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Edinburgh 16-3 Cardiff Blues

Cardiff prop John Japp (right) gets to grips with Ross Ford
Cardiff prop John Japp (right) gets to grips with Ross Ford

Andy Robinson's Scotland coaching credentials were given a mixed airing as Edinburgh stuttered to victory over under-strength Cardiff.

Edinburgh endured a frustrating 40 minutes at Murrayfield, toiling to a 3-0 half-time lead, with Simon Webster crossed the line after the restart.

That was about as good as it got, although Chris Paterson and substitute David Blair both scored drop goals.

Ben Blair booted a penalty for Cardiff's only points of the night.

Edinburgh were forced into two late changes, with Scott MacLeod replacing Jim Hamilton (knee) at lock, and John Houston coming onto the wing for Andrew Turnbull (illness).

EDF Energy Cup finalists Cardiff named a weakened team with next weekend's Heineken Cup quarter-final in mind and were without nine first-teamers.

It showed from the outset as Edinburgh took control of proceedings and were rewarded with a 30-metre penalty kicked by Paterson six minutes in.

Cardiff worked their way into the game but were unable to exploit a decent spell of possession in the Edinburgh half.

They were soon back defending and were fortunate not to concede a try 14 minutes in after the home side knocked on when camped on the line.

Cardiff conceded another needless penalty five minutes later but enjoyed a reprieve when Paterson hit the post from fully 40 metres.

Phil Godman then tried his luck with a snap drop-goal attempt, narrowly missing the target.

For all their dominance, Edinburgh were lacking the spark needed to pierce the Cardiff defence.

That prompted Robinson down from the stands to the touchline for the remaining two minutes of the half.

Edinburgh upped the tempo after the break and scored the game's opening try just five minutes in.

With the mist thickening, a fine spell of possession culminated in a lovely Godman grubber under the posts, giving Webster the easiest of scores.

Paterson converted before Robinson withdrew lock Craig Hamilton for Matt Mustchin.

Webster went close again but was thwarted yards from the line before Blues scrum-half Richie Rees was sin-binned after deliberately knocking on.

Cardiff sacrificed Leigh Halfpenny for Richard Mustoe, before Edinburgh lost Kyle Traynor, with Gavin Kerr coming on.

The game reverted to its earlier malaise, and the visitors made four changes in quick succession, while Rees also returned from the bin.

Edinburgh were made to pay for not taking advantage of the extra man when Blair booted a 40-metre penalty for Cardiff just past the hour mark.

But where they failed against 14, they succeeded against 15 as Paterson unleashed a slightly mis-hit 35-metre drop-goal which went over via the crossbar.

The home side then lost Geoff Cross - who this week signed a new contract - and Traynor returned to the fray.

A head knock then forced Godman from the field, with David Blair replacing him.

Further changes for both sides followed before newcomer Blair dropped a goal to all-but seal a home victory five minutes from time.

Edinburgh : Paterson, Houston, Cairns, De Luca, Webster, Godman, M. Blair, Traynor, Ford, G. Cross, C. Hamilton, MacLeod, Newlands, MacDonald, Hogg.

Replacements : Laidlaw for M. Blair (73), Kerr for Traynor (54), Kelly for Ford (71), Mustchin for C. Hamilton (48).
Not Used: Lawrie, Meyer, D. Blair.

Cardiff Blues : Blair, Halfpenny, J. Robinson, J. Roberts, Czekaj, N. Robinson, Rees, Yapp, T. Thomas, G. Powell, Davies, Tito, White, Sowden-Taylor, Warburton.

Replacements : Mustoe for Halfpenny (52),Sweeney for N. Robinson (60), Allinson for Rees (70), Filise for G. Powell (61), D. Jones for Tito (58), Morgan for Warburton (61).
Not Used: G. Williams.

Att : 2,540

Ref : Alan Lewis (Ireland).

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