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RaboDirect PRO12: Paddy Jackson helps Ulster beat Edinburgh
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Paddy Jackson kicked Ulster to a 9-3 RaboDirect PRO12 victory over Edinburgh in the final match played on the Murrayfield turf before it is relaid.
Jackson slotted over two penalties in the first half and one in the second to leave Edinburgh with only a losing bonus point while Ulster climbed into second spot.
The rainy conditions were never going to allow flowing rugby and it was inevitable that the first points came from a penalty as a monster kick from Edinburgh No 10 Carl Bezuidenhout from halfway cleared the bar to take the home side into the lead after 14 minutes.
Ulster were having trouble with the sparky Edinburgh backs and their task became no easier after lock Iain Henderson collected a yellow card on 20 minutes, but Edinburgh were unable to take advantage.
Despite being a man short, Ulster muscled their way into kickable territory and, when Edinburgh were again penalised, Jackson had no difficulty in levelling the scores.
The game then developed into a midfield struggle with neither side getting the upper hand, but Edinburgh found themselves consistently frustrated as any momentum they tried to build was hindered by giving away frequent penalties.
With seven minutes left in the half, Jackson again had a penalty chance and his kick was good to give Ulster the lead. That advantage was almost increased by a third Jackson penalty attempt soon after, but it fell just short. Ulster went in 6-3 up having visited the Edinburgh 22 no more than three times.
The visitors started the second half brightly with Henderson, John Afoa and Roger Wilson taking play into the Edinburgh 22 and, from the almost inevitable penalty, Jackson added another three points to put Ulster 9-3 ahead.
The second half now replicated the first except that it was Ulster who dominated possession and territory with Edinburgh having to defend against remorseless attacks.
They withstood everything Ulster threw at them, however, with Roddy Grant, Cornell du Preeze and Grant Gilchrist performing heroically in defence.
The only respite came when, from a turnover, Nick De Luca slammed the ball deep into Ulster territory but the ball was eventually scrambled away.
As the final whistle loomed, Edinburgh finally strung some passes together, but they were forced to play too much rugby too far from the red zone.
And, to the surprise of no-one, a match which was dominated by the miserable conditions ended with Ulster kicking a penalty into touch.
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 6th March|
|19:35||Cardiff Blues vs Connacht|
|19:35||Glasgow Warriors vs Zebre|
|Saturday 7th March|
|14:40||Ospreys vs Munster|
|17:15||Scarlets vs Leinster|
|18:00||Treviso vs Edinburgh|
|Sunday 8th March|
|16:00||Dragons vs Ulster|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:35||Leinster vs Glasgow|
|19:35||Ulster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 28th March|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Zebre|
|14:40||Scarlets vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Munster vs Connacht|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Cardiff Blues|
|19:35||Benetton Treviso vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 11th April|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Munster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Scarlets|
|14:40||Connacht vs Ulster|
|Sunday 12th April|
|16:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Leinster|
|Friday 24th April|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Zebre|
|19:35||Ulster vs Leinster|
|Saturday 25th April|
|TBC||Munster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Connacht vs Glasgow|
|Saturday 9th May|
|TBC||Ulster vs Munster|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Connacht 53 - 5 Treviso|
|Zebre 23 - 17 Dragons|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 15 Edinburgh|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Munster 22 - 10 Glasgow Warriors|
|Friday 27th February|
|Ospreys 9 - 9 Leinster|
|Ulster 25 - 20 Scarlets|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|Dragons 25 - 30 Connacht|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Glasgow 19 - 16 Ospreys|
|Scarlets 25 - 25 Munster|
|Friday 20th February|
|Edinburgh 17 - 20 Ulster|
|Leinster 29 - 8 Zebre|
|Benetton Treviso 40 - 24 Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Leinster 14 - 16 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Zebre 10 - 54 Glasgow|
|Scarlets 32 - 14 Connacht|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Munster 33 - 16 Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 13th February|
|Edinburgh 24 - 16 Ospreys|
|Ulster 43 - 3 Benetton Treviso|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com