Edinburgh v Leinster Rugby
Edinburgh produced a nail-biting finish to secure victory over Leinster in a nine-try thriller at Myreside this evening.
The capital side have now won 12 of their last 15 outings in all competitions and set their sights on what is another significant fixture in the context of the Guinness PRO14 season, against Ulster in Belfast next week.
Flanker Luke Crosbie, scrum-half Nathan Fowles, prop Murray McCallum, wing Duhan van der Merwe and centre Mark Bennett all touched down in a characterful, never-say-die performance. Lewis Carmichael was named Guinness Man of the Match.
After the game, Head Coach Richard Cockerill said: “Hopefully it’s a statement of our intent that I’m actually pretty disappointed with how we played tonight.
“I’m not particularly happy with the performance, however, we’re learning to stay in the battle - we scored five tries to four – and we’re tenacious and stuck in there and we got the win. So hey, we’ll take it.
“Now we go to Ulster next week, playing for third spot, so happy days.”
It didn’t take long for Leinster to get the scoring underway, as No8 Max Deegan muscled his way through the defence to crash over the line from close range, Ross Byrne capping it off with a successful conversion. 0-7.
The home side were given the right to reply when Luke Crosbie charged down a Leinster kick before putting on the after burners and beating the Leinster winger from half-way and scoring under the posts. Jaco Van Der Walt duly converted to tie the score. 7-7.
Cockerill’s men strengthened their position in the game when centre Mark Bennett ripped the ball from the hands of Dave Kearney, before Nathan Fowles scrambled to collect and power down the touchline to score. 12-7.
After a period of sustained Leinster pressure, the visitors produced a rapid counter attack on the blindside, creating space for second-row Scott Fardy to exploit and subsequently score. Byrne was again successful with the boot. 12-14.
With confidence building, Leinster were looking dangerous in attack and Edinburgh’s defence started to creak. A perfect long offload found winger Barry Daly who cantered in for an easy score. 12-19.
As the first-half drew to a close, Edinburgh’s resilience really began to chow and they once again crept into Leinster territory. The home side’s patience soon brought reward, as prop Murray McCallum spotted a gap around the edge of a ruck and punctured his way through to dot down over the line. 17-19.
HALF-TIME SCORE: Edinburgh 17 - 19 Leinster
In an open and fluid second-half, it was Edinburgh who quickly found their stride and asserted their control of the game – setting a high tempo throughout.
After some great interplay between the forwards and backs, winger Duhan van der Merwe ended up scything his way through the opposition to put Edinburgh back in front. 22-19.
Leinster retaliated when Barry Daly slipped down the touchline to swing the lead back in Leinster’s favour once more. 22-24.
But a flurry of substitutions from the home side brought a new lease of life and Edinburgh’s pressure and persistence soon came to fruition.
In the dying moments of the game, Cockerill’s charges produced a scintillating, last-gasp attack as Van der Walt drilled a neat cross-field kick to Glenn Bryce, who tapped the ball back into the path of Bennett who scooped it up and ran in for the match winning try. Replacement scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne added the extras. 29-24.