Planet Rugby

Edinburgh late show sees Connacht off

21st March 2008 21:17

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Four tries in the final twenty minutes helped Edinburgh to an emphatic 38-8 win over Connacht in the Magners League on Friday.

Connacht made life difficult for the Scots for an hour - but they had no answer to the power and pace of Andy Robinson's troops when it mattered most.

And they pouched the bonus point they needed to stay on the heels of Leinster and Llanelli.

The hosts had the better of the disjointed opening exchanges - yet found themselves three points adrift after eight minutes.

Edinburgh gave away a penalty for offside and Tim Donnelly confidently slotted the goal.

They recovered quickly from the setback and snatched the advantage as stand-off Phil Godman pounced for an opportunist try.

He added the extra points for good measure - providing his side with the ideal platform.

Godman's effort came just 60 seconds after the province had been depleted through the sin-binning of prop Robbie Morris.

Edinburgh were stunned, however, when Connacht reclaimed the initiative with a brilliant touchdown from 75 metres.

Gunners were pressing hard as the alert Donnelly snatched a floated Godman pass deep inside his own danger zone.

He orchestrated a clever one-two with Danny Riordan before cruising to glory.

To add to the frustrations of the capital outfit, Godman sent a penalty wide of the target with the interval approaching.

Edinburgh stepped up the pace, but Hugo Southwell and Craig Smith were blocked just short of the line.

They did not come away empty-handed as Godman rediscovered his range to clip over a penalty from 20 metres.

Then came a moment of controversy which resulted in home star Ben Cairns being yellow-carded in a blatant case of mistaken identity by Welsh referee James Jones.

It was Simon Webster who impeded the opposition at a tapped penalty in stoppage time - but a furious Cairns took the rap.

Gunners continued to look nervy after the restart, but they struck a crucial blow with a score by Smith.

Godman's deft chip was scooped up by Cairns, who created the time and space for the front-row man to rumble over.

And Godman's wide angled conversion was perfectly executed to give his team a nine-point advantage.

Connacht had good reason to feel aggrieved on two fronts. Firstly, Cairns appeared to be marginally offside as he set off in pursuit of the kick - then the feed to Smith looked slightly forward.

They almost scored again five minutes later when Webster was beaten by a fingertip to get first touch to a Mike Blair lob.

It all came right within seconds as Southwell skipped in to give Godman a simple conversion.

Skipper Ally Hogg snapped up the all-important fourth counter before sub Matt Mustchin rounded off the rout, Godman taking his conversion tally to five.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:

Tries: Godman, Smith, Southwell, Hogg, Mustchin

Cons: Godman 5

Pen: Godman

For Connacht:

Try: Donnelly

Pen: Donnelly

Edinburgh: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Simon Webster, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 Nick De Luca, 11 John Houston, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair, 8 David Callam, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Allister Hogg (c), 5 Ben Gissing, 4 Craig Hamilton, 3 Craig Smith, 2 Andrew Kelly, 1 Gavin Kerr.

Replacements: 16 Augusto Allori, 17 Steve Lawrie, 18 Simon Cross, 19 Matt Mustchin, 20 Ben Meyer, 21 Calum MacRae, 22 Andrew Turnbull.

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Keith Matthews, 13 Matt Mostyn, 12 Mel Deane, 11 Aidan Wynne, 10 Tim Donnelly, 9 Conor O'Loughlin, 8 Colm Rigney, 7 Jonny O'Connor, 6 John Muldoon, 5 Andrew Farley, 4 Andrew Browne, 3 Robbie Morris, 2 Adrian Flavin, 1 John Lyne.

Replacements: 16 Joe Merrigan, 17 Brett Wilkinson, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 David Gannon, 20 Michael McCarthy, 21 Conor McPhillips, 22 Troy Nathan.

Referee: James Jones (Wales)

Touch judges: Andy MacPherson (Scotland), Alan Forrest (Scotland)

TMO: Iain Ramage (Scotland)

Assessor: Jim Fleming (Scotland)

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