Edinburgh beaten in Bordeaux
Edinburgh were put to the sword by a slick and confident Bordeaux-Bègles side this afternoon as the French club ran in four tries at Stade Chaban-Delmas to secure top position in Challenge Cup Pool 3.
Although the capital side stayed in the battle throughout the fiery contest, the hosts eventually pulled away thanks to a well drilled forward pack and an energetic and potent backline.
Edinburgh scored two tries through Duhan van der Merwe and Mark Bennett, the first a near length of the field score that saw the winger finish following a well time interception.
However, Edinburgh’s inability to convert from set-piece and a series of uncharacteristic knock-on’s in attack meant the visitors were never able to truly fire a shot when driving for the Bordeaux whitewash.
The result means Edinburgh must now secure maximum points against Agen at BT Murrayfield next weekend to be in with the chance of qualifying as one of three best second placed teams.
A bonus-point win against the French Top14 club would leave Edinburgh on 21 points and well placed to go through to the knockout stages.
Edinburgh took the lead after just 11 minutes as Jaco van der Walt converted a long range penalty following promising attacking play. [0-3]
The hosts hit back via a penalty from Matthieu Jalibert just nine minutes later however [3-3], before the Bordeaux took the lead after a length of the field score, finished in the corner by the electric Semi Radradra. [10-3]
Edinburgh looked dangerous when counter-attacking, with wing duo Darcy Graham and Duhan van der Merwe in particular a constant threat with ball in hand.
Graham had a near length of the field effort stopped just short, while Van der Merwe was a powerful weapon when given time and space in the wide channels.
Bordeaux held a commanding position at the break however, especially when Santiago Cordero finshed in the corner – following another Radradra break – to make it 17-3 at half-time.
Matt Scott was replaced by James Johnstone at the break, and Edinburgh continued to battle as the hosts looked to be in the ascendance.
That was until Johnstone’s centre partner – Bennett – stepped up in an excellent defensive set to steal the ball on the capital club’s own try-line.
Bennett offload to Watson, who quickly shifted the ball to Van der Merwe, and with acres of real estate ahead of him, the winger was able to race the distance to close the gap to just seven points. [17-10].
That was, unfortunately, the closest Edinburgh would get the Frencg club however as they soon pulled away further thanks two a series of tries from replacements.
Firstly Yann Lesgourgues added the finishing touches to a breathless backline manoeuvre [24-10], before Ravai Kovekalou powered over late on to make it [32-10], with another Jalibert penalty the coup-de-grace.
Edinburgh did rally to score late on as Blair Kinghorn broke well to set-up Mark Bennett for the simple score [32-17], however the hosts were well deserving of their win on the day.
The capital club now gear up to face Agen at BT Murrayfield next Saturday afternoon in a match that will decide their hopes of reaching the knockout stages.
live commentary 12:45 PM Saturday 11 Jan 2020
Nic Groom9. Scrum half
Jaco Van Der Walt10. Flyhalf
Duhan Van Der Merwe11. Left Wing
Matt Scott12. Inside Centre
Mark Bennett13. Outside Centre
Darcy Graham14. Right Wing
Blair Kinghorn15. Full Back
Rory Sutherland1. Loosehead
Mike Willemse2. Hooker
Simon Berghan3. Tighthead
Sam Thomson4. Lock
Lewis Carmichael5. Lock
Magnus Bradbury6. Blindside Flanker
Hamish Watson7. Openside Flanker
Villame Mata8. Number 8