Edinburgh v Scarlets
Edinburgh ran in eight tries against Scarlets on a sunny afternoon at BT Murrayfield to keep up their pursuit of a place in the Guinness PRO14 Final Series.
With the home-side playing a running, sevens style of rugby, there was excitement from start-to-finish, which made for a fascinating contest.
Despite Edinburgh leading 26-0 after only 24 minutes on the clock, Scarlets fought back with two well-worked tries, however, the hosts stepped up a gear in the second period and were ultimately too strong for their Welsh opponents.
Head Coach Richard Cockerill was satisfied with the result, and said: “It’s a game we needed to win and we’re delighted to get the win. We scored some cracking tries and it puts the pressure on Ulster. They have to get two bonus-point wins now to get above us in the competition.
“We’ll have a bit of a rest and then we’ll host Glasgow here, which is always good fun as the fans are finding out.
“It’s nice to have momentum, and we put Scarlets, albeit an understrength side, to the sword. We’re trying to get to the same level as them, and that’s where we’re at in our development – we’re not going to get too far ahead of ourselves. We’ve still got a lot of work to do.
We just want to have some respect from the competition – which we haven’t in the last few years – and we want teams to worry that if they don’t get it right, they’re in for a tough day – and we’re slowly getting there.
Edinburgh were the stronger side out of the blocks; putting Scarlets on the back foot immediately.
Blair Kinghorn opened the scoring; finishing off a well-worked phase of play. The fullback sprinted in the corner, however, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne was unable to add the extras from out wide.
With Edinburgh in the ascendance, both Duhan van der Merwe and Hidalgo-Cylne crossed the whitewash in similar fashion – running in breakaway end-to-end tries.
The expansive rugby continued as Magnus Bradbury – the eventual man of the match – breezed over the try line to make it 26-0.
Scarlets grew into the match following the early onslaught and managed to get themselves back in the game with two well taken tries. Tom Varndell and Dan Jones scored in quick succession to cut into the deficit – making it 26-14 at the break.
Edinburgh restarted the second-half as they had left off. Van der Merwe quickly added to his try tally in the 47thminute after finishing a blistering Hidalgo-Clyne line break and chip forward from his own half. The scrum-half was able to slot the conversion.
Cockerill’s men were once again the next side to cross the whitewash. Luke Crosbie finished off a flowing phase of play to make it 38-14.
As Cockerill looked to the bench to add fresh legs, Sam Hidalgo-Cylne was replaced by Nathan Fowles after an impressive display in which he added 15 points to the scoreboard.
With the match into the final 10 minutes, Edinburgh’s pack showcased their resilience with Scarlets camped on their twenty-two. The hosts not once, but twice held the ball up to keep the Welsh side from notching a third try of the afternoon.
A wild pass in the Scarlets midfield gave Duncan Weir the opportunity to sprint in from 50 metres out, but the stand-off unselfishly offloaded to Mark Bennet, who cut through the final defenders with a well calculated line to score his side’s seventh try of the contest.
As the game approached the dying seconds, a clever line out to Nathan Fowles caught the Welsh team sleeping and the scrum-half dived over the line to conclude a thrilling a game in which the home side crossed the whitewash eight times