Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh Rugby, Sat, 30/01/2016 - 17:15

A win this evening could have put then-third-placed Edinburgh top of the Guinness PRO12 table, going into next week’s short break, however a scrappy affair in the Welsh capital saw Edinburgh fortunate to leave with a losing bonus point to keep them in the top four.

Head coach Alan Solomons said: “We made far too many errors, we couldn’t build momentum because after two or three phases we coughed up the ball. There’s no excuse for it.

“We were unable to hold onto the ball, we also lacked territory in the second half. The only silver lining was that we got the losing bonus point.

“At 10-3 we had a real opportunity in the second half and we just didn’t take it. We’re all very disappointed with the way we played tonight

The home side came out of the blocks at pace, their first foray into attack out wide putting Dan Fish over in the corner, the extras added by Rhys Patchell to make it 7-0 after two minutes.

Edinburgh retaliated with a break up the wing but were pinged for a knock-on, Cardiff’s ensuing run looking like another five-pointer until winger Tom Brown repeated his 1872 heroics by bundling him into touch – earning a telling off from the ref.

With the advantage, the home side mounted another wave of attack and no 8 Manoa Vosawai looked to have crossed but a double movement discounted any possible score. Cardiff had earned another chance to kick for the sticks and Patchell increased the lead to 10-0 after 17 minutes.

A chip to the corner by stand-off Burleigh ended in a penalty opportunity for Edinburgh, chipped neatly over the bar by scrum half Nathan Fowles after 22 minutes. That score was to mark the last points in the match. According to the PRO12 statisticians, 58 minutes without a point – only three games in the league’s history have gone longer without a score. Not the record we hoped to challenge this evening.

Despite repeated waves of attack and some promising breaks curtailed by loose passes and mistakes at the breakdown – and what seemed like a sure Cardiff penalty which pinged off the uprights into Andries Strauss’ hands – things remained the same until half time.

With the wind behind them and the chance to overtake the home side, Edinburgh came out for the second half at pace but weren’t able to capitalise on their initial enthusiasm. Strauss was then helped off the pitch after a leg injury, replaced by Will Helu.

The referee then took a close look at a block on flanker Jamie Ritchie, resulting in a penalty advantage which Edinburgh kicked to the corner. The resulting lineout gave Edinburgh another option to even the score but again mistakes prevailed, the ball was turned over and cleared to touch.

Approaching 55 minutes prop Rory Sutherland was shown a yellow card for trying to slow down a quick Cardiff tap-penalty however despite being a man down didn’t concede any more points as Patchell missed another penalty.

Ten minutes later the home side had a second try disallowed as Patchell crossed in the corner but the TMO ruled it out for having a foot in touch.

With five minutes to go, good work from Burleigh and flanker Watson took ball up to the opposition 22. A break from a rolling maul once again held promise but progress was halted again through slip-ups at the breakdown, the whistle went and 10-3 it remained.

Team lineups

Cardiff Blues
Edinburgh Rugby

Backs

15 Dan Fish
14 Blaine Scully
13 Rey Lee-Lo
12 Gavin Evans
11 Aled Summerhill
10 Rhys Patchell
9 Tavis Knoyle

Backs

Forwards

1 Thomas Davies
2 Matthew Rees
3 Salesi Ma'afu
4 Jarrad Hoeata
5 James Down
6 Ellis Jenkins
7 Josh Navidi
8 Manoa Vosawai

Substitutes

16 Ethan Lewis
17 Bradley Thyer
18 Dillon Lewis
19 Macauley Cook
20 Jevon Groves
21 Tomos Williams
22 Jarrod Evans
23 Elis-Wyn Benham
Man of the match: 
Manoa Vosawai

GUINNESS PRO12 2015/16 table

PosTeamPWLDPts
1Leinster 22166073
2Connacht 22157073
3Glasgow Warriors22147172
4Ulster22148069
5Munster22139063
6Scarlets22148063
7Cardiff Blues221111056
8Ospreys221110155
9Edinburgh Rugby221111054
10Dragons Rugby22418026
11Zebre22517024
12Benetton Treviso22319020