Dragons v Edinburgh
Edinburgh came away from Eugene Cross Park in Ebbw Vale tonight with a well-earned victory over Dragons and an all-important bonus point in the race to the Guinness PRO14 play-offs.
Hooker Neil Cochrane, centre Chris Dean and replacements Duncan Weir and Cameron Fenton all crossed the whitewash, with a masterclass from back-row Viliame ‘Big Bill’ Mata earning him the Guinness Man of the Match award.
After the game, Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said: “I’m delighted with the five points. To be fair to Dragons, they got themselves back in the game.
They put us under pressure and it was tight for a little while, but I’m really pleased with the resilience of this team.
"That’s three big wins for us in three weeks and we’ve put some pressure on Ulster to win tomorrow. We’ll just keep battling away and see if we can stick in for that play-off spot.”
It was scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne who got proceedings underway with a straightforward penalty in front of the posts from 22 metres out. 0-3
Dragons tried to bring things level on 20 minutes, but ultimately failed, when stand-off Dorian Jones pulled his own penalty attempt wide.
The visitors crashed over for the opening score four minutes later when lock Lewis Carmichael rose high in the lineout to take the ball and the Edinburgh pack rolled over the line. Hooker Neil Cochrane was at the back of the maul to touch down. Hidalgo-Clyne added the extras. 0-10
With Dorian Jones receiving treatment from the medics, centre Zane Kirchner stepped up to take the simplest of cracks at goal as the match reached the half hour mark. He too was unable to kick the home side’s first points of the game.
Half-time score: Dragons 0-10 Edinburgh
Edinburgh continued to control the game after the break when centre Chris Dean seared through the home defence to race over the line. Hidalgo-Clyne was unable to add the extras. 0-15
Dragons refused to give up the fight however and lock Rynard Landman nipped over in the corner to breathe some life back into the game. Jones converted. 7-15
Edinburgh found themselves in a real arm wrestle as the game approached the final 10 minutes. Jones burst through the visitors’ defence and offloaded to Landman who went over for his second score of the game. The missed conversion kept Edinburgh in front by just three points. 12-15
But as is becoming characteristic of this Edinburgh side, they stayed in the battle the whole way and replacement stand-off Duncan Weir was on the end of an electric Nathan Fowles break to put the capital side back in the driving seat. 12-20
The icing on the cake came at the death as hooker Cameron Fenton was at the back of another catch and drive, to bundle over and snatch the all-important bonus point. 12-25