Edinburgh claim European draw
Edinburgh were their own worse enemy this evening as Bordeaux-Begles staged a second-half comeback to claim a share of the spoils at BT Murrayfield.
Despite leading 16-6 with 30 minutes to play, the capital side failed to capitalise on a number of good chances, which the visitors took advantage of, scoring 10 unanswered points to ultimately steal the draw.
Edinburgh had to wait until the 15th minute for an opening score. After being awarded a penalty at the breakdown of a rolling maul, Jaco Van Der Walt opted to kick for goal. Slotting the kick with ease - Edinburgh were ahead on the scoreboard. (3-0)
The capital side showed some real threatening intent when Blair Kinghorn combined well with Mark Bennett and Duhan Van Der Merwe in the wider channels, but the defence seemed continually able to just grab themselves a lifeline.
The home side were given a breather after 27 minutes when the referee awarded them a penalty at the scrum. Van Der Walt was once again able to split the uprights (6-0).
Bordeaux hit back with a penalty of their own as Grant Gilchrist was penalised for not rolling away just to the left of the posts, and Bordeaux stand-off Matthieu Jalibert kicked his side onto the scoreboard (6-3).
Edinburgh would eventually grab a score heading in to the break as Kinghorn danced his way through for a solo effort. Matt Scott had made the original break in the midfield, feeding his centre partner Bennett, who then released the Scotland international fullback. Despite being tackled yards from the line, he had the thought to stretch an arm out anyway and was awarded the brilliant try. Van Der Walt added the conversion to make it 13-3.
Disappointingly, Edinburgh faltered almost immediately on the restart, giving Bordeaux’s Jalibert the opportunity at goal for a penalty once more. The stand-off kicked the three-pointer on 40 minutes, sending the teams back into the locker room with Edinburgh still ahead, but the gap closing (13-6).
Possession bounced back and forth in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, but it was eventually Edinburgh who restarted the night’s scoring as Van Der Walt once more lined up a penalty awarded for Bordeaux not rolling away (16-6).
Edinburgh received a knock when replacement John Barclay was lead from the pitch after 53 minutes for a HIA – which he would later fail – and the experienced back row had to be replaced by second row Murray Douglas.
Bordeaux got a try on the board after 58 minutes as replacement prop Ravai Kovekalou burst his way through the Edinburgh line, feeding centre Semi Radrada who evaded three Edinburgh defenders to cross for the score, despite being wrapped up by Eroni Sau just inches from the line. Jalibert converted (16-13).
Van Der Walt’s only miss of the night of the night came in the 62nd minute after Edinburgh were given the penalty for Bordeaux being off their feet at a ruck, just metres from their 10 yard line.
Play was absolutely chaotic as the clock ticked into the final 10 minutes of the game as both sides were desperate for a closing score to see out the game. With four minutes to go, Kinghorn and Van Der Merwe tried in vain to combine in the midfield to give Edinburgh any chance at crossing the whitewash.
A slight falter in the Edinburgh defence minutes later, however, gave Bordeaux the chance to either go for the posts or kick for the corner. Ultimately, the French side seemed happy enough with a drawn final score as Jalibert lined up in front of the sticks once more (16-16).
Sau looked for light at the end of the tunnel on the wing, but a lack of support runners and the fact that his mid-tackle offload was painstakingly forward, meant that referee Christophe Ridley was able to call time on the encounter.
Edinburgh now return to Guinness PRO14 action next Friday night as they travel to face Conference B leaders Munster at Irish Independent Park.
live commentary 7:35 PM Friday 22 Nov 2019
Henry Pyrgos9. Scrum half
Jaco Van Der Walt10. Flyhalf
Duhan Van Der Merwe11. Left Wing
Matt Scott12. Inside Centre
Mark Bennett13. Outside Centre
Eroni Sau14. Right Wing
Blair Kinghorn15. Full Back
Pierre Schoeman1. Loosehead
Mike Willemse2. Hooker
Pietro Ceccarelli3. Tighthead
Ben Toolis4. Lock
Grant Gilchrist5. Lock
Magnus Bradbury6. Blindside Flanker
Luke Crosbie7. Openside Flanker
Villame Mata8. Number 8