Edinburgh Rugby vs Scarlets, Fri, 26/10/2012 - 19:35

Visiting Welshmen Llanelli Scarlets snatched victory at the death to edge an enthralling encounter at Murrayfield tonight (28-29).

Two tries from Welsh wing George North and one each from Nick Reynolds and Gareth Davies gave the men in red a fruitful start though try from Tim Visser and stnd-off Harry Leonard's persistence with the boot kept the lead too'ing and fro'ing throughout.

Leonard, who finished with a 23-point haul, kept the hosts in the game but it was his opposite number, Wales international Rhys Priestland who had the last say with the 79th-minute.

Edinburgh Rugby head coach, Michael Braldey, said: "We're obviously very disappointed with the defeat but we made far too many missed tackles.

"We must learn to keep possession on the opposition for the full 80 minutes, particularly when they're down to 14 men.

"We certainly could have won that game but we made it too easy for them in the first half. We can't afford to give away soft tries and expect to win the match, no matter how good you think you are in other areas."

The visitors started the match brightly, with breaks from prop Samson Lee and scrum-half Gareth Davies leading to an overlap on the nears-side, but the ball was knocked on and the home side survived an early scare.

Michael Bradley’s charges responded with a fine flowing move, with carries from Houston and Nel allowing try machine Tim Visser the opportunity to power his way under the sticks for his ninth try of the season.

Stand-off Harry Leonard added the conversion from in front of the sticks and the hosts were on the board for the first time in a difficult fortnight (7-0).

However the visitors responded with a try from Wales internationalist George North, who followed up a powerfully driven line-out with a pick-and-go from short range to score.

Aled Thomas added the extras to tie the game before Leonard edged Edinburgh back into the lead as the first quarter drew to a close.

The men from west Wales responded with their second try of the evening, as a well-worked move from scrum-half Davies allowed Nick Reynolds a sprint to the line for the try, despite the best efforts of the covering Greig Tonks. Thomas again converted and the lead changed hands once more (10-14).

Leonard’s superb form with the boot continued as he reduced the deficit with a sweetly struck penalty from long-range, before another penalty put the home side ahead after half an hour (16-14).

However, the ebb and flow of the match continued with another Scarlets try, and it was North again on the score sheet after he broke through a series of would-be tacklers to score. (16-19)

The referee’s whistle was beginning to dominate the match, and he penalised the visitors again at the breakdown allowing Leonard to ontinue his 100% record from the tee to tie the scores with five minutes of the first half remaining (19-19).

Disaster struck on the stroke of the interval.

Ross Rennie, whose breakdown work was exceptional thorughout, ripped the ball free on the 5m line but, as the ball squirted loose it was snatched up by Davies to scamper over from close range and clinch the try bonus for the Welshmen.

: Edinburgh Rugby 19-26 Scarlets

The second period began with an opportunity for Visser as Matt Scott chipped through, but full-back Liam Williams prevented the Scotland winger and dotted down behind the line.

Harry Leonard failed with a long-range penalty before the referee’s patience with the visitors wore off, and scrum-half Davies found himself in the sin-bin.

Another Scarlets penalty soon followed, and Leonard was back on song as he kicked his fifth and sixth penalties to reduce the gap in a so-far scoreless half for the Scarlets (25-26).

Great work from the home pack, and a half charge-down from David Denton allowed Leonard another penalty chance after 65 minutes and, true to form, the stand-off duly kicked Michael Bradley’s men into the lead with 15 minutes to play (28-26).

Indiscipline again was an issue, with both sides giving away penalties at the breakdown before referee Marius Mitrea penalised the home side at the ruck, allowing Priestland a chance to win the game with less than two minutes left (28-29).

The Welshman knocked over the penalty, and it was defeat for the hosts, despite the best efforts of the pack to win field position, and gain a potential match-winning score.

: Edinburgh Rugby 28-29 Scarlets

Edinburgh Rugby: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Matt Scott, 12 John Houston, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Chris Leck; 1 John Yapp, 2 Andy Titterrell, 3 Willem Nel, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 5 Sean Cox (captain), 6 David Denton, 7 Ross Rennie, 8 Stuart McInally
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Alex Allan, 19 Rob McAlpine, 20 Roddy Grant, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Dougie Fife, 23 Tom Brown

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Nick Reynolds, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Morgan Stoddart, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Phil John, 2 Matthew Rees, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Sione Timani, 5 Tomas Vallejos, 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 Jonathan Edwards, 8 Rob McCusker (captain)
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens (on for Rees 71’), 17 Shaun Hopkins (on for John 63’), 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Richard Kelly (on for Vallejos 75’), 20 Kieran Murphy (on for McCusker 71’), 21 Aled Davies, 22 Rhys Preistland (on for Thomas 55’), 23 Gareth Owen (on for L. Williams 63’)
Attendance: 3754
RaboDirect Man of the Match: Harry Leonard

Team lineups

Edinburgh Rugby