Sale Sharks vs Edinburgh Rugby, Fri, 19/08/2016 - 19:00

Last night, Edinburgh got their pre-season off to an encouraging start, despite just losing out to a strong Sale Sharks side 33-28 in the end.

Head coach Alan Solomons had travelled south to Manchester with a squad of 27 players; resting the majority of the Scotland internationals, but giving starts to many of the new signings for this season, including Rory Scholes and Duncan Weir.

It was also the first opportunity for supporters to see Grant Gilchrist back in action following a long lay-off with an arm injury.

On a dry, sunny night at Sale’s traditional Heywood Road, it was the home team that got off to the quicker start, as Edinburgh looked to settle into the match, with centre Will Addison bursting through the middle early on to score under the posts.

Edinburgh soon found their stride though, and after a build-up through a number of phases, debutant Rory Scholes crashed over for the club’s first try of the new season.  Duncan Weir added the points.

Fellow new boy Viliami Fihaki showed his old teammates that he has lost none of his physicality following his move north to Edinburgh, but the referee deemed his late tackle worthy of a yellow card, and he was promptly sent to the bin.  Sale took full advantage of that period, with the forwards driving the ball over the line to regain the lead.

With Edinburgh back to full strength, Sasa Tofilau found a half gap to squeeze through before providing Will Helu the ball through a deft offload, to bring the game back level, Duncan Weir again converting.

With the game swinging end to end, Sale again took the lead with a try through Cameron Neil, and they went into the break 7 points ahead

HT Sale 21 Edinburgh 14

In the second half, with Edinburgh making a raft of changes, Stuart McInally again pulled his team back into the game.  After a lovely lineout take from Grant Gilchrist, looking good on his return, McInally manoeuvred the forward over the line through a powerful drive. Weir again added the points.

Sale, by now at full strength, countered quickly with 2 drives of their own to push ahead going into the final stages of the game.

In the final play of the game, as Edinburgh pushed forward, Blair Kinghorn, on for Weir at 10, found a gap in the home defence to allow him to slice through and race into the corner from 40m out for a great try.  He converted confidently from the touchline to bring the game to a close, Sale running out victors 33-28.

Alan Solomons pronounced himself happy with what he’d seen for a first game of the season, with some encouraging performances from Edinburgh’s new signings.  With a second match coming up this Friday night back at BT Murrayfield, the team is looking in good shape for the season ahead.

Team lineups

Pre-season Friendlies 2017/18 table

PosTeamPWLDPts
1Edinburgh Rugby00000
2Glasgow Warriors00000
3Dragons Rugby00000
4Newcastle Falcons 00000
5Sale Sharks00000
6Northampton Saints00000