Planet Rugby

Late try saves Edinburgh

20th December 2010 15:46

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Edinburgh v Castres Lee Jones

Tight tussle: Lee Jones scored for the hosts

A Simon Webster try in the dying minutes allowed Edinburgh to snatch a 24-22 victory from Castres in Monday's delayed Heineken Cup game.

Webster's 77th-minute touchdown helped Edinburgh hold off a second-half fightback from Castres to claim their first Heineken Cup win from four attempts at an empty Murrayfield.

In a match postponed 24 hours due to snow and ice and played in front of an empty 67,000-seat stadium as a result of conditions in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh took a 14-10 half-time lead after Tim Visser scored a first-half try and set up another for Lee Jones.

But Greig Laidlaw's sin-binning midway through the second half was followed by a Castres penalty try and another score for Sebastien Tillous-Borde, leaving Edinburgh trailing by five points with four minutes remaining.

But for the second week running Webster came off the replacements' bench to score a try and this time it was not in vain as David Blair kicked the conversion for the hosts to triumph.

Rodrigo Ortega scored a first-half try for the visitors, for whom Pierre Bernard kicked three points and Seremaia Bai two conversions.

Edinburgh lost 21-16 in France last weekend, suffering their third defeat from three Heineken Cup games this term, but picking up a third losing bonus point.

And despite today's victory they still face a difficult task to fall into the Amlin Challenge Cup from a group led by Northampton.

Castres fly-half Bernard kicked a 45-metre penalty after four minutes and Chris Paterson missed a kick from a similar distance two minutes later.

But it did not delay Edinburgh unduly as Visser's solo score put the hosts in front.

The 6ft 4in, 17st Dutchman picked up the ball inside the 10-metre line, stepped inside and then out of the Castres defence before bursting down the touchline to touchdown. Paterson converted.

Castres responded in the 13th minute with Ortega coming up from the bottom of a rolling maul after the forwards rumbled over. Bai added the extras.

The usually accurate Paterson missed the second of his first three attempts at goal before Visser, who could qualify for Scotland through residency in 2012, set up a second try for Edinburgh after 22 minutes.

The left winger stormed 40 metres down the opposite flank after ghosting past the Castres defence before a tap tackle denied him a second personal score. However, he popped the ball for Jones to score.

Paterson converted from the touchline, handing the hosts a 14-10 half-time lead.

Paterson, who is Scotland's most-capped player and highest points scorer, went off at the interval with a shoulder injury and Blair assumed the kicking duties, extending Edinburgh's lead to seven points after 47 minutes.

Laidlaw was sin-binned for not retreating at a free-kick, handing the visitors the initiative.

Castres opted to pack down for the resulting penalty and Edinburgh's scrum could not withstand the continual pressure.

After three attempts to re-set, referee Wayne Barnes awarded a penalty try and Bai added the simple conversion to make it 17-17.

Tillous-Borde sniped round the blindside to score but the missed conversion proved costly.

With four minutes left, Webster latched onto a Blair kick through and capitalised on a Castres mistake to score with Blair adding the winning points with the conversion.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Visser, Jones, Webster
Cons: Paterson 2, Blair
Pen: Blair

For Castres:
Tries: Capo Ortega, Penalty try, Laidlaw
Cons: Bai 2
Pen: Bernard

Yellow card: Laidlaw (Edinburgh - 65th min)

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Chris Paterson, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 John Houston, 11 Tim Visser, 10 David Blair, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Stuart McInally, 7 Roddy Grant (capt), 6 Scott Newlands, 5 Craig Hamilton, 4 Steven Turnbull, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Kelly, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 David Young, 19 Esteban Lozada, 20 Alan MacDonald, 21 Nick De Luca, 22 Jim Thompson, 23 Simon Webster.

Castres:15 Florian Denos, 14 Vincent Inigo, 13 Pierre-Manuel Garcia, 12 Seremaia Bai, 11 Joseph Tatupu, 10 Pierre Bernard, 9 Thomas Sanchou, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Yannick Caballero, 6 Ibrahim Diarra, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Matthias Rolland, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Mathieu Bonello, 1 Michaël Coetzee.
Replacements:16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Yannick Forestier, 18 Daniel Saayman, 19 Kirill Kulemin, 20 Jannie Bornman, 21 Romain Martial, 22 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 23 Romain Cabannes,

Venue: Murrayfield
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Dean Richards (England), Roy Maybank (England)

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