Scarlets V Edinburgh
In a classic tale of two halves, Edinburgh scored 20 unanswered points to secure a massive road win against Conference B rivals, Scarlets.
Trailing 12-0 at the break – and with play-off aspirations on the line - the capital side displayed heart and grit to turn the match on its head.
In a smash and grab victory, tries from Matt Scott and Jaco van der Walt put Richard Cockerill’s side in front, while the South African – who was named Guinness Man of the Match - added two penalties from his boot to put the game to bed.
The win keeps Edinburgh in fourth place and well in the hunt for a Guinness PRO14 Final Series place, and with Ulster up next at BT Murrayfield, there will undoubtedly be further twists and turns as we enter the final two rounds of action.
ides of the ball, and we knew at half-time we had to do something to turn it around.Speaking following the match, Attack Coach Duncan Hodge, said: “We were awful in the first-half, on both s
“We were obviously a lot better the second-half and the way played and closed out the
final 20 minutes of the game was pleasing to see and certainly a contrast to last weekend’s match against Munster.
“There’s obviously still a lot to look at, and there’s so much we need to improve on, but we’re delighted to secure the win against a really good Scarlets side.”
After serious pressure from the hosts from the get-go, the first try arrived with only 10 minutes on the clock. With Scarlets bursting into Edinburgh territory, the ball was eventually worked inside to scrum-half Gareth Davies, who showed nimble footwork to scamper over the whitewash. Leigh Halfpenny converted in front of the sticks. [7-0]
The capital side were quick to fight back, however, and when Hamish Watson burst through the Scarlets onrushing defence there was room out wide to attach. As the ball reached Darcy Graham, the fullback showcased his skills with a tidy grubber that was only metres away from finding a chasing Damien Hoyland.
It wasn’t long until the second try of the evening arrived and quite predictably it came through the hosts’ talisman centre, Jonathan Davies. After the ball was fed through the hands of the backline, Halfpenny eventually broke free before popping to Davies who had the simple task of collapsing over the line. [12-0]
After Scarlets captain Ken Owens was shown a yellow card for collapsing a driving maul, the capital side had a chance to turn their numerical advantage into points, however Van der Walt’s penalty drifted wide as we approached half-time. It remained 12-0 to the hosts at the break.
After a stern half-time team talk, Edinburgh returned to field of play reinvigorated and very soon had the hosts on the back foot. After Van der Walt struck home to put the capital side on the board [12-3], it wasn’t long before they closed the deficit further.
After securing a lineout just shy of the hosts’ whitewash, Hamish Watson – who was a threat carrying in the loose all evening – fed Scott, who on hitting a sumptuous inside line had the simple task of dotting down to get his side right back in it. [12-10]
With their tails up, Edinburgh had the impetus – and with Scarlets looking nervy, the capital side’s abrasive defence was able to capitalise.
After replacement Simon Berghan put in a tenacious diving tackle, Halfpenny’s attempted pass was brilliantly read by Van der Walt, who had pace to run in the 40m interception. With the stand-off converting his own score, Edinburgh led 12-17.
Van der Walt stroked home a further penalty [12-20] to make it an eight-point game with 10 minutes remaining and from there the capital side never looked like surrendering their hard-earned lead.
Darcy Graham – who’s attacking play was a joy to watch all evening - and Hoyland both put in fantastic defensive shifts to keep the hosts at bay in the final stages of the encounter and it is the capital side who head north with four points and their play-off hopes alive and well