Edinburgh V Dragons
Edinburgh returned to winning ways this evening with a five-try bonus-point win over Welsh side Dragons at BT Murrayfield.
Although the capital side ran out comfortable winners in the end, the match was all but a foregone conclusion as the Rodney Parade outfit kept the score level until the 65th minute.
However, when eventual man-of-the-match Magnus Bradbury – who was back in the side after four-months on the sidelines – broke through for the go-ahead score, the floodgates opened and Edinburgh capitalised.
Duhan van der Merwe was the man to make Dragons pay, as the winger not once, but twice finished in the corner to make it a much needed, but comfortable win for Richard Cockerill’s side.
Speaking after the match, Head Coach admitted that his side looked rusty in the early stages, but paid tribute to their battling tributes which paved the way to victory.
“We were a bit sloppy and a bit rusty in that first-half, but credit to the players, we found a way to get a really good foothold in that game,” said Cockerill. “That last 20 minutes we were clinical.
“We just had to keep doing the simple things well and stick to how we play. When we get those things right, we’re a good team. We needed to execute a bit better at certain points in the game.”
It was Edinburgh who took the lead after only nine minutes on the clock. James Johnstone showed electric footwork for the score after initial bursts by Chris Dean and Darcy Graham.
The visitors would level proceeding as Tyler Morgan added the finishing touches to a flowing attack before Johnstone once again clawed his way over the whitewash for the go-ahead score.
However, after Dragons once again tied the match through Morgan’s intercepted try, the visitors would take a deserved lead via Josh Lewis’s lengthy penalty.
“We had opportunities in the game that we didn’t take, but we always knew that if we stuck to what we do, the opportunities would come,” added Cockerill.
“Dragons are a really tough team to break down. Fair play to them, they made it messy and slowed it down at every opportunity and we found it difficult for large parts of the evening.”
After a turgid start to the second period, the capital side were soon on their way to victory as Bradbury – aided by the Pierre Schoeman – catapulted his way over the try-line for the breakthrough score.
And BT Murrayfield soon breathed a huge sigh relief as Duhan van der Merwe scored what was surely the try of the encounter.
After collecting a pass in the wide channel, the big winger showed brilliant determination to ride two tackles before summersaulting his way over for the brilliant individual score.
With Cockerill ringing the changes, Edinburgh continued to battle and a fifth, game sealing score was soon delivered.
With Dragons tiring, the backline showcased their skills with a neat handling move that eventually freed up Van der Merwe for his second score of the evening.
“We’re delighted with the five points, but we’ve got lots to improve on heading in to next weekend’s match against Cardiff,” said Cockerill.
“We just kept sticking to what we do. It put them under a lot of pressure and in the end, they could cope with that. We found a way to win the game. We’ll have a few things to look at on Monday, but we’re really happy with that win.”
Edinburgh return to Guinness PRO 14 action against Cardiff Blues next Saturday (23 February, kick-off 7.35pm). Secure your ticket now