Dragons held by Edinburgh

29th Feb 2008, 23:42

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Cairns: Another good performance from the Edinburgh centre

Cairns: Another good performance from the Edinburgh centre

The Dragons were left wondering 'what if' at Rodney Parade as Edinburgh clung on to a 10-10 draw in the Magners League on Friday.

The Dragons were left wondering 'what if' at Rodney Parade as Edinburgh clung on to a 10-10 draw in the Magners League on Friday.

Andy Robinson's men subsequently climb to third in the table and can count themselves lucky to leave Wales all-square.

The Dragons did well to keep their visitors to within three points at half-time as they played against the elements.

Centre Ben Cairns got the first try of the night and it was one which watching Wales wing legend Ieuan Evans - who scored a memorable try against Scotland in Cardiff ten years ago - would have been proud of.

Edinburgh skipper Cairns received the ball near the home ten-metre line and skipped through a gap in midfield.

He then rounded former Wales full-back Kevin Morgan with a dazzling swerve before cutting back inside to go under the posts.

A conversion and penalty from fly-half Phil Godman had the Dragons reeling at 10-0 down.

And the home frustration was compounded when stand-off Ceri Sweeney missed a sitter of a penalty from 22 metres in front of the posts while the pack stupidly infringed at an attacking maul two metres from the Edinburgh line.

But, in fairness to both teams, they tried to play an open game with a greasy ball and did well to keep the error count to a minimum.

The Dragons finally got into the game after the half-hour mark and went over for a try via wing Richard Fussell following intense pressure on the Edinburgh line which allowed centre Ashley Smith to send a neat grubber kick into the danger area.

Replacement fly-half Aled Thomas, who came on when Sweeney suffered a leg-muscle pull, converted and, after a quiet 17 minutes following the break, booted a penalty to level the score.

And the Welsh region put the squeeze on the Scotsmen, holding the territorial advantage between the halfway line and the Edinburgh 22 for most of the final quarter, but they could not make it count.

Edinburgh's preferred tactic was to play the ball tight around the fringes while the Dragons were unable to breach a tight defence.

The Dragons had two chances to win it at the death. Thomas took too much time with a 22 metre drop-goal attempt in front of the opposition posts and had it charged down by replacement lock Craig Hamilton.

And flanker Joe Bearman charged down the wing only for the attack to break down two metres from the Edinburgh try-line as the game ended in a stalemate.

The scorers:

For Dragons:
Tries:
Fussell
Con: Thomas
Pen: Thomas

For Edinburgh:
Tries:
Cairns
Con: Godman
Pen: Godman

Dragons: 15 Kevin Morgan (c), 14 Martyn Thomas, 13 Rhodri Gomer-Davies, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Richard Fussell, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Andy Williams, 8 Michael Owen, 7 Richard Parks, 6 Joe Bearman, 5 Peter Sidoli, 4 Andrew Hall, 3 Lee Harrison, 2 Ben Daly, 1 Hugh Gustafson.
Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Gethin Robinson, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Jamie Ringer, 20 Paul Emerick, 21 Aled Thomas, 22 Wayne Evans.

Edinburgh: 15 Calum MacRae, 14 Andrew Turnbull, 13 Ben Cairns (c), 12 Nick De Luca, 11 Roland Reid, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Ben Meyer, 8 David Callam, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Alan MacDonald, 5 Ben Gissing, 4 Matt Mustchin, 3 Craig Smith, 2 Andrew Kelly, 1 Augusto Allori.
Replacements: 16 Steve Lawrie, 17 Gavin Kerr, 18 Craig Hamilton, 19 Simon Cross, 20 Greig Laidlaw, 21 John Houston, 22 Matt Dey.

Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)