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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 October, 2003, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
Edinburgh blast Blues aside
Tom Philip
Edinburgh (19) 33
Tries: M Di Rollo, A Jacobsen, T Philip, J Brannigan, R Lawson. Cons: B Laney (3), A Warnock.
Blues (13) 16
Try: K Fourie. Con: N Robinson. Pens: N Robinson (3).
Att: 1,900
Edinburgh ended Welsh interest in the Celtic Cup with a convincing quarter-final win over the Blues at Meadowbank.

The visitors started brightly, but it was the firepower in the Edinburgh back line that took the game away from the Welsh.

The home crowd enjoyed tries from Marcus Di Rollo, Allan Jacobsen, Joel Brannigan, Rory Lawson and the outstanding Tom Philip, but will have to travel to Connacht for their side's semi-final tie in November.

A frustrated and indisciplined Blues outfit could only manage a Ken Fourie try, and ended the game with 13 men after sin-binnings for Craig Morgan and Gareth Williams.

The Blues exploded out of the blocks, seemingly stung by the fierce criticism of the team and their coach Dai Young.

Nicky Robinson landed an early penalty, before constant pressure from the visitors forced an attacking scrum five.

It was a fiery game that meant a lot to both sides
Edinburgh captain Todd Blackadder
A dynamic driving maul off the back of the scrum rolled over the Edinburgh line, prop Fourie emerging from the wreckage to claim the opening try.

The home side's outside backs were looking pacy and dangerous, though, and a clean break from young centre Philip helped get them back in the game.

With the defence in disarray, he fed wing Hugo Southwell, who passed back inside for Marcus di Rollo to cross under the posts.

Another outstanding Philip run scattered the Blues defence, but di Rollo offended at the breakdown and was sent to the sin-bin by referee Simon McDowell.

The setback seemed to inspire 14-man Edinburgh, Derrick Lee exploding down the right flank and through the weak challenges of Morgan and Nick Walne.

He found Todd Blackadder supporting inside, who fed the ball across the line for prop Jacobsen to round off a fine try.

The home side were flying and, on the stroke of half-time, decided to spin the ball from deep in their 22.

Southwell went for the outside and had the gas to go round Jamie Robinson, before drawing full-back Donavan van Vuuren and finding the supporting Philip for a fine try.

Both sides had their chances early in the second half, Nicky Robinson finally breaking the deadlock with a 56th-minute penalty.

Edinburgh blasted back, forcing the Blues to concede a series of penalties as they desperately sought to keep their line intact.

Something had to give, and it was replacement prop Brannigan who had the muscle to crash over from a determined Edinburgh maul.

The Welsh sides just have to pick it up in the league
Cardiff captain Andrew Lewis
Blues tempers and frustrations boiled over in the closing 10 minutes, Morgan seeing yellow after coming into a maul recklessly.

Just two minutes later, replacement hooker Williams was sent to the bin for deliberate offside at a ruck, leaving the Blues to finish the game with 13 men.

The handicap was too much, and scrum-half Rory Lawson crossed in the corner to seal a comprehensive win.

"We were pleased with the win, because for a while it felt like last year's loss to Cardiff up here," said Edinburgh captain and man-of-the-match Todd Blackadder.

"It was a fiery game that meant a lot to both sides, but we knew that if we kept position we had a chance."

Blues captain Andrew Lewis was disappointed with the performance of his side: "We dominated possession for long periods but couldn't find the finishing touch," he said.

"They carried it back to us so effectively and it was down to our mistakes - the Welsh sides just have to pick it up in the league."

Edinburgh: Derrick Lee; Hugo Southwell, Marcus Di Rollo, Tom Philip, Simon Webster; Brendan Laney, Rory Lawson; Allan Jacobsen, Andrew Kelly, Craig Smith, Guy Perrett, Alastair Kellock, Todd Blackadder (capt), Simon Cross, Andrew Dall.
Replacements: Carlo Di Ciacca, Joel Brannigan, Nathan Pike, Allister Hogg, Graeme Burns, Alistair Warnock, Craig Joiner.

Blues: Donavan van Vuuren; Lee Abdul, Nick Walne, Jamie Robinson, Craig Morgan; Nick Robinson, Ryan Powell; Kenneth Fourie, Andrew Lewis (capt), Ben Evans, Dan McShane, Jim Brownrigg, Rob Appleyard, Nathan Thomas, Dan Baugh.
Replacements: Darren Crompton, Gareth Williams, James Goode, Robin Sowden-Taylor, James Malpas, Andrew Moore, Gareth McCarthy.

Referee: Simon McDowell (Ireland)



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