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 Warriors1082040
2Edinburgh Rugby1046019
3Munster32108
4Southern Kings11005
5Leinster 11004
6Ulster11004
7Ospreys21104
8Zebre21104
9Dragons Rugby21104
10Connacht 20202
11Benetton Rugby10101
12Toyota Cheetahs20201
13Scarlets20200
14Cardiff Blues10100
15Leinster Rugby00000
16Benetton Treviso00000

GUINNESS PRO14 2018/19 latest results

Glasgow Warriors 29 v 20 Scarlets
Munster 44 v 14 Edinburgh Rugby
Dragons Rugby 18 v 12 Edinburgh Rugby
Glasgow Warriors 40 v 15 Cardiff Blues
Ospreys 20 v 29 Glasgow Warriors