Edinburgh v Dragons
Edinburgh Rugby made it back-to-back wins over Welsh opposition with a four-try, bonus-point securing win over Dragons in the Guinness PRO14 at Myreside tonight.
The boot of stand-off Gavin Henson put the Welsh side 6-0 up but counterpart Duncan Weir levelled with two penalties of his own in a rather disjointed opening 20 minutes from the sides before some magic from centre Chris Dean created the first score. Duncan Weir was sent to the bin before Henson split the uprights once again to leave the match evenly balanced at 13-9 heading into the break.
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne touched down early in the second-half to extend Edinburgh’s lead before Dragons saw a try disallowed, however, three further penalties from the reliable Henson brought the Welsh side to within two points. Weir stopped the rot with his third penalty of the evening before a flurry of tries from Junior Rasolea and debutant Robbie Fruean saw Edinburgh claim the bonus point win.
However, despite the result, Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach Richard Cockerill's post-match reaction remained measured.
He said: “Great result, great five points but disappointed with how we played.
"We played poorly at times but did enough to win the game. Credit to the players on that but we are a better side than the way we played tonight and I'm disappointed.
"We had opportunities but our lineout was a bit scrappy, we dropped the ball and we were inaccurate. So disappointed, but delighted with the way the boys got themselves back into the lead."
It was the visiting Dragons who looked the livelier of the two sides in the opening stages. The Welsh sides’ wingers – Hallam Amos and Ashton Hewitt – both made breaks into the Edinburgh half during a period of domination to start the half.
The hosts’ talismanic stand-off, Gavin Henson, saw his penalty split the posts before hitting a booming drop-goal to double his side’s lead.
Edinburgh, who had struggled to maintain possession in the opening 20 minutes, soon began to grow into the game and when Damian Hoyland tackled his opposite man into touch in front of the main stand, the Myreside faithful quickly found their voice.
With the Welsh side on the back foot, the hosts capitalised via a duo of Duncan Weir penalites. It was to get better for Edinburgh only moments later, however, as they scored the first try of the evening.
With the Myreside men driving forward, the ball was whipped wide to Dean who darted his way between four tackles before offloading to Kinghorn who had had the simple task of racing through and dotting down to take the lead.
Edinburgh were close to scoring their second try in as many minutes, however, fell just short of the Dragons try-line, with insult added to injury seeing Duncan Weir sent to the sin bin at the breakdown.
With a man advantage, Henson reduced the Dragons' deficit with a simple penalty and the game remained a tight affair at the break.
Edinburgh Rugby 13-9 Dragons
Edinburgh began the second-half with a clear intensity.
The continually impressive Kinghorn once again did enough to give Edinburgh some breathing room, gliding his way through the Dragons defence, supported on the shoulder by Hidalgo-Clyne, who took the offload with precision and dove over under the posts before Weir converted to make it 20-9.
However, with an eleven-point lead, the hosts began to take their foot off the gas and Henson took full advantage as he stroked home a further three penalties to bring the score to 20-18.
A Duncan Weir penalty soon got Edinburgh back on the path to victory and it was to get better only minutes later as Junior Rasolea dived in the corner for Richard Cockerill's side's third try of the evening.
The score may have belonged to the 26-year-old Australian; however, it arrived following tireless work from Edinburgh’s impressive pack.
The hosts now had their tails up and in the 79th minute they added a deserved, bonus-point earning, exclamation point to their victory.
With numbers lining up wide, replacement scrum-half, Nathan Fowles threw a perfectly timed flat pass to the onrushing Robbie Fruean, who cut in on a sublime line to waltz through the Dragons’ defence to cap off an excellent Edinburgh debut.
Edinburgh: Kinghorn, Hoyland, Dean, Freuan, Harries, Weir, Hidalgo-Clyne; Rizzo, McInally, Nel, Toolis, Gilchrist, Ritchie, Watson, Bradbury. Substitutes: Ford for McInally (58'), Marfo for Rizzo (66'), Berghan for Nel (55'), McKenzie for Gilchrist (66'), Du Preez for Watson (55'), Fowles for Hidalgo-Clyne (53'), Tovey for Kinghorn (79'), Rasolea for Dean (41').
Yellow card: Weir (33)
Dragons: Kirchner, Hewitt, Morgan Beard, Amos, Henson, Davies; Harris, Dee, Brown, Landman, Hill, Thomas, Benjamin, Keddie. Substitutes: Buckley for Harris ('71), Price for Dee (71'), Fairbrother for Brown (71'), Screech for Landman (67'), Williams, Leonard for Davies (12'), O'Brien for Beard (20'), Hughes for Morgan (71').