Edinburgh (6) 16-17 (14) Cardiff

Netani Talei heads into contactThe agony continued for Edinburgh Rugby supporters in the RaboDirect PRO 12 at Murrayfield tonight.

Seeking their first win since the beginning of December their charges could not close out a second-half resurgence and lacked composure at the death to capture that elusive win.

Edinburgh scrummed aggressively and did well to recover from a 6-14 half-time deficit.

Missed kicks were a factor in the defeat, too, especially since Cardiff's kicker, only miscued with a touchline conversion.

Edinburgh, seeking the league double over their visitors, having won in the Welsh capital earlier in the season, had the first chance for points but Gregor Hunter was just off target from long range in the second minute.

His opposite number Rhys Patchell made no such error in the fifth minute landing his first success from closer range on the right and the visitors had the lead, which he doubled in the 13th minute from similar range (0-6).

Hunter endured a second penalty miss but Edinburgh, sparked by Nick De Luca and Geoff Cross in unison, at last got a foothold in the Cardiff 22 only for David Denton to fire a wide pass beyond Dougie Fife when patience might have proved more profitable.

A scrum collapse, hinting at the dominance that Edinburgh were to enjoy at this phase, saw Hunter handed his third opportunity and this time he was on target but, rom the kick-off, Cardiff frustratingly secured possession and, almost at once, Patchell popped over a penalty (3-9).

Hunter eyed up the posts again just passed the half hour after a scrum surge from Edinburgh but the radar again blipped before he found the spot with a penalty won by the vigour of Denton's chase in pursuit of a kick from deep (6-9).

Defensive heroics were required from Lee Jones as Cardiff probed to the right of the posts but a score was not long delayed as they attacked off a clearance kick for Patchell to make a long lateral run before offloading to Michael Patterson_who dotted down for the game's first try moments from the interval.

HALF-TIME: Edinburgh Rugby 6-14 Cardiff Blues

De Luca turned creator again eight minutes into the second half, releasing Jones on the left and ball was eventually worked right for Stuart McInally and Dougie Fife to combine.

The winger was well policed by the Cardiff defence but the home forwards arrived with real purpose for sub Willem Nel to gather, bulldoze and birl over for the try.

Hunter converted and the game was well and truly on (13-14).

On 57 minutes Edinburgh's scrum again was strong and solid and Cardiff were penalised. Harry Leonard, on the field for two minutes, goaled to give Edinburgh the lead for the first time and encourage the crowd into voice (16-14).

Stuart McInally threatened on the right but Edinburgh were turned over in the Cardiff 22 enabling the visitors to escape and, when Denton was penalised for being slow to roll away at breakdown, Patchell restored a slender lead for Cardiff (16-17)

Edinburgh huffed and puffed in the closing stages, dominating a series of scrums in the visitor's 22, but their inability to win two of their own lineouts in the final minutes cost them the momentum and the chance to snatch the match.

FULL-TIME: Edinburgh Rugby 16-17 Cardiff Blues

Edinburgh Rugby: Greig Tonks; Dougie Fife, Nick De Luca, Ben Atiga, Lee Jones; Gregor Hunter, Richie Rees; John Yapp, Stevie Lawrie captain, Geoff Cross, Grant Gilchrist, Izak Van Der Westhuizen, David Denton, Stuart McInally, Netani Talei. Subs: Andy Titterrell for Lawrie (67 mins), Allan Jacobsen for Yapp (67 mins), Willem Nel for Cross (40 mins), Sean Cox for Gilchrist (22 mins), Hamish Watson for Van der Westhuizen (40 mins), Chris Leck, Harry Leonard for Hunter (55 mins) and Tom Brown for Atiga (71 mins).

Cardiff Blues: Jason Tovey; Owen Williams; Richard Smith, Gavin Evans captain, Harry Robinson; Rhys Patchell, Lewis Jones; Fan Filise, Mark Breeze, Scott Andrews, Michael Patterson, James Down, Josh Navidi, Tom Young and Robin Copeland. Subs: Kristian Dacey for Breeze (66 mins), Sam Hobbs for Filise (58 mins), Benoit Borrust for Andrews (58 mins), Lou Reed for Young (55 mins) Andries Pretorious for Copeland (55 mins), Alex Walker for Jones (66 mins) , Gareth Davies and Chris Czekaj for Tovey (60 mins).

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Attendance: 3,583.
RaboDirect PRO 12 Man of the Match: Rhys Patchell (Cardiff Blues)

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