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Leinster Rugby vs Edinburgh Rugby
Royal Dublin Showgrounds
Att: 18,145
Friday, 8 December 2007, 20:00

The Heineken Cup took centre stage again as Leinster entertained Edinburgh at the RDS. Edinburgh, although effectively out of the running after two defeats would still provide a stern test and have enjoyed some positive results against Leinster in previous seasons.

The RDS was a sell-out, but the crowd were oddly downcast throughout perhaps reflecting the performance of Leinster who were subdued and patchy.

The two sides exchanged early penalties before Rob Kearney had an effort ruled out by the TMO. On the quarter hour however Leinster did cross the whitewash. Felipe Contepomi sent a suberb kick deep into Edinburgh's half and from the ensuing lineout as Edinburgh attempted to clear their lines they afforded Leinster an attacking lineout. Jackman delivered the ball to O'Kelly and the pack rolled the ball on and over the line where Heaslip touched down.

On the half hour Leinster scored another try and again the possession came from lineout ball. Leinster ran and rucked the ball up from the halfway line, with Heaslip making significant ground. Gleeson was the quickest to react to a loose ball and touched down in the corner to stretch Leinster's lead.

The half time whistle arrived and Leinster were comfortably ahead and seemed to be cruising towards a win and an essential bonus point.

The second half was a far less convincing affair however. Edinburgh were awarded a penalty and after Godman missed the kick it seemed as if Edinburgh had spurned the points. Leinster's clearance kick was poor however and allowed Edinburgh to gather. Nick De Luca sent in John Houston for a sprint in over the line.

Edinburgh struck two penalty kicks to Leinster's sole effort in the following minutes to leave the score at 21-14. Suddenly, from being in cruise mode, Leinster were facing possible defeat.

For the third time a Leinster score came from a set piece, this time a scrum. Willis fed D'Arcy who made an excellent run through the heart of the Edinburgh defence. Willis fed Contepomi from the ensuing ruck and the Argentine bulldozed over with the Edinburgh defence powerless to stop him.

The match appeared to be won as Leinster were leading by two clear scores. Leinster tried to take the game on to their visitors and secure a bonus point but despite being in striking range several times they could not find a way over the line. A win then, but frustration too as Leinster may have cause to rue a bonus point missed.

Match Statistics
  Leinster Rugby   Edinburgh Rugby
Tries Heaslip
Gleeson
Contepomi
  Houston
Conversions Contepomi (2)    
Penalties Contepomi (3)   Godman (2)
D. Blair
 
Teams Robert Kearney 15 Ben Cairns
Shane Horgan 14 Andrew Maxwell
Brian O'Driscoll (C) 13 Nick De Luca
Gordon D'Arcy 12 Matt Dey
Luke Fitzgerald 11 John Houston
Felipe Contepomi 10 Phil Godman
Cillian Willis 9 Mike Blair (C)
 
Ollie Le Roux 1 Allan Jacobson
Bernard Jackman 2 Ross Ford
Stan Wright 3 Gavin Kerr
Leo Cullen 4 Matt Mustchin
Malcolm O'Kelly 5 Ben Gissing
Stephen Keogh 6 Roland Reid
Keith Gleeson 7 Ross Rennie
Jamie Heaslip 8 David Callam
 
Replacements Brian Blaney 16 Andrew Kelly
Stephen Knoop 17 Augusto Allori (for Kerr, 35)
Cameron Jowitt 18 Craig Hamilton
Shane Jennings (for Keogh, 47)
19 Simon Cross (for Reid, 53)
Chris Keane 20 Ben Meyer (for M. Blair, 75)
Jonathan Sexton 21 David Blair (for Godman, 60)
Gary Brown (for Fitzgerald, 73)
22 Calum MacRae (for Dey, 47)
 
Not Considered
due to Injury
Girvan Dempsey
Trevor Hogan
Ronnie McCormack
Fergus McFadden
Chris Whitaker
   
Officials Referee: Roman Poite (FFR)
Sub Referee: Cedric Marchat (FFR)
Touch Judge: Bernard Dal Maso (FFR)
4th Official: Ken Henley-Willis (ARLB)
5th Official: Brian Montayne (ARLB)

by Sarah Lennon, © 2007-12-11

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