Edinburgh 21 - 12 Cardiff Blues
Sat 09 January 18:30 BT Murrayfield Att: 1,569 Ref: John Lacey Celtic League

Edinburgh 21 Cardiff Blues 12

Sat 9 Jan 2010 20:17 Edinburgh 21 Cardiff Blues 12
Ceri Sweeney kicked off proceedings as light snow fell on Murrayfield with the Blues dominating territory and possession in the opening minutes. Good defense by Edinburgh saw the Blues unable to make much head way on the Scots but a run up the wing by outside half Sweeney saw the Blues breakthrough. A penalty was awarded moments later and Sweeney found no problems taking the points in front of the posts.

Chris Paterson drew Edinburgh back level again on the 6 minute mark and after the kicking exchange the momentum of the game shifted until the Blues were awarded another penalty at a scrum.

This time Sweeney elected to kick for touch and the Blues won the first lineout of the match, setting up powerful runs from Richard Mustoe and prop Filise. Shortly after back rower Pretorius found himself in possession on the wing but couldn’t make the run to the line, being forced into touch by Edinburgh.

The Blues continued to apply pressure to the home side making it difficult for them to move play out of their own 22, eventually a clearance kick by Edinburgh fullback Paterson saw the Blues in their own half. The trusty boot of Paterson gifted Edinburgh another 3 points when they were awarded another penalty for infringements at the scrum.

Sloppy work by Edinburgh saw the Blues draw level again with another penalty. The Blues dominance continued at the lineout when Andy Powell took a short throw from T Rhys Thomas for Gareth Cooper to clear up field. Edinburgh regained possession but were still unable to breach the half way line and find their way into the Blues half. Eventually a good kick downfield came and for the first time Edinburgh looked set to really threaten the Blues.

Sustained attack and a penalty awarded against the Blues for collapsing the maul buoyed the home side who continued their push to the try line. Edinburgh could not capitalise however and when they finally did look set to score, terrible balance from inside centre John Houston saw Leigh Halfpenny able to put the ball into touch.

Eventually the try came for Edinburgh though as great skill from outside half Ross Hutton led to an inside pass to Flanker Ross Rennie allowing him to go over for the try. Paterson found no difficulties with the conversion.

Half Time score
Edinburgh 13 Cardiff Blues 6

The sides took back to the field unchanged for the second half and within the first two minutes Edinburgh had crossed for a try. Jim Thompson taking the spoils after giving Halfpenny the slip to cross by the corner. Paterson uncharacteristically missed the conversion.

Edinburgh looked rejuvenated by the break and continued to pressurise the Blues, finding themselves back on the Blues line again within five minutes of their first, second half try.

The Blues managed to change the momentum though and were challenging Edinburgh by their own line shortly afterwards. Unfortunately loose hands meant the ball was lost to touch, the pause brining a change at scrum half for the Blues as Gareth Cooper made way for Richie Rees.

An interception off of Andy Powell looked like it was set to be translated into points but the Blues managed to halt the Edinburgh attack and a big kick and chase by Leigh Halfpenny at fullback saw the Blues with some go forward for the first time in the second half. The begloved full back then added three points to the Blues total with a penalty.

The Blues charge continued only to be stopped when Edinburgh replacement Ross Samson was awarded a yellow card. The resulting penalty was however missed by the Blues and they remained 9 points adrift with half an hour to go. A second penalty moments later was however converted by outside half Sweeney and the Blues looked more threatening with good field position and possession.

The Blues found themselves in trouble again on their line though as Edinburgh’s forwards piled on the pressure, a penalty was awarded against the Blues for handling the ball and Paterson elected to kick for the points in front of the posts, the home side’s lead now again stretched to 9 points.

The Blues found new legs as they raced down field, Pretorius coming within metres of the line for the score. His pass out to hooker Thomas looked like it had been knocked on, the referee refusing to award the try to Thomas even after appeals. The replay video would reveal the ball had been knocked backwards by an Edinburgh player, the Blues unlucky not to be awarded the score.

The Edinburgh player earlier carded had barely retaken the field when his back row colleague Roddy Grant, was sent off.

The Blues finished the game where it had begun, with pressure on the home side in their 22. The final whistle came with the Blues still disappointed by earlier decisions.

Pens x3 Paterson
Cons x Paterson
Tries x 1 Ross Rennie x1 Thompson
Drop Goals

Yellow Card Ross Samson, Roddy Grant

Cardiff Blues
Pens x3 Sweeney x1 Halfpenny
Drop Goals

Edinburgh: Chris Paterson (capt), Jim Thompson, Ben Cairns, John Houston, Tim Visser, Rory Hutton (off 60), Greig Laidlaw, Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford, David Young, Jim Hamilton, Scott MacLeod, Alan MacDonald, Ross Rennie, Roddy Grant.

Replacements: Andrew Kelly, Kyle Traynor, Craig Hamilton, Scott Newlands, Ross Samson, Nick De Luca, Mark Robertson.

Blues: Leigh Halfpenny; Richard Mustoe, Casey Laulala, Jamie Roberts, Tom James; Ceri Sweeney (off 73), Gareth Cooper (off 52); Sam Hobbs ( off 73), T Rhys Thomas, Taufa'au Filise, Deiniol Jones, Paul Tito (capt) (off 61), Andries Pretorius, Andy Powell, Martyn Williams.?

Replacements: Rhys Williams, Scott Andrews (on 73), Bradley Davies (on 61), Ben White, Richie Rees (on 52), Dai Flanagan (on 73), Gareth Thomas (on 73).

Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)