Edinburgh Rugby vs Ulster, Fri, 16/10/2015 - 19:45

So, have Edinburgh supporters bitten down to the cuticles yet or for those of you watching on the small screen, you can come out from behind the settee now.

Another Edinburgh win – four league wins from four on top of the two pre-season successes – another gritty performance with a nailbiting final few minutes.

Head coach Alan Solomons said: “We said we’re going to be physical tonight but we made the point beforehand that discipline had to be key. We made a rod for our own back, in parts, but that was a courageous performance, that’s a good win for us.

“We’ve now beaten Ospreys, Leinster and Ulster who are all top four or five teams."

A man of the match performance from Hamish Watson, who’d have been playing out of his skin if it hadn’t been so chilly, topped off an evening of Solomons seeing his young Scottish players cut the mustard.

“What’s great for me is to see young Scottish guys like Hamish, Deano [Chris Dean] and Damien [Hoyland] playing so well.”

Just hours before kick-off, prop Rory Sutherland was called up to the Scotland squad - precipitating a hasty shuffle in the pack - about which Solomons could barely contain his delight.

He said: “I’m over the moon for Rory - that’s another young Scottish guy who may now play for the national side. We’ve had Ben Toolis, Watson, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and now him - to get four young players into the national team over recent months is fantastic.”

The match began at pace with an early lead, on five minutes, after Ulster were pinged for coming in at the side and fullback Greig Tonks kicked the game's first points.

Five minutes later prop Alan Dell - a late replacement from the bench for Rory Sutherland - went off for a head injury assessment to be replaced by late call-up to the bench Grant Shiells.

The backs were firing on all cylinders, however, at this point with Tonks and winger Tom Brown working well to break down the east stand wing, the visitors were pinged at the resulting breakdown to herald a second penalty opportunity for Tonks who slotted the kick to put Edinburgh into a 6-0 lead at just under 20 minutes.

Ulster then won a penalty that stand-off Peter Nelson thumped through the uprights for their first points, a 6-3 score that held until half time.
There was a debut for new signing Will Helu, subbed on at half time for Chris Dean, but the opening period of the second half saw Edinburgh lose some shape and play become scrappy.

Ulster pounced on the advantage and after a few threatening breaks flanker Sean Reidy stretched over the line, Nelson with the conversion to put them 10-6 ahead after 45 minutes.

Just under ten minutes later it was Helu who sparked the retaliation, bursting past the Ulster defence with the offload to Damien Hoyland. Watson was in his shadow to receive ball and cross, the score converted by Tonks.

Another successful kick from Tonks stretched the lead to 16-10 but Edinburgh were anything but home and dry.

Ulster pressed the line repeatedly, going into the closing minutes however Watson was on fire and was the saviour of many a nailbiting moment as the clock ticked down, over 80 minutes, Ulster lost ball and that was that.

 The man of the moment was quick to share the plaudits, however.

Watson said: “It’s great to have Nasi in the squad, he’s a great player – we saw that in Treviso – and I think he’s going to be really good at setting boys up for tries, Will Helu too.

“After this we now have another fifteen games on the bounce. We’ll have to take one game at a time and try to keep this run going, see what happens.”

WATCH Hamish Watson reaction post match and build-up to the day

Team lineups

Edinburgh Rugby
Ulster

Backs

Backs

15 Louis Ludik
14 Craig Gilroy
13 Sammy Arnold
12 Stuart McCloskey
11 Andrew Trimble
10 Peter Nelson
9 Paul Marshall

Forwards

1 Callum Black
2 Rob Herring
3 Wiehahn Herbst
4 Dan Tuohy
5 Franco van der Merwe
6 Roger Wilson
7 Nick Williams
8 Sean Reidy

Substitutes

Substitutes

16 John Andrew
17 Andrew Warwick
18 Bronson Ross
19 Lewis Stevenson
20 Willie Faloon
21 David Shanahan
22 Ian Humphreys
23 Rory Schole
Attendance: 
4 324
Man of the match: 
Hamish Watson

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