Visser scores late try to keep Scottish interest alive

Edinburgh 17 Ulster 13: Refusal to bend the knee helps Edinburgh avoid a disastrous home defeat by a dogged Ulster side

At that moment when a team are faced with their greatest fear, that however meaningful their efforts they will still come up short, Edinburgh found something invaluable. It was the spirit that drives you on in the face of the kind of doubt that might otherwise prompt despondency. So despite the aggressive resolve of Ulster's defence, in a game that had been littered with disheartening errors, Edinburgh reached for the victory that means they are still a relevant presence in the Heineken Cup.

There were self-inflicted wounds at times, and a growing sense of anxiety as the second half wore on, but Tim Visser's try, with only 12 minutes left, was met by a cheer so heavy with relief and sheer joy that it seemed like a plaintive cry.

"Ulster make it difficult for you to play, but we kept going," said Edinburgh's head coach, Rob Moffat. "We were the team playing the rugby in the second half."

Edinburgh came into this game having confronted a crisis of self- esteem. They had lost three consecutive fixtures, diminishing their domestic and Heineken Cup hopes. They had to win here, and any wariness would have been enhanced by the late withdrawal of Chris Paterson. The full-back fell victim to a viral infection, robbing Edinburgh of their most potent weapon: his kicking. Yet only two minutes into the game, Phil Godman converted a penalty from six metres inside the Ulster half, showing why his own prowess with the boot is so highly valued at Murrayfield. The fly-half repeated this feat in the 20th minute, but Edinburgh were vulnerable to their own frailties.

Contesting a scrum two metres from their own line, the home side were betrayed by a lack of concentration. When Timoci Nagusa gathered possession, Steve Turnbull, Mark Robertson and Godman all hesitated, allowing the Fijian winger to cut through them as though they were as insignificant as shadows. Ian Humphreys converted the try to take the score to 7-6 to the visitors.

The home side were suddenly overwhelmed by the vigorous hostility of the Ulster forwards. A raggedness entered Edinburgh's play, as though they were disconcerted by the change in circumstances, and after a passage of loose play that would have brought a grimace to Moffat's face, a Humphreys penalty left Edinburgh 10-6 behind.

The half ended with the home side probing Ulster's resolute defence, with Godman's drop-goal attempt being charged down by Willie Faloon. The fly-half then missed his second penalty of the afternoon, allowing Ulster to leave the field with gladdened hearts.

The interval did little to revive Edinburgh's composure, and conceding possession early in the second half led to another penalty that Humphreys comfortably converted from 22 metres.

At 13-6 down, a pattern was now painfully clear; Edinburgh attempted to open into the kind of expansive play that might revive their fortunes and Ulster stood firm, killing the game and forcing their opponents into errors and infringements. Edinburgh conceded another penalty and only Humphreys' waywardness prevented the score from easing beyond the home team.

Perhaps they sensed then that all was not lost, and a stirring move revived their momentum. Twice the ball was ferried cross-field, before the centre Nick De Luca was released. With Visser waiting outside him, he held on to the ball and was stopped just short of the line.

Another Godman penalty acted like a clarion call, and Edinburgh's tenacity was rewarded on another break down the left, De Luca this time opting to pass to Visser on his outside, and the winger scoring a priceless try. Godman missed the conversion, but a penalty in the 80th minute sealed a victory heavy with significance.

Edinburgh S Jones; M Robertson (B Cairns, 58), N De Luca, J Houston, T Visser; P Godman, M Blair (capt; G Laidlaw, 68); K Traynor (A Jacobsen, 58), R Ford, G Cross, S Turnbull (C Hamilton, 42), S MacLeod, A MacDonald, A Hogg (S Newlands, 58), R Grant.

Ulster C Schifcofske; T Nagusa (S Danielli, 62), D Cave, P Wallace (capt), A Trimble; I Humphreys, I Boss (P Marshall, 79); T Court (B Young, 62), A Kyriacou, B Botha, E O'Donoghue, R Caldwell, S Ferris, R Diack, W Faloon.

Referee: D Pearson (England).

FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam