Law made a hash of another simple penalty attempt.

It was third time unlucky for Law two minutes later when he sent his next kick crashing against the upright, the ball rebounding to safety.

Jones took over the boot duties and he levelled the issue from close range after Ally Strokosch was spotted swinging a fist in his own danger zone.

Law's fortunes changed just after the restart when he scooted over for an excellent Borders touchdown. They shipped the ball at speed from right to left with Bryan Rennie's offload giving Law the time and space to squeeze in at the corner.

Jones slotted the conversion from a wide angle to open up a seven-point gap.

He was then at the centre of controversy when he was sinbinned for back-line offside - an offence Edinburgh had been persistently guilty of in the opening half without the threat of a yellow card.

Referee Neil Paterson seemed to be pressured by the crowd when, just two minutes later, he also sent Gunners forward Matt Mustchin to the bin for a minor misdemeanour.

Edinburgh stepped up the pace in the dying minutes, but they were unable to break down the spirited home defence.

The scorers:

For Border:

Try: Law

Con: Jones

Pen: Jones

For Edinburgh:

Pen: Hodge

Yellow card: Jones (Border, 48)

Border: 15 Stuart Moffat, 14 Dougie Flockhart, 13 Ben MacDougall, 12 Bryan Rennie, 11 Garry Law, 10 Gregor Townsend, 9 Chris Cusiter (c), 8 Kelly Brown, 7 Andy Miller, 6 Scott Newlands, 5 Opeta Palepoi, 4 John Dalziel, 3 Bruce Douglas, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Gavin Kerr.

Replacements: 16 Steve Scott, 17 Ed Kalman, 18 Richie Vernon, 19 Scott Forrest, 20 Rob Chrystie, 21 Steve Jones, 22 Brendon Danie.

Edinburgh: 15 Ben Cairns, 14 Matt Dey, 13 Marcus Di Rollo, 12 Rob Dewey, 11 Lucio Lopez Fleming, 10 Duncan Hodge, 9 John Senio, 8 Dave Callam, 7 Allister Hogg (c), 6 Alastair Strokosch, 5 Scott Murray, 4 Matt Mustchin, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 Allan Jacobsen.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Kelly, 17 Dave Hewett, 18 Chris Bentley, 19 Ross Rennie, 20 Greig Laidlaw, 21 Phil Godman, 22 Alistair Warnock.

Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)

Touch Judges: Andy Macpherson (Scotland), Graeme Marshall (Scotland)

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