Leinster 28 -14 Edinburgh
Another dogged performance from Edinburgh which suggests that given a vocal support in the return fixture at Murrayfield next weekend they might grab a result at home. Once again Ross Rennie put his hand up and waved a big number 7 shaped sign at Frank Hadden as he showed up all over the Dublin Showground in both defence and attack, including helping to set up Edinburgh’s try. Incidentally, other SRBlog favourite Nick De Luca was involved in that too. Edinburgh are getting markedly better at turning over the ball at the breakdown – thanks in some part to Rennie – and also seem to be a little less prone to being turned over in the backs themselves, even when up against world-class scavengers like O’ Driscoll and D’Arcy. This may change when Webster comes back from injury, but I hope not… If Godman had kicked his points the game would have been considerably closer going into the last quarter and the result could have been different, especially with the assured placekicking of Blair Jr brought on by that stage.
Glasgow 9 – 6 Biarritz
It was telling that Biarritz took more than half an hour to get into the Glasgow 22 in the first half of this match, and then spent most of the last half hour (+ seven minutes of injury time) camped there as they finally woke up and realised this team of upstarts might actually beat them. A storming start from Glasgow saw them playing with confidence and a couple of dodgy kicking choices (when a run might have been on) from Parko were the only thing separating them from a better score than the 9-3 lead they had at half time. While giving the appearance of having a good game, Parks did miss touch with worrying frequency. Glasgow’s young forwards (Beattie in particular was ever-present) battled well in the scrums against the vastly more experienced Biarritz pack, and the lineouts were a similar mixed bag, with Biarritz getting back into it after a couple of early squint shockers. Glasgow definitely got the benefit from the refereeing decisions and were helped by the damp conditions almost as much as hindered in their attempts at running the ball. Of the few attempts they did have, Lome Fa’atau showed the reasons he was signed with a couple of scintillating runs that got the noisy crowd roaring. Amid all the criticism of low attendances this week, the Warriors fans sounded like they wanted to prove that at least one pro team in Scotland has a vocal and committed support, a support that kept Glasgow in the game in the later stages where desparate defence held out for a famous victory. At last, potential fulfilled by a Scottish team. Lineen wants respect for Glasgow, and if they keep squeaking out results like this, they’ll have mine.
In other news, Nikki Walker and Rory Lamont – both in my XV, you’ll notice – scored two tries each in respective wins against Ulster and Bayonne. Chris Paterson picked up an injury to his ribs playing for Gloucester.