Edinburgh V Ulster
Edinburgh suffered a disappointing loss at the hands of Ulster this evening as the Irish scored four tries to secure a convincing win at BT Murrayfield.
The visitors were on top from the get go and shot out to an early 0-10 lead thanks to a penalty from John Cooney and a slightly fortunate try from Jordi Murphy.
Winger Robert Baloucoune then grabbed a score on the stroke of half-time to make it 0-15 at the break.
Edinburgh showed intent to start the second-half, but when Irish winger Rob Lyttle powered over from only metres out, the visitors strengthened their grip on the contest.
Edinburgh battled back to score through replacement John Barclay – with the back-row grabbing his first score for the club – but that was to be the capital sides only points of the match.
As Ulster stand-off Billy Burns danced over with just a minute remaining, further gloss was added to an already one-sided scoreline.
Speaking following the match, Head Coach Richard Cockerill accepted that side were well beaten on the night.
“We’re hugely disappointed because we didn’t play anywhere near what this team is capable of,” said Cockerill. “The first-half we were very poor and made a lot of mistakes.
“Credit to Ulster – they’re a good side and they played well. It’s just disappointing. The big moments came and we simply weren’t good enough.
“We had a good training week, but we’ve just got to learn how to back up performances. Its new to this team and we’ve got to get better – it’s as simple as that.
“Ulster were the better team tonight and they deserved the win tonight. We weren’t good enough and were beaten in every department.”
Following Cooney’s well struck penalty after only five minutes [0-3], the visitors grabbed the first score of the evening through Murphy.
With the Irish side pushing for the whitewash, Grant Gilchrist’s successful strip landed in the way of the back-row, who had the simple task of diving on the ball for the simple score. [0-10]
Edinburgh enjoyed a dominant spell of possession following the score, with Pierre Schoeman providing some excitement with a darting break and offload that unfortunately fizzled in to touch.
The capital side were then forced in to their first change of the evening as Jaco van der Walt left the field injured to be replaced by Simon Hickey.
With Edinburgh pushing for a way back in to the game, the spark arrived from the unlikeliest of sources. After working the ball into midfield, Schoeman gathered before breaking 30 metres – bringing BT Murrayfield once again to its feet.
That attack would yet again fall short and the visitors were on hand to punish their opponents only minutes before half-time.
Following a swift counter-attack, winger Baloucoune showcased his elusive finishing abilities with an athletic dive in the corner – making it 0-15 at the break.
Although both Magnus Bradbury and Duhan van der Merwe provided go-forward in the early stages of the second period, it was Ulster who were to grab the third score of the evening.
With Edinburgh drifting in defence, winger Lyttle showed power to step inside his man and power over from short yardage. [0-22]
Edinburgh would battle back, however, and it was replacement Barclay who got his side on the scoresheet.
After collecting the ball in the wide channels, the experienced back-row threw a wicked dummy before cantering in from 20 metres out. [7-22]
The score breathed life in to the capital side’s attack, but that was to be short lived as Ulster once again battled back with a barrage of swashbuckling attacks led by Jacob Stockdale.
Although staring at only the second home defeat of the season, BT Murrayfield was on its feet on 68th minute as club legend Ross Ford made what is likely his final appearance at BT Murrayfield.
Stand-off Billy Burns would score at the death to make it 7-29 in what was a largely disappointing evening for the capital side and one that severely dents their play-off hopes