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Last Updated: Friday, 5 January 2007, 22:03 GMT
Edinburgh 24-14 Scarlets
Chris Paterson
Chris Paterson was in fine scoring form for the Gunners

Edinburgh: (9) 24
Pens: Paterson 5, Hodge 2
DG: Hodge

Scarlets: (9) 14
Tries: Daniel
Pens: S.Jones 3

Edinburgh kick-started their Magners League title quest thanks to the reliable boots of skipper Chris Paterson and veteran Duncan Hodge.

Edinburgh edged in front in the fifth minute with a Paterson penalty before Stephen Jones replied setting the first half tone.

The boot dominated the tussle after the restart as Edinburgh took a firm grip.

Hodge controlled kicking duties before Llanelli drew hope with a Darren Daniel try as the Scots step up to fourth.

Home coach Lynn Howells had been forced to make a late change to his line-up - stand-off Hodge being called up in place of Phil Godman, who was laid low with a throat infection.

The Welshmen, fresh from their Heineken Cup heroics against the mighty Toulouse, had the better of the nervy opening exchanges, but they were unable to turn their territorial superiority into an instant points advantage.

But Hodge made sure of the Edinburgh's success with a slick drop-goal which leaves the Scarlets lodged in sixth spot.

The hard-fought win leaves Edinburgh six points behind leaders Ulster who now face a trip to play Glasgow Warriors.


Edinburgh: Southwell, Paterson, Di Rollo, Dey, Cairns, Hodge, Blair, Jacobsen, Hall, Dickinson, Mustchin, Murray, Taylor, MacDonald, Callam.
Replacements: Lawrie, Cross, Bentley, Strokosch, Senio, McCall, Lopez Fleming.

Scarlets: Garan Evans; Dafydd James, Matthew Watkins, Gavin Evans, Darren Daniel; Stephen Jones, Clive Stuart-Smith; Deacon Manu, Ken Owens, John Davies, Adam Jones, Scott MacLeod, Simon Easterby (capt), James Bater, Alix Popham.
Replacements: Craig Dunlea, Aled Gravelle, Lou Reed, Gavin Thomas, Liam Davies, Ceiron Thomas, Morgan Stoddart.



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SEE ALSO
BBC Sport Wales coverage
18 Sep 06 |  Wales
Easterby opts for minor surgery
20 Dec 06 |  Llanelli Scarlets
Scarlets play down Jones injury
27 Dec 06 |  Llanelli Scarlets


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