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Edinburgh Rugby (16) 29 - 10 (10) Leinster Rugby
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Att: 3,567

Saturday, 16 December 2007, 15:30

The expansive Murrayfield Stadium was the setting for this pool six clash between Magner's League rivals Edinburgh and Leinster. This, the home of Scottish rugby, has so often been a graveyard for Leinster teams and Leinster knew that they had to set that straight, and impressively in order to stay in the running in this tight group.

Leinster continued a season-long theme in starting strongly doing so in front of a tiny crowd, well shy of last season's record attendance. Within 4 minutes Contepomi had struck a penalty to give Leinster a lead that they managed to hold for ten minutes. Phil Godman who had an excellent night with the boot struck two penalties in five minutes to give Edinburgh a narrow lead.

Leinster lost Shane Horgan on 25 minutes with an apparent rib injury, and moments later it got worse when Godman extended Edinburgh's lead to six. Shortly afterwards Edinburgh scored the game's first try with Simon Webster scoring after a Turnbull break.

To Leinster's credit, they took the game back to Edinburgh and applied pressure to their line. Time and again the Leinster scrum threatened to cross the whitewash only to be repeatedly collapsed or held up. Incredibly the referee chose to continue to award penalties and not award a penalty try. In fact he only resorted to a penalty try when a grubber kick through by Contepomi saw O'Driscoll barged off the ball. The period of repeated foul play saw the match through to the half time whistle.

Leinster were trailing by a score going into the second half, but having finished the first half on the forward foot would have fancied their chances against an Edinburgh defence that had held off extreme pressure from the Leinster forwards, albeit it on the very cusp of illegality.

Instead Leinster were to mirror their horrific second half capitulation against Toulouse and failed to score a single point in the second half. Firstly a Blair drop goal extended Edinburgh's lead two minutes into the second period and then the contest was effectively finished after ten minutes when Ben Cairns intercepted a wild Kearney pass to run in. Godman's conversion gave Edinburgh a sixteen point lead.

Leinster had come looking for a bonus point win, and instead faced the prospect of not even matching the previous season's losing bonus.

Despite the best efforts of the many travelling Leinster supporters, the players on the pitch could not raise their game and the remaining half an hour was played out in a tedious manner utterly devoid of spark, creativity or passion. Godman's penalty shortly before time was the final insult and maintained his perfect night with the boot.

An utterly abject performance from Leinster then, and their elimination from this years competition will surely be confirmed when Toulouse roll into Dublin in the New Year.

Match Statistics
  Edinburgh Rugby   Leinster Rugby
Tries Webster
  Penalty try
Conversions Godman (2)   Contepomi
Penalties Godman (4)   Contepomi
Drop Goals Blair    
Teams Ben Cairns 15 Girvan Dempsey
Andrew Turnbull 14 Shane Horgan
Nick De Luca 13 Brian O'Driscoll (C)
John Houston 12 Gordon D'Arcy
Simon Webster 11 Robert Kearney
Phil Godman 10 Felipe Contepomi
Mike Blair (C) 9 Guy Easterby
Allan Jacobsen 1 Ollie Le Roux
Ross Ford 2 Bernard Jackman
Augusto Allori 3 Stan Wright
Matt Mustchin 4 Leo Cullen
Ben Gissing 5 Malcolm O'Kelly
Simon Cross 6 Stephen Keogh
Ross Rennie 7 Shane Jennings
Ali Hogg 8 Jamie Heaslip
Replacements Andrew Kelly (for Ford, 77) 16 Brian Blaney
Geoff Cross (for Allori, 41) 17 Cian Healy (for Le Roux, 73)
Craig Hamilton (for Mustchin, 68) 18 Cameron Jowitt
Roland Reid (for Cross, 55) 19 Keith Gleeson (for Keogh, 49)
Ben Meyer (for Blair, 79) 20 Chris Keane (for Easterby, 68)
David Blair (for Godman, 79) 21 Jonathan Sexton (for O'Driscoll, 80)
Calum MacRae (for Cairns, 79) 22 Luke Fitzgerald (for Horgan, 25)
Not Considered
due to Injury
    Trevor Hogan
Ronnie McCormack
Fergus McFadden
Chris Whitaker
Officials Referee: Tim Hayes (WRU)

by Sarah Lennon, © 2007-12-20