Newport Gwent Dragons vs Edinburgh Rugby, Sun, 27/03/2016 - 14:30

Newport Gwent Dragons
15 - 16
Full time
Edinburgh Rugby
Sunday, 27 March, 2016 - 14:30 |

In challenging conditions, underfoot and thanks to the stiff breeze, Edinburgh breathed life into hopes of a top six finish with the narrowest of wins away to Dragons at Rodney Parade.

A partisan home crowd did their best to see their team through but a try from Hamish Watson with the extra points kicked by Blair Kinghorn and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, were just enough to make it 16-15 to the black and red army who now sit in seventh spot, with four games left in the league.

Head coach Alan Solomons said: “We really made it difficult for ourselves. There were some defensive lapses, we made critical errors but the important thing was that we hung in there and got the win.

“Nobody who comes here gets an easy game, it’s not an easy ground to come to.

“We’ve struggled over the Six Nations, without a doubt. We had five of our leaders, our big guys out but that’s also enabled our youngsters to get experience they perhaps wouldn’t have got which will stand them in good stead for next season.

“We’re such a tight group - everyone wants us to do well, wants the club to do well.”

It was a nervy opening twenty minutes with Edinburgh piling on the pressure and making mistakes in equal measure until it the home side impinged at the breakdown and gave the visitors a chance to put the first points on the board. Full back Blair Kinghorn stepped up to the mark to strike the long-range effort - from just inside his own half - and saw it sweetly between the uprights.

With heads and tails up, Edinburgh continued to press for the line. Five minutes later Burleigh drew in two Welsh defenders to get the ball out to centre Michael Allen and into the hands of flanker Hamish Watson who scrabbled courageously towards the whitewash, dotting down just short of the line as a posse of Dragons’ defenders held on to him for grim death.

Edinburgh launched phase after phase of attack but were denied by the home side, and camped in their 22 for the next five minutes, eventually forcing Dragons to infringe at the set-piece and give Hidalgo-Clyne the chance to add another three points, which he did on the half hour.

Buoyed by the 6-0 lead, winger Tom Brown nearly pulled off an intercept on halfway, two minutes later but referee Clancy deemed the ball had been knocked on and set the scrum. Dragons broke from the back with winger Hallam Amos bundled into touch by centre Sam Beard in the corner, forcing an Edinburgh lineout.

Dragons looked to be on the scoresheet through a break from Amos but he was adjusted to have a foot in touch and Edinburgh cleared their line.

Into the final minutes of the half and Edinburgh lead was halved when penalised for coming in at the side of a ruck, allowing the home side to add an easy three points through Dorian Jones. This was immediately cancelled out, however, with the last phase of the half

HT Edinburgh 9 - 3 Dragons

After clearly girding their loins over the break, Dragons game out all guns firing at the start of the second half.

Within two minutes winger Hallam Amos collected an offload from Jones and got the pace over Jamie Ritchie to cross the whitewash, stand-off Jones converting  to put the home side ahead for the first time.

Edinburgh swiftly cancelled out the lead minutes later however. Awarded the penalty, Blair Kinghorn showed his boot again with a whopping kick to take the ball 5m from the line. After being denied a score in the first half, it was Hamish Watson who worked his way over from a driving maul to dot down. Hidalgo-Clyne's conversion made it 16-10 to Edinburgh.

The capital club had an opportunity to extend the lead but another long-range penalty attempt from Kinghorn just came up short. A subsequent break from Sam Beard showed promise but Edinburgh were again penalised.

With the visitors thwarted on a number on occasions, Dragons saw their chance and moved up a gear, Amos taking off again to score in the corner after an offload from man of the match Faletau. Jones failed to convert the score this time, however.

Leading by a single point (16-15) going into the last 20 minutes, Hidalgo-Clyne could have edged Edinburgh further ahead - and put his personal points tally over the 300 mark - but missed a penalty attempt soon after, and did the same again with ten minutes on the clock.

Substitutes Magnus Bradbury, Stuart McInally and Rory Sutherland made their mark in the final 15 minutes, successfully repelling the Dragons’ attack time and again. With five minutes to go, another Kinghorn kick to the corner ensured the action remained in the Dragons’ 22 and with the home side knocking-on as the clock turned red, Edinburgh took the points with the slimmest of margins.

The capital club have a five-day turnaround in preparation for Friday’s (1 April) home fixture against Zebre at BT Murrayfield (k/o 7.35). Tickets are available online or from the Ticket Centre at BT Murrayfield.

Team lineups

Newport Gwent Dragons
Edinburgh Rugby

Backs

15 Carl Meyer
14 Ashton Hewitt
13 Tyler Morgan
12 Adam Warren
11 Hallam Amos
10 Dorian Jones
9 Sarel Pretorius

Forwards

1 Phil Price
2 Thomas Rhys Thomas
3 Brock Harris
4 Cory Hill
5 Rynard Landman
6 Lewis Evans
7 Nic Cudd
8 Taulupe Faletau

Substitutes

16 Hugh Gustafson
17 Boris Stankovich
18 Lloyd Fairbrother
19 Matthew Screech
20 Ed Jackson
21 Charlie Davies
22 Angus O'Brien
23 Adam Hughes
Man of the match: 
Taulupe Faletau

GUINNESS PRO12 2015/16 table

PosTeamPWLDPts
1Leinster 22166073
2Connacht 22157073
3Glasgow Warriors22147172
4Ulster22148069
5Munster22139063
6Scarlets22148063
7Cardiff Blues221111056
8Ospreys221110155
9Edinburgh Rugby221111054
10Newport Gwent Dragons22418026
11Zebre22517024
12Benetton Treviso22319020

GUINNESS PRO12 2015/16 latest results

Leinster 50 v 19 Benetton Treviso
Munster 31 v 15 Scarlets
Ospreys 26 v 46 Ulster
Zebre 47 v 22 Newport Gwent Dragons
Connacht 14 v 7 Glasgow Warriors