31 July | 17:25:53
Scotland's Student Newspaper
Edinburgh's rugby men fail to make an impact against Dundee
Home side fail to make an impact at Peffermill
Sunday, 09 November, 2008 | 18:47
Credit: Oliver Proctor

The University of Edinburgh struggled in the rain and drizzle against Dundee University, coming out worse in a scrappy encounter at Peffermill.

A try at the end of either half was enough to secure victory for Dundee, who were inspired by the brilliant performance of their fly half and Scottish under-20 Internationalist Cameron Ferguson, whose power and kicking ability led to both tries and helped Dundee control the game. While Edinburgh defended fiercely, led by the militant approach of new flanker Phil Lucas, they were let down by their line-outs and often gave away possession on a day when the ball slipped through many a pair of hands at crucial moments.

After an early exchange of penalties in the first half the game became a kicking battle, both sides opting to use the boot rather than pass to hand in the wet conditions.

From the outset, the match was a contest between the two opposing packs and, despite the big hits of Edinburgh flanker Lucas, Dundee's height in the line-outs and aggression in the scrums gave them the edge, often winning them possession and control of the game.

It was Ferguson's brilliant clearing kick that led to Dundee's try in the first half. Almost on his own try line, the winger sent a huge kick over the top, leaving his teammates to chase on. The retreating Edinburgh full-back Matt Bennett found himself isolated with several Dundee players closing in on him, and from the resulting turn-over, the impressively mobile Dundee second row Conor Swail had space to score a simple try.

Only two points separated the teams in the 75th minute, when Edinburgh won a line-out deep in their own twenty-two. To the anguish of their coach and supporters, Edinburgh lost the line-out, as they had done on several previous occasions. The ball fell to Ferguson, who broke past his man with ease and touched down to put the match beyond Edinburgh's grasp.

Only in the last five minutes did Edinburgh look dangerous. Sprightly scrum-half, Jake Webb, began running with the ball and inspiring more creativity amongst Edinburgh's back line while outside-centre, James Shepherd made some incisive runs to mark his return back from injury. In one of the final Edinburgh attacks, space opened up on the right flank, the ball was passed along to substitute winger James Pang who made a break for the corner. However, to Edinburgh's despair, Ferguson appeared once again, tracking across and making a brilliant covering tackle pushing Pang into touch.

When Edinburgh started to make impressive runs in the second half, Dundee's well-organised defence was well up to the challenge. After the unexpected decision to take off Lucas, who was by far Edinburgh's most passionate forward, Dundee's break through late on was inevitable.

Edinburgh were unfortunate to come up against a Scottish international on top form, but they will regret the number of turnovers they gave away in a home game which they would have expected to win. The result puts Dundee level, in third place with Edinburgh in their SUSA league with three points each, trailing behind leaders Aberdeen on nine points and Stirling on six.


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