Gloucester 38 Edinburgh 22: Simpson-Daniel too hot for the Scots

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The Independent Online

Gloucester eventually emerged from a rugged tussle with a victory. The home side finished with a flourish, but they had a few anxious moments after an explosive start. They can still qualify for the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup.

There were moments when it looked as if Gloucester were going to coast to victory. They had the bulk of possession and what ball Edinburgh got was not put to good use or was given straight back to the Cherry and Whites, which was how James Simpson-Daniel scored his try.

The visiting fly-half, Phil Godman, sent out an awful pass which missed every Edinburgh player before bouncing for Simpson-Daniel to scoop it up and race 60 metres to touch down under the posts. Willie Walker converted, just as he had after Gloucester's first, which stemmed from a great break by the wing Mark Foster. From the breakdown Walker's flat pass found Mike Tindall, who cruised over.

The Scots finally threatened after 25 minutes, when the left wing, Ben Cairns, rounded off a spell of pressure under the posts. Chris Paterson converted, added a penalty and then converted Edinburgh's second try, scored in the corner by the full-back, Hugo Southwell.

By then, though, Gloucester had driven over Olivier Azam from a line-out. Walker then kicked a penalty. Home concerns grew, though, when Edinburgh ran in their third try within two minutes of the restart, through the centre Marcus Di Rollo.

Gloucester regrouped, Walker knocking over a drop goal, and their pack turned the screw. In the 65th minute Ryan Lamb was given a simple penalty kick. The Edinburgh scrum was then reduced to a shambles, and a break by Simpson-Daniel from his 22 was taken on by Adam Balding before being recycled across to the right. A bewildering series of passes saw Gloucester's captain, the lock Marco Bortolami, go close before the centre Anthony Allen pounced on the loose ball for the bonus-point try.

Then it was back to the pack, first on an Edinburgh scrum, when the Scots were mangled, and then at a line-out, with Gloucester working for another drive-over. It was well defended, so Gloucester resorted to their backs and Foster was sent in for a fifth and final try.

Gloucester: O Morgan (I Balshaw, 72); J Simpson-Daniel, M Tindall, A Allen, M Foster; W Walker (R Lamb, 53), P Richards (R Lawson, 58); P Collazo (C Califano, 65), O Azam, C Nieto, M Bortolami (capt), A Brown, P Buxton, J Boer, L Narraway (A Balding, 47).

Edinburgh: H Southwell; C Paterson (capt), M Di Rollo, D Hodge, B Cairns; P Godman, M Blair; A Jacobsen, D Hall, A Dickinson (D Hewett, 73), M Mustchin (F Pringle, 51), S Murray, A Strokosch, R Rennie, D Callam (S Taylor, 51).

Referee: T Hayes (Wales).

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