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Match Tracker: Edinburgh 20 Leinster 14

Match Tracker: Edinburgh 20 Leinster 14

Leinster lost their opening Magners League fixture at Murrayfield as the two-try Edinburgh Gunners came out on top.

…Leinster’s Luke Fitzgerald…

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Leinster lost their opening Magners League fixture at Murrayfield as the two-try Edinburgh Gunners came out on top.

MAGNERS LEAGUE: Friday, September 8

EDINBURGH 20 LEINSTER 14, Murrayfield (Att: 2,479)

Scorers: Edinburgh: Tries: Allister Hogg, Duncan Hodge; Cons: Chris Paterson 2; Pens: Paterson 2

Leinster: Try: Ronan McCormack; Pens: Felipe Contepomi 3

Full-Time: It’s all over at a sparsely-populated Murrayfield – a 20-14 defeat for an understrength Leinster, however the positives far outweigh the negatives. New players have been blooded and next Saturday’s visit of Cardiff Blues to Donnybrook will give Cheika’s side ample room for further improvement.

Kearney was probably the best of the backs, with ball in hand he will continue to cause problems for the league’s best defenders, while the back row unit of Stephen Keogh, Niall Ronan and Jamie Heaslip functioned well for the 80 minutes. Number 8 Heaslip picked up where he left off at the Churchill Cup, covering every blade of grass.

79 mins: LEINSTER TRY! A powerful maul forward sees Leinster get in for a deserved try. Prop McCormack makes up for his earlier sin-binning as he ploughs over. Contepomi misses the conversion, but the bonus point is still in Leinster’s grasp. Edinburgh 20 Leinster 14

77 mins: EDINBURGH YELLOW CARD! The Gunners lost Hogg to the sin-bin for a ruck infringement.

69 mins: EDINBURGH TRY! The game is slipping away from Leinster as Hogg turns provider, roaring through a midfield gap and finding Duncan Hodge on his shoulder and the replacement out-half got the better of the cover defence to touch down. Paterson added his second conversion. Edinburgh 20 Leinster 9

60 mins: A good hour’s work from newcomer Harry Vermaas is brought to an end as Bernard Jackman is introduced into the fray at hooker.

57 mins: EDINBURGH TRY! Big blow for Leinster as Edinburgh nip in for the opening try. The Gunners opted to run the ball – Paterson tapped a penalty and belted off – and four phases later, with Murray having been just held up, it was Hogg who crashed over. His skipper converted to put the home side in front for the first time. Composure is required from Michael Cheika’s men. Edinburgh 13 Leinster 9

53 mins: Scotland winger Webster is stretchered off the field after sustaining a bad knock, Under-21 international Ben Cairns is brought on. Former Ulster lock Matt Mustchin also makes way for Fergus Pringle.

43 mins: Contepomi misses what looks a simple penalty kick – awarded after another tackle infringement from the Scots – and Leinster could be made to pay for that.

Second Half: Adam Byrnes is on for Leinster, with debutant Trevor Hogan making way. That means there will be an all-Australian second row combination for the second half with Byrnes linking up with former Wallaby Owen Finegan, who has been in encouraging form.

…Jamie Heaslip hands off Edinburgh replacement David Callam…

Half-Time: Despite missing their Irish internationals, Leinster have been solid enough so far and lead 9-6 at the break. Whitaker has impressed in the number 9 slot, whilst the pack, containing three new lines, is more than matching Edinburgh’s forward unit.

39 mins: LEINSTER PENALTY! The visitors make light of McCormack’s yellow card as Contepomi’s third penalty of the night, awarded after an Edinburgh tackler failed to roll away, sends them back in front. This really is anyone’s game. Edinburgh 6 Leinster 9

38 mins: There has been little in the way of attacks for the Leinster supporters to get their teeth into but Rob Kearney, playing at full-back, does go close to breaking the try deadlock. Edinburgh scrum half Mike Blair puts in some excellent defensive work to save the day.

35 mins: LEINSTER YELLOW CARD! Leinster are down to 14 men as prop Ronan McCormack is sent to the sin bin for illegally preventing a quick tap penalty from Edinburgh.

27 mins: EDINBURGH PENALTY! Neat penalty strike from Paterson sees the game levelled at 6-6, after a decent spell of possession for the Scots. Edinburgh 6 Leinster 6

24 mins: Leinster are forced to make an early switch with Christian Warner coming on for half-century man Kieran Lewis in midfield. It’s a blow as Lewis had been linking well with debutant Michael Berne alongside him.

18 mins: Rennie’s luck eludes him as after a lightning move, involving Simon Webster, the Edinburgh flanker knocks on with the Leinster line in sight.

10 mins: LEINSTER PENALTY! Leinster got back in front with Contepomi cracking over his second penalty, an excellent effort from wide out on the right. So far, the Argentinian out-half has combined well with his new half-back partner Chris Whitaker. Edinburgh 3 Leinster 6

5 mins: EDINBURGH PENALTY! Gunners captain Chris Paterson makes no mistake with the penalty, firing over from just on the 22-metre line. Edinburgh 3 Leinster 3

3 mins: Excellent multi-phase ball for Edinburgh as they inch their way towards the Leinster line, seeking out a seven-point reply. Scott Murray, Rossie Rennie and Hogg use their bulk to carry forward. The hosts win a scrum, five metres out, and with a Leinster player failing to roll away from a tackle, the Scots are awarded their first kickable penalty.

1 minute: LEINSTER PENALTY! Contepomi nudges over the resultant kick, from a central position. A positive start for the team that finished second last season. Edinburgh 0 Leinster 3

First Half: Kick-Off: With seven newcomers, Leinster might be up against it, but they get a great start as from Allister Hogg’s knock on Edinburgh are caught offside. Barely ten seconds gone and Felipe Contepomi, the league’s top scorer last season, have his first shot at goal.

Team News: Edinburgh have been boosted by the return of Craig Smith to their line-up for the visit of Leinster. The Scotland prop is the only change to the side for the Gunners’ first home game of the Magners League – he replaces Alasdair Dickinson on the tighthead side of the scrum.

Scotland Under-21 centre Ben Cairns, who missed last week’s 17-11 defeat at the Ospreys due to a dead leg, has been named amongst the replacements, ahead of Mike Pyke.

Leinster, for their first Magners League outing, will include seven players who will be making their competitive debuts – centre Michael Berne, winger Luke Fitzgerald, scrum half Chris Whitaker, hooker Harry Vermaas, locks Trevor Hogan and Owen Finegan and flanker Stephen Keogh.

Ireland ‘A’ centre Kieran Lewis will be picking up his 50th cap for the province on Friday night. Ireland Under-21 number 8 Sean O’Brien is linking up with the Leinster senior squad for the first time, with prop Johnny Wickham, who captained Clontarf to the AIB League Division One final last season, filling in for the crocked Reggie Corrigan on the bench.

Edinburgh: Hugo Southwell; Chris Paterson (capt), Marcus Di Rollo, Rob Dewey, Simon Webster; Phil Godman, Mike Blair; Allan Jacobsen, Dougie Hall, Craig Smith, Matt Mustchin, Scott Murray, Alasdair Strokosch, Ross Rennie, Allister Hogg.

Replacements: Andrew Kelly, Alasdair Dickinson, Fergus Pringle, David Callam, Greig Laidlaw, Duncan Hodge, Ben Cairns.

Leinster: Rob Kearney; Gary Brown, Kieran Lewis, Michael Berne, Luke Fitzgerald; Felipe Contepomi (capt), Chris Whitaker; Ronan McCormack, Harry Vermaas, Will Green, Trevor Hogan, Owen Finegan, Stephen Keogh, Niall Ronan, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Johnny Wickham, Bernard Jackman, Adam Byrnes, Sean O’Brien, Guy Easterby, Christian Warner, Ross McCarron.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Touch Judges: Andy MacPherson, Alan Forest (both Scotland)