Ospreys V Edinburgh
Edinburgh fell short in tonight’s Guinness PRO14 opener as George North scored two second-half tries, leaving Edinburgh to settle for a losing bonus-point.
Despite having a last minute to chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, Richard Cockerill’s side will be disappointed in their opening 80 minutes of the season.
A series of handling errors and turnovers overshadowed what was ultimately a turbid, defensive performance.
“Ospreys played some nice rugby, but it wasn’t a great game across the board,” said Cockerill.
“We made too many errors when we talked about controlling the ball and putting them under pressure. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that. I think those turnovers really cost us.
“I’m pleased that we fought hard and stayed in the game. We could have won it in end, but we probably got what we deserved.
“The players need to learn a lot quickly. We’ve got some homework to do and we need to put it into action.”
With four debutants in the starting XV to start the match, Edinburgh struggled to control the ebb and flow of the opening stages, however, as new boy Simon Hickey grew into the encounter, so did the capital side’s attack.
The Kiwi’s first half penalty made it 3-3 at the break, before his second-half strike made it 6-3 with 30 minutes to play.
Ospreys moved into another gear, however, and quickly grabbed hold of the encounter. British & Irish Lion and debutant North scored two quick-fire scores – one a 50-metre breakaway try – to put his side in the driving seat.
However, Edinburgh last season showcased that they are never out of the battle, and very quickly displayed that desire once again.
Hamish Watson – a constant threat in both attack and defence for the entirety of the contest – personified his side’s never-say-die attitude and with a menacing break in the final 15 minutes, the back-row put his side in the red zone.
With the Ospreys defence scrambling, the ball was fed wide to Blair Kinghorn, who powered over the whitewash to put his side right back in it.
With the home crowd now eerily quiet, Edinburgh looked the more likely to nab the decisive score. And when a spirited kick-and chase forced the home side into clearing inside their own twenty-two, Richard Cockerill’s side were given an unlikely lifeline.
With the rolling maul secured and in motion, the go-ahead score looked imminent, however when Ospreys managed to snatch the ball, the game was all but over.
A disappointing loss, but a single point earned could pay dividends in what is a marathon, not a sprint