Planet Rugby

Edinburgh cling to fine four

18th October 2008 19:14

Share:

Edinburgh survived a late onslaught to claim a morale-boosting 13-6 Heineken Cup victory over Castres at Stade Pierre Antoine on Saturday.

The travelling side were twice the error-strewn side that were defeated by Pool leaders Leinster last weekend as they dominated for large periods by playing a brand of attacking brilliance mixed with courageous defence.

However, with all of their opportunities they will be disappointed with the nervy score-line as Castres almost snatched the four points late on with plenty of gutsy tackles saving the result.

Despite an imposing opening from the French hosts when fly-half Cameron McIntyre slotted two penalty goals, it was the visitors who struck the first hammer blow as quick thinking from Mike Blair saw him tap and offload to wing Mark Robertson.

The IRB World Player nominee's performance demonstrated just why he got a spot on the coveted shortlist as that break led to 23-year-old Robertson streaking infield at pace to bounce the final defender and cross from 35 metres out.

Coach Andy Robinson was clear with his intentions pre-game as he demanded a smart and strong performance early on. But Castres had star men of their own to counteract that hope as flank and new signing Steve Malonga dominated the loose with some imposing runs to excite the home fans.

However, despite glimmers of French flair, the Scots kept to their game-plan and opportunities subsequently came to fruition on a whole host of occasions. One such moment occurred before the conclusion of the first quarter as international Chris Paterson lost the ball seemingly unopposed over the whitewash.

And from then on in the first period, Edinburgh were quiet clear the only team in the game as superb running lines and intelligent rugby starved Castres of any possession whatsoever.

But the nagging feeling in the back of the Scottish minds was surely the fact that despite all their pressure, they went into half-time only a solitary point ahead at 7-6.

There was some reward for their efforts immediately after the break though, as Paterson sent over a long-range penalty goal with McIntrye missing down the other end in response.

Edinburgh continued their dominance as the game wore on with deep lines cutting the defence to ribbons in a subdued atmosphere - an air that was not helped by handling and set-piece errors from the home side.

However, with the contest remaining still very much on a knife edge, one sensed a slight shift in momentum as the French began to enjoy some rare territory on the hour - replacements Romain Teulet and Iosefa Tekori significantly aiding their comeback cause.

But the Scots held on to take home a well-earned victory that puts them level on points with second place London Wasps in Pool Two.

The scorers:

For Castres:

Pen: McIntyre 2

For Edinburgh:

Tries: Robertson

Con: Paterson

Pen: Paterson

Castres: 15 Thomas Bouquié, 14 Lionel Mazars, 13 Steve Kefu, 12 Philip Christophers, 11 Rafael Carballo, 10 Cameron McIntyre, 9 Kevin Senio, 8 Florian Faure, 7 Darron Nell, 6 Steve Malonga, 5 Lionel Nallet (c), 4 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Romain Terrain, 1 Carl Hoeft,

Replacements: 16 Akvsenti Giorgadze, 17 Yannick Forestier, 18 Iosefa Tekori, 19 Leiataua Tomiki, 20 Sébastien Tillous Borde, 21 Romain Teulet, 22 Anthony Lagardere.

Edinburgh: 15 Chris Paterson, 14 Mark Robertson, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 Nick De Luca, 11 Simon Webster, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair (c), 8 Allister Hogg, 7 Alan MacDonald, 6 Scott Newlands, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Craig Hamilton, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Kelly, 17 Gavin Kerr, 18 Ben Gissing, 19 Simon Cross, 20 Greig Laidlaw, 21 David Blair, 22 John Houston.

Referee: Andrew Small (England)

Touch judges: Dave Pearson (England), Alan Hughes (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 19
Connacht vs MunsterConnacht vs Munster Preview
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , April 19
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058