*** Another sport post. ***
After purchasing a season ticket for Edinburgh Rugby (for the ridiculously cheap £80), last night I had the pleasure of taking in their first home Magners League game of the season, against Irish side Connacht, so I thought I'd write a wee review.
I arrived at the stadium pretty early (given the "free-for-all" seating arrangement for season ticket holders) and found myself seated a few rows in front of the STV commentator Andy Nicol and within shouting distance of the Edinburgh coaching staff, pretty much on the halfway line - a seat with a cracking view all told.
In terms of the match (report here), Edinburgh started sluggishly, and Connacht looked like they may cause us a few problems when we had Alan MacDonald sin-binned in the first 5 minutes. However, we got a try almost immediately after he went off the pitch, and that seemed to settle the side. Another try - from a hack and chase down the field - gave Edinburgh a 20-6 lead at half-time. Two early second-half tries secured a bonus point, and when Connacht were reduced to 13 men when two players were sinbinned in successive phases of play, Edinburgh ran riot, scoring a further four tries with only Fion Carr's breakaway try for Connacht giving the small away support any cheer.
The final score of 62-13 may have flattered Edinburgh slightly, but when the Gunners finally woke up, the 8 tries that they scored simply emphasised the gulf in class between the sides. Come the end of the season, I'm hopeful that Edinburgh will finish in the top four - and in the playoff spots - which I suspect Connacht will be battling it out at the other end of the table.
Quick mention of the referee, Wales' James Jones. Each of the sinbinnings were, I think, merited. However, in open play, Jones missed three or four of the most blatant knock-ons and forward passes that you've ever seen. And, with 10 minutes to go, Mike Blair broke clear and thought he'd scored a fine try. However, after consultation with his touchjudge (and ignoring the video-referee) the referee said he'd been held up on the line and gave an attacking scrum (from which we scored anyway so no harm done). Sitting where I was, it looked to be either a good try or the man had been tackled into touch - in which case, a lineout to Connacht would have been the decision. It looked like a poor decision, and Mike Blair kept at him about it - even after we'd scored.
All in all though, a solid performance, a record home Magners League win, a bonus point and some promising signs from a couple of young players means we are set up for a cracking season. Let's hope we can deliver.
Tries: Robertson 2, Cairns, Paterson, Hogg, MacDonald, Turnbull, Grant
Cons: Paterson 8
Pens: Paterson 2