Edinburgh Rugby vs Cardiff Blues, Sat, 07/05/2016 - 15:00

A visibly demoralised Alan Solomons made no excuses for today’s loss, the defeat to Cardiff which ruled the side out of contention of a top six place and made any tortured arithmetic regarding points difference invalid.

He said: “I’m very disappointed with the way we played in that second half. It’s shocking. We payed a price for being poor.

“At three tries to one, we were clearly the better side and all we had to do was keep it up. We played stupid rugby - we had no territory, no possession and when that happens you pay a price.”

Despite losing captain Ross Ford during the warm-up to a calf injury, added to earlier call-off Chris Dean - their places taken by Stuart McInally/Neil Cochrane and Sam Beard respectively - Edinburgh came out firing on all cylinders.

In a move started off by Hamish Watson steaming through the Welsh pack, more yards were added by captain McInally with the ball out to Jason Tovey. A ball of black and red bodies crossed the line but after going upstairs, the ref ruled the covering tackle had put the relevant body into touch.

Minutes later, on the back of a lineout in our own half, a thumping hit from Brown halted progress. Damien Hoyland set off down the wing but was pulled back by the official for an infringement at the breakdown.

Third time and just after the 15 minute mark, however, the ball was fed out wide, no 8 Cornell Du Preez sucking in two Cardiff tacklers before offloading to Watson who sped over in the corner.

A wide angled conversion saw Tovey's attempt rebound off the posts however it was only a few minutes before another five points were added, the back row providing a superb platform for Matt Scott to pick and go from a ruck close to the whitewash to scamper over by the posts.

Tovey’s conversion sailed between the uprights to extend Edinburgh’s lead to 12-0.

Edinburgh successfully messed up much of Cardiff’s attacking promise though gave away too many penalties in the process, allowing the visitors to progress up the pitch with kicking from hand as opposed to taking the three-point options.

Eight minutes before the break, however, Cardiff’s threatened score came, eventual man of the match Rey Lee-Lo speeding across the whitewash, the try converted by Anscombe.

More forays into Blues territory showed Edinburgh still threatening before the break and with a minute on the clock, Matt Scott jigged through the 22, neatly chipping ahead to allow Tom Brown to put his body over the ball and claim the score.

With bizarre symmetry, and to his own amazement, Tovey's conversion hit the post in exactly the same way as his opening attempt though Edinburgh went in 17-7 to the good at the break.

If ever there was a game of two halves, this was it. The visitors kicked off with purpose driving for the line with Scott putting in a try-saving tackle. Cardiff came again and again as the home side looked to have run out of steam and at just over the hour mark a driving maul saw Dolan dot down, the conversion good to take the score to 17-14.

With fifteen minutes to go there was still all to play for but it was Cardiff who scored again, a loose ball scooped up by Fish offloaded to Smith to score, Anscombe’s conversion pulling Cardiff ahead 17-21.

Although Edinburgh came their senses with ten minutes on the clock it was to be too little too late. No bonus point, no win and a month place finish in the league. And a very tough pre-season ahead.

Team lineups

Edinburgh Rugby
Cardiff Blues

Backs

15 Dan Fish
14 Aled Summerhill
13 Garyn Smith
12 Rey Lee-Lo
11 Tom James
10 Gareth Anscombe
9 Lloyd Williams

Forwards

1 Gethin Jenkins
2 Matthew Rees
3 Taofa'ao Filise
4 Cam Dolan
5 James Down
6 Josh Turnbull
7 Ellis Jenkins
8 Josh Navidi

Substitutes

16 Kristian Dacey
17 Bradley Thyer
18 Scott Andrews
19 Lou Reed
20 Macauley Cook
21 Tomos Williams
22 Jarrod Evans
23 Gavin Evans
Attendance: 
4 962
Man of the match: 
Rey Lee-Lo

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