Dragons V Edinburgh
Despite staging a second-half comeback - which saw the capital side camped on the Dragons try-line pushing for the go-ahead score in the closing seconds - Edinburgh were forced to travel north with just a losing bonus point after coming up agonisingly short at Rodney Parade.
Trailing by only six points in the closing stages, Edinburgh looked to be on the verge of securing the snatch and grab victory, however when the hosts turned the ball over it signalled the end of what would have been an impressive come-from-behind performance.
Speaking following the match, Head Coach Richard Cockerill was left feeling proud of the way his side stayed in the battle throughout the contest, but admitted he was disappointed to be heading home with just a single point.
“I thought we created enough chances to win the game, but we just didn’t’ take them,” said Cockerill.
“We coughed the ball up too much and were little bit short of firepower in that back-five particularly. There’s some fresh faces in there and that hurt us a little but – but we created enough to score points.
“I’m proud of the effort from the group because 83 minutes in and we’re still battling away to win the game. There’s a lot about us that’s still good. Dragons played well and if you don’t take your opportunities, you’ll lose – and we lost.
With over 18 players out due to injuries and international duty, Edinburgh were forced to play a number of younger players at Rodney Parade. However, despite the capital side’s youthful pack, they were well in the battle throughout the 80 minutes.
“We have to take a measured view in the fact that we’ve got some injuries that hurt us. The Test guys are the Test guys – and we’re delighted when they get selected and do well, but to have guys like Lewis Carmichael and Fraser McKenzie out has hurt us a little bit.
“But that’s life and Jamie Hodgson, Callum Hunter-Hill, Ally Miller and Lewis Wynne have done really well. You can’t be too mad at the players because they’re playing at their capacity and they should be proud of their efforts tonight.”
Dragons shout out to an early lead when former Edinburgh stand-off Jason Tovey slotted home a simple penalty before Jarred Rosser galloped home out wide to make it a 10-0 lead.
Edinburgh battled back, however, and despite having Chris Dean’s try chalked off due to a double movement in the grounding, they eventually grabbed a score on the stroke of half-time through Dougie Fife.
Dragons controlled much of the proceedings in the early stages of the second-half and turned pressure into points when Rosser romped home for his second of the evening. And when Tovey converted another penalty the score was 18-5 with only 15 minutes remaining.
Edinburgh continued to battle, however, and when Darcy Graham wrested over the line it was 18-12 was just five minutes remaining.
The capital side huffed and puffed, but when the hosts stole the ball on their own whitewash it simply wasn’t to be.
Edinburgh now travel to Cork to face Munster this Friday night (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports