Paterson punishes indiscipline

Edinburgh 35 Cardiff 16
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The Independent Online

Chris Paterson inspired Edinburgh to their first win of the season with a 25-point haul - including seven penalties - as Cardiff's discipline deserted them.

Chris Paterson inspired Edinburgh to their first win of the season with a 25-point haul - including seven penalties - as Cardiff's discipline deserted them.

The Blues had been expected to present a far stronger and more cohesive challenge, particularly given the revival in Welsh domestic rugby this season after the professional regions were reduced from five to four. But it was a wholly unsatisfactory performance from the Blues that will have left their coach, Dai Young, scratching his head as to where to go next. It was all made worse when Derrick Lee and the replacement Nathan Pike ran in late tries for Eidnburgh.

Edinburgh have endured a truly miserable start to the season both on and off the playing field. The switch to the national stadium, from the doomed Meadowbank stadium, has done little to boost either crowds or their relationship with the Scotland management. The move has sparked a neighbours' dispute between the Edinburgh coach, Frank Hadden, and the national boss, Matt Williams, over access to training pitches and players. Given their respective dire form, both have cases to argue.

With some 65,000 empty seats, the noise level was barely audible on the pitch though neither side did much to raise a dreadfully subdued atmosphere as the players satisfied themselves with a game of kicking tennis.

Three Paterson penalties gave Edinburgh a 9-3 lead, though it was Cardiff who looked far the more likely to score after Tom Shanklin and Craig Morgan were denied by goal-line tackles early on.

Somewhat fittingly, it took a penalty try from a terrible blunder to raise the game from the banal as Cardiff pounced on Edinburgh's mistakes. In his first game since arriving from Leicester over the summer, Freddie Tuilagi made his physical presence felt with a tackle that caused Marcus Di Rollo to spill possession. Dean Dewdney hacked forward and it was all full-back Lee could do to nudge the Cardiff scrum-half on his way past to prevent himself losing the foot race. The Irish official, Simon McDowell, had no hesitation in awarding the penalty try to give Cardiff a 13-12 half-time lead.

So the game lumbered on as Nick MacLeod and Paterson traded kicks until Edinburgh capitalised as Cardiff returned the favour with generosity. It will have had coach Young pulling his hair out. Craig Quinnell, returning from a calf strain, inexplicably dropped a simple lineout. Edinburgh spun the ball wide at pace and Allister Hogg passed inside for Lee to scurry over in the corner.

Just 10 minutes later and Cardiff not just opened the door again, but ushered Edinburgh through. MacLeod threw a wild pass that only ever looked destined for the grateful hands of the Edinburgh replacement Pike who galloped over from half-way to wrap up a significant if uninspiring afternoon.

Edinburgh: D Lee (M Pike, 70); H Southwell, M Di Rollo, C Joiner, C Paterson; B Laney, M Blair (R Lawson, 75); A Jacobsen, D Hall, C Smith (J Brannigan, 70), N Hines (F Pringle, 78), A Kellock, T Blackadder (capt, S Cross, 79), D Callam, A Hogg.

Cardiff Blues: R Williams (M Nuthall, 80); F Tuilagi, S James, T Shanklin (L Thomas, 42-46, 79), C Morgan; N MacLeod, D Dewdney; G Jenkins (R Thomas, 80), G Williams, M Jones (A Lewis, 76), C Quinnell (R Sidoli, 67), D Jones, M Lewis (N Budgett, 60), K Shubert, M Williams (capt).

Referee: S McDowell (Ireland).

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