Knee injury hurts Haskell's Six Nations quest

Edinburgh 9 Stade Francais 7
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The Independent Online

Looking down from the benches outside the Bill McLaren Press Suite at Murrayfield on Saturday, you could not help wondering what the late, great Voice of Rugby would have made of it all. There was nothing very pretty to behold, save for the flowery pink tops worn by of Stade Français. Six minutes from time, you could not help wondering what Martin Johnson would have made of things too. The sight of Stade's No 6 hobbling out of the action would not have been a pretty one for the England manager, two weeks out from the Six Nations.

James Haskell ended the match sitting on the visitors' bench, with his left knee heavily bandaged. Tom Croft having damaged the same part of his anatomy in Heineken Cup action for Leicester seven days previously might another of England's first-class blind-side flankers be fighting a Battle of the Wounded Knee? Haskell was keen to suggest otherwise. "I twisted my left knee going for the ball," he said. "It's a bit sore but the Stade doctor looked at it and he doesn't seem too worried. I'll be OK to join up with England."

On the afternoon Murrayfield paid tribute to Bill McLaren, he played his part in ensuring his club side secured the bonus point they needed to make sure of a place in the last eight of the Heineken Cup. He was responsible for many of the key tackles that restricted an Edinburgh side sparked by the impish Greig Laidlaw at scrum-half to three Chris Paterson penalties and a two-point winning margin.

Edinburgh: Penalties Paterson 3. Stade Français: Try Pape; Conversion Beauxis.

Edinburgh: C Paterson (capt) (S Webster, 52); M Robertson, B Cairns, N De Luca (J Houston, h-t), J Thompson; P Godman, G Laidlaw; K Traynor (A Jacobsen, 65), A Kelly (R Ford, 52), G Cross, J Hamilton, S MacLeod (C Hamilton, 65), A MacDonald, R Rennie (S Newlands, 34), R Grant.

Stade Français: L Beauxis; M Gasnier, G Messina, G Bousses (M Bastareaud, 47), D Camara; I Mieres, H Southwell; R Roncero (capt) (R Roncero, 66), D Szarzewski (B Kayser, 50), R Gerber (P Ledesma, 59), T Palmer, P Pape, J Haskell (Mauro Bergamasco, 74), Mauro Bergamasco (S Taylor, 53), J Leguizamon.

Referee: W Barnes (England).