Taylor stakes Scotland claim as Gunners shoot down Leinster

Edinburgh 41 Leinster 33

The giant number eight, making his first Celtic League appearance for a year, notched one of seven scores to help revived Edinburgh chalk up their fourth straight win.

Taylor could now find himself thrust back into Six Nations action in next week’s wooden spoon clash with Italy.

Power prop Ally Dickinson also grabbed a try double in a scintillating attacking display by Frank Hadden’s fired-up troops before a late Leinster rally set up a nervy climax.

Despite dominating the early stages, Edinburgh enjoyed a reprieve in 14 minutes when David Holwell failed to slot his 16th Celtic League kick on the trot from in front of the posts.

Instead the deadlock was broken at the other end when Dickinson plunged over near the right corner.

Brendan Laney failed to convert but Edinburgh continued to pile forward and the pressure paid off again in 32 minutes when Taylor seized on a loose Leinster lineout to score. This time Laney stretched the lead but it was cut moments later when Kieran Lewis darted over and Holwell converted.

The home side appeared to be in easy street when they pounced with a further two tries before the break.

Derrick Lee completed a slick passing move to score in the corner before Phil Godman’s touchdown, converted by Laney, gave Todd Blackadder’s men a 17-point cushion.

But Guy Easterby handed Leinster a lifeline on the stroke of half-time when he nipped in under the posts to give Holwell an easy conversion.

And the Gunners were stunned again on the restart when David Blaney pinched possession and Christian Warner outpaced the home defence to touch down Holwell’s chip kick. The stand-off’s conversion reduced the leeway to just five points to have Edinburgh reeling.

But, just when they looked like caving in, the Gunners enjoyed a slice of luck when Marcus Di Rollo sprinted home from halfway for a vital interception try.

Simon Webster then boosted his hopes of a Scotland call-up with a sizzling score in the corner.

Dickinson doubled his tally moments later before Warner added his own second, converted by Holwell.

Holwell then set up a thrilling conclusion by converting his own try with six minutes remaining but the home side withstood fierce Irish pressure.

Edinburgh scorers: Tries: Dickinson 2, Taylor, Lee, Godman, Di Rollo, Webster. Cons: Laney 3.

EDINBURGH: Lee, Pyke, Di Rollo, Laney, Webster, Godman, Blair, Dickinson, Hall, Smith, Hines, Kellock, Blackadder, Taylor, S. Cross.

Replacements: Joiner for Lee (40), Dewey for Di Rollo (73), Wharakura for Dickinson (67), Kelly for Hall (64), Pringle for Blackadder (67).

Leinster scorers: Tries: Lewis, Easterby, Warner 2, Holwell. Cons: Holwell 4.

LEINSTER: Hewitt, McWeeney, Warner, Quinlan, Lewis, Holwell, Easterby, Lyne, D. Blaney, Nebbett, Costello, Gissing, Potts, Miller, Jennings.

Replacements: McAllister for Quinlan (40), O’Riordan for Easterby (71), G. Hickie for D. Blaney (57), Coyle for Nebbett (29), McCullen for Costello (71), Dillon for Potts (27).

Referee: S Dickinson (Australia).

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