Planet Rugby

Edinburgh send weakened Ospreys packing

28th November 2008 21:53

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Edinburgh survived a second-half scare to stave off the challenge of a depleted Ospreys at Murrayfield, winning 32-16 in the Magners League on Friday.

It was a confidence boost for Andy Robinson's side in the build up to the Heineken Cup double-header against Wasps.

But at times they made heavy weather of dealing with a team who were without many of their frontline stars.

Edinburgh could not have wished for a brighter start as they surged ahead with barely 60 seconds on the clock.

Nick De Luca may have missed out on getting among the tries for Scotland during the November Test series, but he wasted no time in making up for his barren spell.

Back-row pair Ross Rennie and Ally Hogg inflicted the initial damage before De Luca plunged over in the corner.

Chris Paterson calmly added the extra points to leave the Ospreys shellshocked.

The Gunners retained the upper hand, although they surrendered some impetus when Matthew Jarvis landed a penalty to claw back three points for the Ospreys.

Paterson replied in identical fashion and his penalty duel with Jarvis continued as the visiting marksman kept the margin to four points.

It was end-to-end action and Edinburgh stretched their advantage again midway through the half as Phil Godman clipped over an opportunist drop goal.

And Paterson struck again almost immediately to open up a useful 10-point cushion.

He completed his treble six minutes later to put the capital side firmly in control.

Edinburgh stepped up the tempo in the approach to the interval and they delivered a further dent to the Ospreys when prop Geoff Cross claimed the second try from point-blank range - converted by the confident Paterson.

Despite their plight, Ospreys opted to go for goal with a penalty four minutes after the restart, and Jarvis notched his treble to keep their slim hopes alive.

Even better was to come for the Welsh side when Scotland winger Nikki Walker scorched over for a top-notch try after a sizzling handling sequence involving at least six men.

Jarvis added the conversion to heap more pressure on the Gunners.

And there was further trouble for Edinburgh when Cross was yellow-carded for side entry at the breakdown.

But the Ospreys revival was halted as Paterson banged over his fifth penalty.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:

Tries: De Luca, Cross

Cons: Paterson 2

Pens: Paterson 5

Drop goal: Godman

For the Ospreys:

Try: Walker

Con: Jarvis

Pens: Jarvis 3

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 Ross Rennie, 6 Alan MacDonald, 5 Ben Gissing, 4 Craig Hamilton, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Kelly, 17 Gavin Kerr, 18 Matt Mustchin, 19 Scott Newlands, 20 Greig Laidlaw, 21 David Blair, 22 Hugo Southwell.

Ospreys: 15 Tommy Bowe, 14 Kristian Phillips, 13 David Bishop, 12 Sonny Parker, 11 Nikki Walker, 10 Matthew Jarvis, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Tom Smith, 7 Marty Holah, 6 Steve Tandy, 5 Lyndon Bateman, 4 Filo Tiatia, 3 Craig Mitchell, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Paul James (c).

Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Cai Griffiths, 18 Ryan Bevington, 19 Mike Collins, 20 Jonathan Thomas, 21 Rhodri Wells, 22 Ashley Beck.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)

Touch judges: David Changleng (Scotland), Bob Nevins (Scotland)

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