Edinburgh Rugby vs Ospreys, Fri, 23/11/2012 - 19:05

Edinburgh Rugby head coach Michael Bradley was delighted with his side’s performance as they got back to winning ways with a victory over defending RaboDirect PRO12 champions Ospreys at Murrayfield this evening (23-13).

Bradley said: “We needed a win as quick as possible and, for 80 minutes, the guys toughed it out.

"Ospreys came here on the back of five successive wins, and we needed to get stuck in. The defence was magnificent.

“We seemed to be sharper today, when the ball went to deck there was an Edinburgh Rugby player there and that was great to see.

“The crowd were right with us at the end when we needed them and hopefully this will be a sea-change in terms of results.

"We got something back today- that was the challenge for the boys who took to the pitch tonight, and I’m pleased to say the players earned a well-deserved win.”

There was a scrappy start to proceedings in the capital, not helped by appalling weather conditions prior to kick-off, leading to a number of handling errors from both sides early on.

The first real chance of the game came through an interception from Ospreys stand-off Matthew Morgan, who raced up field, only to be denied by a sublime tap-tackle by Edinburgh Rugby scrum-half Richie Rees.

The home side conceded a penalty shortly after though, allowing Morgan to kick the visitors into the lead with 15 minutes played (0-3).

Michael Bradley’s side responded with hard running from James King and Stuart McInally, eventually leading to a penalty inside the Ospreys’ 22, allowing Gregor Hunter a chance to level the scores.

The Edinburgh Rugby stand-off duly kicked the three-pointer, levelling the scores just after the end of the first quarter.

A ten-minute spell of pressure from the defending champions ensued, with Eli Walker and George Stowers making inroads into the Edinburgh Rugby defence. They were eventually rewarded with another penalty from stand-off Morgan (3-6).

Then, from nowhere, came the game's first try.

A well-worked offload from Hunter allowed firstly Dougie Fife and subsequently Richie Rees to break down the touchline, before offloading inside to prop Willem Nel, who darted over (8-6).

The Welshmen replied and it was that man Morgan who dotted down as the ball was worked wide following a succession of phases on the Edinburgh Rugby line.

The stand-off added the conversion to his try, giving the Welsh side the lead once more (8-13).

HALF-TIME: Edinburgh Rugby 8-13 Ospreys

With Ospreys prop Owen Williams sent to the sin-bin after a succession of scrum penalties, Hunter further reduced the deficit with another penalty shortly after the resumption (11-13).

The Edinburgh Rugby pack continued to dominate at the scrum. Another penalty allowed Hunter to kick the home side into the lead (14-13).

The home fans were given more to cheer when a break by Greig Tonks was followed by a burst from lock Perry Parker who was had an impressive evening.

Referee David Wilkinson again penalised Ospreys for offside in the midfield, and Hunter punished the indiscretion with another three-points (17-13).

Another Hunter penalty, his fifth of the evening, pushed the lead out further, following great work from Sep Visser and Fife, causing all manner of problems for the visitors in midfield (20-13).

With open-side flanker Sam Lewis pinged as second Osprey of the evening to spend time in the sin-bin, and having survived a charge-down scare from Matthew Morgan, the home side sensed the game was for the taking.

After another dominant display at scrum-time, Hunter kicked another penalty to cap an impressive performance for the stand-off, as he sealed the win and in doing so, denied Ospreys a losing bonus point.

Edinburgh Rugby: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Sep Visser, 13 Dougie Fife, 12 James King, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Gregor Hunter, 9 Richie Rees; 1 John Yapp, 2 Ross Ford, 3 Willem Nel, 4 Perry Parker, 5 Izak Van Der Westhuizen, 6 Sean Cox (captain), 7 Roddy Grant, 8 Stuart McInally
Replacements: 16 Alun Walker (on for Ford, 50’), 17 Allan Jacobsen (on for Yapp 66’), 18 Lewis Niven, 19 Robert McAlpine, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Chris Leck, 22 John Houston (on for King, 25’), 23 Mike Penn

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Tom Isaacs, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Rhys Webb; 1 Ryan Bevington, 2 Scott Baldwin, 3 Owen Williams, 4 Lloyd Peers, 5 James King, 6 George Stowers, 7 Sam Lewis, 8 Joe Bearman (captain)
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dwyer, 17 Duncan Jones (on for Bevington, 55’), 18 Nicky Thomas, 19 Ian Gough (on for Peers, 50’) 20 Morgan Allan (on for Stowers, 64’), 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Ross Jones (on for Isaacs, 64’)

Attendance: 3,128
RaboDirect PRO12 man of the match: Sean Cox

Team lineups

Edinburgh Rugby