Newport Gwent Dragons v Edinburgh
A late Edinburgh Rugby flurry wasn’t enough to overcome a stuffy Dragons side, who continued their home form with a 27-19 victory over their visitors.
The Scottish outfit crossed the line on three occasions through Nasi Manu, Chris Dean and Viliame Mata, yet it didn’t prove enough as a solid kicking performance from the home stand-off Angus O'Brien - who converted two of three conversion attempts and slotted a further two penalties - was the dividing factor in the scoreline.
The defeat sees the Newport side leapfrog Edinburgh in the championship standings, with the former moving into ninth position and the latter into tenth.
Edinburgh Rugby opened the scoring when a period of exquisite handling from the visitors bought back-row Manu space in the wide channels to dot down for a try in the ninth minute. On returning to his former club for the first time in Edinburgh colours, stand-off Jason Tovey successfully converted his first attempt at goal (0-7).
Dragons were given the right to reply with stand-off O’Brien kicking a penalty to close the gap, before missing with his second attempt minutes later.
The home side went ahead in the 18th minute with a try from full-back Carl Meyer, before prop Sam Hobbs followed his colleague's lead and crossed the whitewash shortly after. O’Brien successfully added the extras to both scores to put his side 17-7 ahead.
Edinburgh’s retort was prompt with centre Chris Dean picking the ball from the base of the ruck and bustling through the defence for a try on 26 minutes, following some fluid interplay from his fellow backs. Tovey was unable to add the extras from the tee (17-12).
The home side extended their lead prior to tthe interval with O’Brien being awarded his side’s third score after much deliberation from the TMO, before going on to duly convert his own try.
Half-time: Dragons 24 – 12 Edinburgh Rugby
The tempo of the game slowed down dramatically in the second-half with neither side able to build phases and momentum in attack contrary to the all-go affair in the first period.
Edinburgh were first to strike in the second period as replacement back-row Viliame Mata ended a scoreless spell in the game when he used his power to battle through the ruck fringe defence and score.
Fellow replacement Duncan Weir added the extras to close the gap to five points with 15 minutes remaining on the clock (24-19).
Mata’s try seemed to reinvigorate his side as they started to mount pressure on the opposition and create chances, most notbaly in the 72nd minute when Damien Hoyland and Blair Kinghorn combined in the wide channels and came within metres of the home side’s line.
The home side has the last say, however, when an Edinburgh ruck infringement allowed for O’Brien to add further to his personal points tally and put Dragons eight points ahead discounting Edinburgh’s chance of a losing bonus point.
Full-time: Dragons 27 – 19 Edinburgh Rugby