Edinburgh Rugby vs London Irish, Fri, 18/12/2015 - 19:30

Edinburgh fought hard to redeem themselves after a disappointing loss last weekend, to secure an 18-15 win against London Irish at BT Murrayfield tonight.  

Head coach Alan Solomons said: "The important thing was that we won the match particularly after last week and under difficult circumstances - we lost Anton Bresler so we've now got our top four locks out, we lost Matt Scott and Andries Strauss picked up an injury in the second half so I thought we did well to win that game.

"We made errors when we had opportunities and there were one or two occasions - when Damien [Hoyland] had that run down the wing and was forced into touch, for example - where we nearly got over.

"Our focus is now on Glasgow and we'll re-focus on the European competition when we play Agen at home - for the moment our focus is on the 1872 Scottish Cup."

The visitors started off strongly with Gerard Ellis scoring the first try of the game within ten minutes.

Edinburgh looked likely to retaliate when Burleigh made a break but a knock-on denied Edinburgh their first try.

Fifteen minutes into the game and Edinburgh’s luck changed when they were awarded a penalty on London Irish’s 5m line. Taken quickly, Edinburgh hoped to score but the referee disallowed the play. Determined, Edinburgh drove hard in the maul from the lineout and a quick offload to winger Tom Brown saw Edinburgh score their first try. The successful conversion from scrum half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne then put the hosts ahead by two points.

Penalties from Hidalgo-Clyne either side of one from London Irish’s Shane Geraghty, put the score at 13-8. Then a break from Irish threatened to level things, if not for a class tap tackle from centre Mike Allen to deny the visitors inches from the whitewash, just before half time – a passage of play which also heralded the departure for the rest of the match of lock Anton Bresler.

Brown looked to add to the scoreboard once again at the beginning of the second half with a strong run but, with no support, the move came to nothing. London Irish then had the benefit of a turnover and attacked hard into Edinburgh’s 22.

Approaching 60 minutes Tom Smallbone drove to the line to score another try for Irish, equalling the spoils at 13-13. A successful conversion from Geraghty put London Irish into the lead (13-15).

On the front foot, the visitors were then sent reeling with a counter-attack form the home side. A bruising passage of play courtesy of the pack forced a turnover, Hidalgo-Clyne put the legs on a break, out to Brown then Jack Cuthbert followed and only a desperate last-minute tackle stopped Damien Hoyland from scoring down the wing and into the corner.

However, from the resulting lineout, Edinburgh's pack drove on and flanker John Hardie touched down, the conversion wide. Despite a last-ditch surge from Irish, Edinburgh held on for the win (18-15). The positive outcome was exactly what Edinburgh were hoping for going in to the crucial 1872 Scottish Cup game on the 27December (BT Murrayfield, kick-off 3.05pm).

Team lineups

Edinburgh Rugby
London Irish

Backs

15 Topsy Ojo
14 Alex Lewington
13 Tom Fowlie
12 Johnny Williams
11 Andrew Fenby
10 Shane Geraghty
9 Darren Allinson

Forwards

1 Tom Court
2 Gerard Ellis
3 Ben Franks
4 Eoin Sheriff
5 Nic Rouse
6 Blair Cowan
7 Conor Gilsenan
8 Ofisa Treviranus

Substitutes

16 Jimmy Stevens
17 Tom Smallbone
18 Leo Halavatau
19 David Sisi
20 Joe Trayfoot
21 Scott Steele
22 Chris Noakes
23 Fergus Mulchrone
Attendance: 
3 551
Man of the match: 
Tom Brown

European Rugby Challenge Cup 2015/16 table

PosTeamPWLDPts
1Grenoble651022
2London Irish633017
3Edinburgh Rugby642017
4Agen60602