Monday 11 December 2017

Tense finale as Blair seals Ulster defeat

Ulster's unbeaten record in the Magners League came to an end at rain-soaked Murrayfield as David Blair's drop goal sealed Edinburgh's 21-16 win.

The Irish raiders had led 10-8 at the break thanks to a try from centre Ian Whitten and five points from the boot of Paddy Wallace.

Fraser McKenzie went over for the Gunners with Chris Paterson adding a penalty.

Ulster added two more penalties after the interval, but Netani Talei's converted try, a second penalty from Paterson and that Blair drop goal gave the hosts the four points.


Accurate kicking was hardly the order of the opening minutes, Blair putting the kick off straight out before Wallace missed a penalty and a Blair drop goal went askew.

Edinburgh kept up the pressure and Greig Laidlaw linked with Alan MacDonald to put lock McKenzie over. Paterson missed the conversion.

Ulster got on the board with a Wallace penalty on 15 minutes mark but Paterson restored the five-point margin.

Ulster flexed their muscles in the pack as Robbie Diack thundered into the heart of the Edinburgh defence and, from the ruck, a lovely offload from Dan Tuohy sent Whitten scampering over for Wallace to convert.


A Wallace penalty got the scoreboard shifting after the restart but Edinburgh hit back as Talei shredded the Ulster defence only to hold on a fraction too long with the line open for Tim Visser.

But the big Fijian finished what he had started and crashed over from close range, and Paterson converted.

On the hour, Andy Kyriacou offended and Paterson slotted his second penalty but Ian Humphreys pulled the margin back to two points with a monster kick from the halfway line.

Blair then showed his cool and slotted a long-range drop goal which deservedly clinched the points for Edinburgh.

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