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Saturday, 30 November, 2002, 19:29 GMT
Cardiff fightback blows Gunners away
Rhys Williams
Williams' second-half try heralded the comeback
Edinburgh 22-26 Cardiff

Cardiff set up an all-Welsh semi-final at Neath with a thrilling Celtic League quarter-final win at Meadowbank.

The Blue and Blacks came from 16 points behind to stun Edinburgh.

Scott Murray and Derrick Lee got the opening tries for the home side who were cruising at half-time.

But 16 points from the boot of Iestyn Harris and tries by Rhys Williams and Ryan Powell completed a famous Welsh victory north of the border.

  Match details:
Edinburgh
Tries: S Murray, D Lee
Pens: B Laney (4)
Cardiff
Tries: R Williams, R Powell
Cons: I Harris (2)
Pens: Harris (4)
The Gunners were all over Cardiff from the start, and as early as the seventh minute Graeme Burns dropped a pass that would have seen him under the posts.

Three minutes later Edinburgh centre Brendan Laney opened the scoring with a penalty as the Blue and Blacks struggled to come to terms with a fiery home pack.

The Scots were soon back hammering at the visitors' line and when they were awarded a penalty five metres out they showed the confidence to run it.

Home captain Todd Blackadder led the charge, and international lock Scott Murray followed up effectively to pile over the line for the opening try.

Two more Laney penalties followed before Cardiff at last got on the scoresheet with a kick from Iestyn Harris.

But the Scots came straight back downfield and tricky full-back Derrick Lee was put into half a yard of space. He breezed past Harris' challenge to finish in style.

The Welshmen's only answer was another Harris penalty, taking his season tally over 300 and leaving the half-time score at 19-6.

Iestyn Harris
Harris had a splendid game
It was a much brighter start to the second period from Cardiff, with the forwards getting stuck in and Harris flinging out the wide passes. They were rewarded when pressure won them a penalty in front of the posts, slotted by Harris.

The fightback continued, the Blue and Blacks suddenly looking bright, inventive and eager for the battle.

Fortune was also playing its part. Rhys Williams' kick was charged down in midfield, but it fell kindly for the speedy full-back who gathered, sprinted clear, and flew in unopposed for a converted try.

From being dead and buried the visitors were now just three points down and it was game on.

Blackadder rallied his team and a stirring attack at the Cardiff line ended when Simon Webster just failed to finish a dangerous Laney chip through.

Dai Young
Young gets his marching orders
Tempers were running high and after a punch-up Cardiff coach Dai Young, starting his first game of the season as an emergency front-row stand-in, and Martin Leslie were sent to the sin bin.

Momentum was flowing with Cardiff and from a strong driving line-out, scrum-half Ryan Powell barrowed over for the converted try that took the visitors in front for the first time, 19-23.

A furious Edinburgh assault was only repulsed when Cardiff killed the ball in front of the posts, and Laney brought his side back to within a point with the penalty.

Blackadder spearheaded his team back downfield and under horrible pressure the Blue and Blacks conceded another penalty 40 metres out. Laney's clean strike looked over all the way, but it rebounded off the top of the bar.

A broken home side were driven downfield where Harris rounded off the scoring with the final penalty of the night.


Edinburgh: Derrick Lee, Craig Joiner, Brendan Laney, Alistair Dickson, Simon Webster, Duncan Hodge, Graeme Burns, Joel Brannigan, Douglas Hall, Craig Smith, Nathan Hines, Scott Murray, Todd Blackadder, Martin Leslie, Taylor.
Reps: Carlo Di Ciacca, Allen Jacobsen, Guy Perrett, Andrew Dall, Mike Blair, Tom Philip, Conan Sharman.

Cardiff: Rhys Williams; Nick Walne, Jamie Robinson, Matt Allen, Craig Morgan; Iestyn Harris, Ryan Powell; Peter Rogers, Andrew Lewis, David Young, Heino Senekal, John Tait, Emyr Lewis, Martyn Williams (capt), Dan Baugh.
Reps: Tim Payne, Lewis Collins, Adam Jones, Dan McShane, Richard Smith, Nick Robinson, Donavan van Vuuren.

Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland).

Att: 3,918

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Martyn Williams
"Everyone wrote us off"

The final

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