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Magners League: Edinburgh 11-16 Cardiff Blues

Edinburgh 11-16 Cardiff Blues
Edinburgh struggled to break down Blues until the last minute

Edinburgh (0) 11
Tries: Visser Pens: D Blair 2
Cardiff Blues (10) 16
Try: Czekaj Con: Halfpenny Pens: Halfpenny 3

Cardiff Blues went third in the Magners League after beating Edinburgh, whose losing run is extended to seven games.

Blues went ahead late in the first half from Leigh Halfpenny's penalty, before taking a 10-0 lead at the break thanks to a converted Chris Czekaj try.

Edinburgh reduced the deficit with two David Blair penalties in the second period, but Halfpenny matched that.

In the last minute, Edinburgh made the scoreline more respectable when Tim Visser dived over the line for a try.

The result means Cardiff have got the better of Edinburgh four times this season - twice in the league and twice in the Heineken Cup.

Edinburgh have now not won since they beat Glasgow at Murrayfield on 2 January in the 1872 Cup, although the late charge secured them a bonus point.

The first quarter was dominated by the Welshmen, with Xavier Rush and Paul Tito making notable contributions in the early stages.

Cardiff had the first chance to put points on the board when centre Dafydd Hewitt and back row Martyn Williams combined to carve open the home defence, but Halfpenny knocked on with the line at his mercy.

Moments later a try-saving tackle by Simon Webster on opposite number Richard Mustoe stopped Blues from opening an opening score.

Edinburgh were handed a chance to steal an undeserved lead just after the 20 minute mark, when Cardiff were penalised for not releasing at the breakdown, but Blair was off the mark with his penalty attempt.

he hosts were made to pay minutes later as Halfpenny slotted a penalty from 40 metres out to hand his side the initiative.

Cardiff backs Hewitt and Casey Laulala began stamping their authority on the midfield and Blues added to their lead before the break.

Full-back Czekaj crossed for the game's first try, played in by a fantastic offload from Rush, and Halfpenny converted to send Cardiff in at half-time 10-0 to the good.

As they did in they first period, Edinburgh conceded possession far too frequently to build up any pressure.

But it was they who were first to register on the scoreboard in the second half when Blair scored a straightforward penalty kick.

Halfpenny restored his side's 10-point margin with a second successful penalty, before adding a further three points after home wing Visser was penalised for a petty push on Cardiff's Tom Slater.

The introduction of Scotland international second row Scott McLeod with around 20 minutes to go appeared to help the Edinburgh forwards to exert greater pressure.

Visser almost atoned for his misdemeanour, going towards the corner after Greig Laidlaw's tap penalty opened up the defence, before the Dutchman was bundled into touch.

Blair knocked another Edinburgh penalty between the uprights as the hosts began to take more control of the game.

The Cardiff defence combated any advances with relative ease, however, until Visser managed to secure Edinburgh a losing bonus point, evading Halfpenny's desperate tackle to slide over in the corner.


Edinburgh: Thompson, Webster, Cairns, King, Visser, D. Blair, Laidlaw, Niven, Kelly, G. Cross, Lozada, S. Turnbull, Denton, Dewar, Talei.
Replacements: Brown for Cairns (17), Walker for Kelly (73), MacLeod for S. Turnbull (56), Newlands for Dewar (50).
Not Used: Traynor, Young, Samson, A. Turnbull.

Cardiff Blues: Czekaj, Halfpenny, Laulala, Hewitt, Mustoe, Sweeney, Slater, Yapp, Thomas, Andrews, D. Jones, Tito, Molitika, M. Williams, Rush.
Replacements: Evans for Laulala (74), G. Davies for Sweeney (68), Filise for Yapp (59), G. Williams for Thomas (67), Hobbs for Andrews (67), Paterson for D. Jones (17), Pretorius for Molitika (54).
Not Used: Rowlands.

Att: 1,776

Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland).



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see also
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Williams ponders contract offers
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RaboDirect Pro12
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