Robinson Praises New Captain

ImageAndy Robinson highlighted the contribution of his new captain Ben Cairns following Edinburgh's spirited 10-10 draw against Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade and also singled out prop Craig Smith for praise.

In his first match as skipper, 22-year-old Cairns handed Edinburgh a perfect start in torrential rain when he sliced through the Dragons" defence with ruthless precision to score a try.

That was followed by a memorable defensive display in the second half when Edinburgh refused to buckle under incessant pressure from the home side.

Replacements Craig Hamilton, who charged down a drop-goal attempt, and Greig Laidlaw, who made a last-ditch try saving tackle, were applauded by Robinson.

But rising star Cairns also got a special pat on the back from Edinburgh's head coach after producing an inspirational display in midfield.

Robinson said: "He took his try really well, he led the team really well and Ben Cairns has certainly developed over the past three or four months. I think he is really performing well."

Despite taking an early lead, Edinburgh were guilty of squandering a handful of clear-cut try-scoring opportunities in an eventful first half and Robinson says the early misses were the most disappointing factor to emerge from the match.

He added: "I thought we managed the second half very well defensively. But the disappointing thing is that we conceded the try and we didn't score enough tries ourselves. When we had the pressure we needed to turn that into points; unfortunately we didn't do it.

"It is ok creating opportunities, but you"ve got to finish them. I think the disappointing aspect for us is that we didn't finish the chances we created which was similar to Munster."

Up front, Scotland prop Craig Smith returned to first team duties with a bang; his bullocking charges up the pitch were blended in with some hard-nosed defensive work.

As a result, Robinson singled the front rower out for recognition after the match and praised the 29-year-old's industry in the Welsh mud.

He said: I thought Craig Smith also came through well today. He had to work hard over 80 minutes which is something he hadn't done for along time, so that was good."