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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 September 2006, 18:23 GMT 19:23 UK
Ospreys 17-11 Edinburgh
James Hook kicked 12 points as Ospreys held off Edinburgh
James Hook kicked 12 points as Ospreys held off Edinburgh

Ospreys 17 (5)
Tries: Byrne
Pens: Hook 4

Edinburgh 11 (8)
Tries: Webster
Pens: Paterson 2

Ospreys scratched their way to victory over Edinburgh in a nervy Magners League tie at the Liberty Stadium.

The boot of James Hook proved the difference, as the 21-year-old fly-half struck four penalties to go with a try from Wales full-back Lee Byrne.

Edinburgh had less possession but led at half-time through a Chris Paterson penalty and wing Simon Webster's try.

But Ospreys and Hook held their nerve to sneak over the finish line, although Edinburgh earned a losing bonus point.

Steve Tandy was the only uncapped player in the Ospreys starting line-up but the open-side flanker was the star turn in the early exchanges.

Twice he caught Edinburgh scrum-half Mike Blair from the base of a scrum to turn defence into attack, while Tandy seemed to be always on-hand when his team-mates looked for support.

Which was just as well, as his more illustrious team-mates were having a case of first-night jitters.

Despite bossing the early possession, a series of spilled passes and knock-ons stymied Ospreys' attacking forays.

Edinburgh were more than happy to sit back and feed off Welsh mistakes, with Paterson kicking one penalty and hitting the crossbar with another effort.

The Scots then caught their hosts with a sweet counter-attack, finding the Ospreys' defence horribly out of kilter to send Webster over in the left corner for a five-pointer.

Despite that set-back, Ospreys continued to try to set their backline loose and three minutes before half-time it finally paid dividends.

Hook and Gavin Henson combined to break through the Gunners' line, leaving Byrne to crash over from short range after Justin Marshall's pop-pass.

Hook levelled the match at 8-8 with a penalty soon after the restart, but nearly gifted Edinburgh a second try with a loose pass on halfway.

Marcus Di Rollo hacked the ball towards the Ospreys try line, although Hook made amends by racing back to get his body in the way and cause the Gunners centre to knock on.

Paterson and Hook exchanged penalties to leave the sides deadlocked and nerves jangling entering the final 10 minutes.

Duncan Hodge tried to snatch victory for Edinburgh with a drop-goal that slid just wide.

But Hook was on target with his third penalty to give Ospreys the lead for the first time, then slotted another in injury time to seal the win.

Ospreys: Lee Byrne; Tal Selley, Sonny Parker, Gavin Henson, Shane Williams; James Hook, Justin Marshall; Duncan Jones (capt), Huw Bennett, Adam Jones, Brent Cockbain, Alun Wyn Jones, Jonathan Thomas, Steve Tandy, Ryan Jones.
Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Paul James, Lyndon Bateman, Filo Tiatia, Martin Roberts, Andrew Bishop, Nikki Walker.

Edinburgh: Hugo Southwell; Chris Paterson (capt), Marcus Di Rollo, Rob Dewey, Simon Webster; Phil Godman, Mike Blair; Allan Jacobsen, Dougie Hall, Alasdair Dickinson, Matt Mustchin, Scott Murray, Alasdair Strokosch, Allister Hogg, Ross Rennie
Replacements: Andrew Kelly, Craig Smith, Fergus Pringle, David Callam, Greig Laidlaw, Duncan Hodge, Mike Pyke.

Referee: Donald Courtney (RFU).

Att: 7067



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