London Welsh vs Edinburgh Rugby, Sun, 14/12/2014 - 14:30

Two tries – from Dougie Fife and substitute Stuart McInally – plus four penalties from Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and a conversion from Greig Tonks, saw Edinburgh maintain their unbeaten record in Europe this season with a 24-6 win over London Welsh.

Still without a number of key players, due to injury, the visitors put in a solid performance, albeit coming away without the bonus point that has eluded their four out of four victories to date.

Head coach Alan Solomons said: “That spoke volumes for our strength in depth, with a number of key players missing.

“The breakdown was a little bit messy today but we did very well when down to 14 men [centre Strauss was yellow carded] and that was an important part of today’s win.

“London Welsh defended bravely throughout, I thought we were completely dominant in the second half and, over the 80 minutes, the scoreline is a fair reflection of the game.”

The visitors – led out by 50th cap Greig Tonks – had a nervy start, with the action swinging from one end to the other. Hidalgo-Clyne racked up a steady stream of points. In the front row, meanwhile, prop John Andress turned into John Un-dress, with three very public changes of shorts due to a persistent drawstring malfunction!

Dominant in the scrum, the visitors made a number of breaks from the set-piece but were thwarted either by a solid Welsh defence or slipped ball.

An infringement at the breakdown led to the first of three first-half penalties, on 18m, slotted by the scrum-half. Try-scrorer McInally dipped his toe into the game shortly after, coming on as temporary replacement for Coman who left the field for assessment after a knock.

Centre Andries Strauss was the recipient of a yellow card minutes later, for over-enthusiasm at the breakdown, causing McInally and his fellow back row, Roddy Grant, to work overtime. Save the yellow card penalty three points, slotted by Elder, Edinburgh didn’t ship any points when down to 14 men.

With Coman back on the field, McInally retired to the bench until called upon in the second half, and Hidalgo-Clyne slotted another three points just short of the half hour as Welsh were pinged at the breakdown.

A flurry of activity towards our try-line was thwarted by full back Jack Cuthbert and Tonks on the half-hour and as Strauss returned to the field moments later, prop Rory Sutherland left, following an ankle knock, to be replaced by Grant Shiells.

The home side were yellow carded for repeated infringements and Hidalgo-Clyne saw his third penalty between the uprights, making at 9-3 at half time.

Rolling mauls were the order of the day in the second half, much to the delight of the 3258 crowd, with Edinburgh adding the first points to the board in the second half, another penalty slotted by Hidalgo-Clyne. The lead was reduced moment later when Welsh were awarded a penalty – 12-6 after 50 minutes.

As Tomas Leonardi left the field, McInaly made his comeback and threw himself into the action.  Steamrollering through the opposition defence, the lock combo of Toolis and Bresler made inroads and good solid teamwork led to the first try, Cuthbert feeding the ball out to winger Dougie Fife for the score on 60m.

As everyone threw their weight behind the pack, the second try, which looked on for the best part of ten minutes, eventually came when Stuart McInally crossed on 77m, the conversion duly slotted by Tonks, the 24-6 score standing until full time.

Team lineups

London Welsh
Edinburgh Rugby

Backs

15 Elliot Kear
14 Chris Elder
13 Alan Awcock
12 Tom May
11 Nick Scott
10 Olly Barkley
9 Rob Lewis

Backs

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

Forwards

1 Eddie Aholelei
2 Nathan Morris
3 Taione Vea
4 Dean Schofield
5 James Down
6 Peter Browne
7 Carl Kirwin
8 Lachlan McCaffrey

Substitutes

16 Nathan Vella
17 Ricky Reeves
18 Ben Cooper
19 Matt Corker
20 Ben Pienaar
21 Paul Rowley
22 Piri Weepu
23 Nick Reynolds

Substitutes

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Attendance: 
3 258
Man of the match: 
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne