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Edinburgh (12) 25 - 24 (10) Leinster,
Murrayfield, Edinburgh,
Att: 5,867,
Referee: Joel Jutge,
Sunday 29th October 2006, 13:00

One that got away. On hearing the final whistle on Sunday the faces on the Leinster players revealed the frustration and disbelief they felt at losing. Edinburgh are a fine team but they really hadn't played that well. They rarely broke the Leinster line and never quite played the free-flowing, touchline to touchline rugby that had hurt us in the past. In contrast Leinster seemingly broke through their line at will, they outscored the Scots three tries to one, Felipe Contepomi kicked all his efforts at goal and yet they still lost.

It's easy to blame the referee and certainly Monsieur Jutge didn't do Leinster any favours. But you expect decisions to go against you when you're away from home, especially when it's a French referee. Leinster simply didn't play smart enough at times and paid the ultimate price.

Edinburgh took the lead from an early Chris Paterson penalty and Contepomi equalized shortly afterwards. Then Girvan Dempsey took Brian O'Driscoll's superb left-handed flip pass to sprint clear and score. Contepomi converted superbly to make it 10-3. However Leinster failed to kick on from there and Edinburgh clawed their way back into the game with three more Paterson penalties to make it 12-10 at half-time.

Luke Fitzgerald replaced the injured Denis Hickie shortly after half time. He made an immediate impression, scoring in the corner after Shane Horgan broke through. Television replays later showed Horgan's pass to be forward but it stood and once again Contepomi converted from the touchline to lead 17-12. But once again Leinster failed to build on their momentum and Rob Dewey burst through the defence to score a try for Edinburgh. Paterson converted and added on another penalty to make it 22-17 to the Gunners heading into the final stages. Leinster looked to have won the game at the end when Dempsey took a superb like off Cameron Jowitt's pass to score a try, which was converted by Contepomi to make it 24-22. But substitute Edinburgh fly-half Duncan Hodge scored an injury time drop goal to win the game for the Gunners.

It was a hugely disappointing day for the team and the substantial Leinster traveling crowd. However the group is still wide open and the double-header against Agen now assumes huge importance when they Heineken Cup restarts in December.

Match Stats
  Edinburgh Leinster
Tries R. Dewey Girvan Dempsey 1, 2
Luke Fitzgerald
Cons C. Paterson F. Contepomi (3)
Penalties C. Paterson (5) F. Contepomi
Drop Goals D. Hodge  
Teams Southwell; Paterson, Di Rollo, Dewey, Webster; Godman, Blair; Jacobsen, Hall, Dickinson; Mustchin, Murray; Strokosch, Rennie, Callam. Dempsey; Horgan, O'Driscoll, D'Arcy, Hickie; Contepomi, Willis; McCormack, Blaney, Green; Hogan, O'Kelly; Keogh, Gleeson, Heaslip.
Replacements Hodge for Godman (55), Smith for Dickinson (53), MacDonald for Rennie (68). Not Used: Kelly, Turnbull, Laidlaw, Cairns. Fitzgerald for Hickie (43), Finnigan for Hogan (41), Jowitt for Keogh (74). Not Used: Vermaas, Corrigan, Dunne, Lewis.
Sin Bin   B. Blaney (40+4)

by Jim O'Connor, © 2006-10-29