Edinburgh Rugby vs Scarlets, Sun, 28/02/2016 - 14:05

Edinburgh Rugby fought back from a seven-point half-time deficit to secure a crucial 24-23 victory over Scarlets in today’s PRO12 clash at BT Murrayfield. 

Scarlets were superior in terms of tries, crossing the line on three occasions, yet tries from Phil Burleigh and Ben Toolis, and 14 points from the boot of Blair Kinghorn, was enough to secure the win and avenge the late defeat away to Scarlets just a fortnight ago.

The capital outfit continue to sit in fifth place, now on 42 points; four points behind fourth place Ulster, and eight points adrift of top of the table Connacht, who visit BT Murrayfield in the next round of proceedings on Friday (4 March).

Run of play

A bright start from Edinburgh allowed Blair Kinghorn to give Edinburgh an early lead with a long-range penalty strike in the fourth minute, yet Scarlets replied just four minutes later with a penalty of their own from stand-off Aled Thomas (3-3).

Edinburgh continued show some real attacking intent in the opening exchanges, and their breakthrough came in the 11th minute when Phil Burleigh sniped from the base of the ruck and beat the scrambling defence to touch down for a superb individual score. Kinghorn added the extras to give his side a 10-3 lead.

The lead was short lived, however, as Thomas knocked over a second penalty in the 14th minute to close the gap to four points, before a handling error in midfield from back-row Cornell Du Preez lended Scarlets captain Hadleigh Parks an easy run in for a try. Thomas skewed the fairly simple conversion and Scarlets led by a point (10-11).

Kinghorn regained the lead with another pin-point strike from the tee as the game entered the second quarter, and Thomas’ inaccuracies continued to prove costly as another chance to put his side in-front went begging with a missed penalty in the 25th minute (13-11).

However, the stand-off’s misdemeanours from the tee didn’t reflect his side’s overall attacking performance. Man-of-the-match James Davies exploited a hole in the Edinburgh defence to score and put his side in-front in the 28th minute, before wing Steffan Davies added another try as half-time approached.

Thomas converted the latter to give Scarlets a 21-13 lead with four minutes left in the half, before Kinghorn slotted his third penalty of the day on the stroke of half-time to reduce the deficit to seven points.

Half-time: Edinburgh Rugby 16 – 23 Scarlets

Edinburgh made one change at the break as Simon Berghan replaced John Andress in the front-row.

Influnetial full-back Kinghorn continued to impress with the boot adding another penalty in the 42nd minute to take Edinburgh to within four points of their opposition (19-23).

It looked as though Phil Burleigh had secured a brace soon after when he again battled over the whitewash, yet, after referring to the TMO for a second look, referee Dudley Phillips disallowed the try, sighting a double movement from the Edinburgh stand-off as the reason.

 Head Coach Alan Solmons decided to ring the changes around the 60 minute mark, as Chris Dean replaced Michael Allen in the backs, and George Turner, Magnus Bradbury and Alex Toolis came on for Neil Cochrane, Cornell Du Preez and Anton Bresler in the pack.

The replacements brought a real energy in coming off the bench, which seemed to rejuvenate Edinburgh, following a flat period of the game.

Following the substitutions, it didn’t take long for Edinburgh to snatch the lead back as Ben Toolis crashed over the line to score, following a patient and controlled build-up from the men in black and red. 

Kinghorn’s attempt at goal bounced back off the post, yet Edinburgh had a one-point lead going into the final ten minutes of the match (24-23).

Berghan was penalised for a ruck infringement with just eight minutes left on the clock, yet, Thomas’ poor day from the boot continued as he missed the crucial penalty from 40 metres out, keeping Edinburgh’s lead intact.

Scarlets controlled possession in the final minutes, yet the home side maintained their discipline and stayed strong in defence to hold out the welsh outfit’s attempt at snatching the victory.

Full-time: Edinburgh Rugby 24 – 23 Scarlets

Team lineups

Edinburgh Rugby
Scarlets

Backs

15 Michael Collins
14 Gareth Owen
13 Regan Kings
12 Hadleigh Parkes
11 Steffan Evans
10 Aled Thomas
9 Aled Davies

Forwards

1 Phil John
2 Kirby Myhill
3 Peter Edwards
4 George Earle
5 David Bulbring
6 Maselino Paulino
7 James Davies
8 Morgan Allen

Substitutes

16 Ryan Elias
17 Dylan Evans
18 Rhodri Jones
19 Rory Pitman
20 Will Boyde
21 Rhodri Williams
22 Dan Jones
23 Michael Tagicabau

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