Newcastle Falcons V Edinburgh
Edinburgh remain top of Heineken Champions Cup Pool 5 after staging a second-half comeback to secure a memorable road win against Newcastle Falcons.
With a large travelling contingent of supporters behind them the whole way, the capital side controlled proceedings throughout an exciting 80 minutes of rugby at Kingston Park and ultimately deserved the win after scoring 15 unanswered points in a dominant second-half performance
Trailing 8-6 at the break, Edinburgh shot out of the blocks to begin the second period as James Johnstone slid under the sticks with only two minutes on the clock
And when winger Duhan van der Merwe provided the coup de grace with less than five minutes remaining, Edinburgh and their supporters were in dreamland – leading 21-8.
The victory sees Edinburgh move onto fifteen points – four points clear of second place Montpellier – and gives Richard Cockerill’s side more than a fighting chance of qualifying from the group stages.
Speaking following the match, Cockerill admitted that it was a landmark evening for his side, and said: “It’s a tough place to come away and play and we’ve not won away from home for eight months. That’s not a great statistic, but we’ve broken that now.
“I’m delighted for the boys – they were great. It wasn’t pretty at times, but when you’re away from home in Europe it’s about winning and we deserved to win today. We made some errors and we did some silly things, but we stayed in the game and squeezed out a great result.
“We were animated at half-time, because we had made some mistakes and we could see that the game was there to be won. We’ve often been the plucky loser at Edinburgh, but we’re starting to work out how to win games, which is nice.
“I just want to say a big thank you to the supporters who came today. It was brilliant to hear them chanting the team’s name throughout the 80 minutes and hopefully results like tonight’s can continue to build the supporter base of this club.”
With both sides fully committed to defence during a back-and-forth opening 40 minutes it was Falcons who took the lead as electric winger Sinoti Sinoti sidestepped his way over from 20 metres out.
Edinburgh remained in the battle however and answered with two well-struck penalties from impressive stand-off Jaco van der Walt. It was the hosts who led the lead heading into the break, however, as experienced former England international answered with a penalty of his own to make it 8-6.
If the first-half belonged to Newcastle, then the second period undoubtedly belonged to Edinburgh. As Johnstone collected a neat chip over the top to dot down under the sticks, the capital side took their first lead of the match – and they wouldn’t look back.
Despite wasting a series of golden opportunities on the Falcons whitewash, Edinburgh would add to their tally as Van der Walt once again connected with a three-pointer to increase his side’s lead.
And with 74 minutes on the clock, Edinburgh added some much-needed breathing room between them and the Falcons.
After stealing at the breakdown, the ball was fed quickly out wide to Van der Merwe, who showed his opposite number a clean pair of heels to dot down in the corner.
Edinburgh now return to Guinness PRO14 action and prepare to face Glasgow in next Saturday’s historic 1872 Cup first leg at BT Murrayfield. Secure your tickets today