Ospreys vs Edinburgh Rugby, Fri, 31/08/2018 - 19:35

Ospreys
17 - 13
Full time
Edinburgh Rugby
Friday, 31 August, 2018 - 19:35 | Liberty Stadium

Edinburgh fell short in tonight’s Guinness PRO14 opener as George North scored two second-half tries, leaving Edinburgh to settle for a losing bonus-point.

Despite having a last minute to chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, Richard Cockerill’s side will be disappointed in their opening 80 minutes of the season.

A series of handling errors and turnovers overshadowed what was ultimately a turbid, defensive performance.

“Ospreys played some nice rugby, but it wasn’t a great game across the board,” said Cockerill.

“We made too many errors when we talked about controlling the ball and putting them under pressure. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that. I think those turnovers really cost us.

“I’m pleased that we fought hard and stayed in the game. We could have won it in end, but we probably got what we deserved.

“The players need to learn a lot quickly. We’ve got some homework to do and we need to put it into action.”

With four debutants in the starting XV to start the match, Edinburgh struggled to control the ebb and flow of the opening stages, however, as new boy Simon Hickey grew into the encounter, so did the capital side’s attack.

The Kiwi’s first half penalty made it 3-3 at the break, before his second-half strike made it 6-3 with 30 minutes to play.

Ospreys moved into another gear, however, and quickly grabbed hold of the encounter. British & Irish Lion and debutant North scored two quick-fire scores – one a 50-metre breakaway try – to put his side in the driving seat.

However, Edinburgh last season showcased that they are never out of the battle, and very quickly displayed that desire once again.

Hamish Watson – a constant threat in both attack and defence for the entirety of the contest – personified his side’s never-say-die attitude and with a menacing break in the final 15 minutes, the back-row put his side in the red zone.

With the Ospreys defence scrambling, the ball was fed wide to Blair Kinghorn, who powered over the whitewash to put his side right back in it.

With the home crowd now eerily quiet, Edinburgh looked the more likely to nab the decisive score. And when a spirited kick-and chase forced the home side into clearing inside their own twenty-two, Richard Cockerill’s side were given an unlikely lifeline.

With the rolling maul secured and in motion, the go-ahead score looked imminent, however when Ospreys managed to snatch the ball, the game was all but over.

A disappointing loss, but a single point earned could pay dividends in what is a marathon, not a sprint.

Team lineups

Ospreys
Edinburgh Rugby

Backs

15 Dan Evans
14 George North
13 Scott Williams
12 Owen Watkin
11 Hanno Dirksen
10 Luke Price
9 Aled Davies

Forwards

1 Nicky Smith
2 Scott Otten
3 Tom Botha
4 Bradley Davies
5 Alun Wyn Jones
6 Dan Lydiate
7 Justin Tipuric
8 James King

Substitutes

16 Scott Baldwin
17 Rhodri Jones
18 Alex Jeffries
19 Adam Beard
20 Sam Cross
21 Tom Habberfield
22 Sam Davies
23 Joe Thomas

GUINNESS PRO14 2018/19 table

PosTeamPWLDPts
1Glasgow Warriors651025
2Edinburgh Rugby633014
3Southern Kings11005
4Leinster 11004
5Ospreys11004
6Ulster11004
7Connacht 20202
8Benetton Rugby10101
9Toyota Cheetahs20201
10Munster10100
11Dragons Rugby10100
12Zebre10100
13Benetton Treviso00000
14Scarlets00000
15Leinster Rugby00000
16Cardiff Blues00000

GUINNESS PRO14 2018/19 latest results

Edinburgh Rugby 37 v 21 Toyota Cheetahs
Glasgow Warriors 36 v 8 Zebre
Glasgow Warriors 29 v 13 Dragons Rugby
Edinburgh Rugby 31 v 30 Benetton Rugby
Leinster 31 v 7 Edinburgh Rugby