Edinburgh put Dragons to the sword

Edinburgh maintained their 100 per cent home record as the squad came away worthy winners in round six of the Guinness PRO14, following a solid display against Dragons at BT Murrayfield this evening.

The home side put in a sturdy performance, and whilst Dragons held an impressive defence it wasn’t enough as Edinburgh put 20 points past them, returning to winning ways after last week’s narrow defeat to Benetton in Italy.

The team gelled well with an especially-strong pack, and key players such as Simon Hickey, Pierre Schoeman and Eroni Sau impressed individually, but it was in-form centre Matt Scott who shone the brightest on the day, coming away with the Guinness Man of the Match Award.

It was Dragons who got the action underway, with a burst of imposing attacks inside Edinburgh territory. An early missed penalty from Sam Davies left the Edinburgh fans breathing a sigh of relief, as the home side bided their time, waiting to strike and take the first points of the game.

Sure enough, this moment came in the 14th minute, when fullback Blair Kinghorn made an oh-so-familiar break past the visitors’ line, after a combination of quick-handed play left Simon Hickey to drill the ball through to Kinghorn, who crashed down onto the line for the first points of the match, and his first try of the season. Hickey then stepped up to the tee to add the extras. [7-0]

A second missed penalty from Davies and a tense period of extended play in the Edinburgh half drew frustration from both camps.

However, a penalty for Edinburgh came right on half-time after a ruck offence, and Simon Hickey put boot to ball, easily slotting home to get the home side into double figures as they headed for the tunnel. [10-0]

The second-half started with bang, and, had it not been for an inch-close forward pass, Matt Scott would have bombed through for a truly spectacular try from a line-out just seconds in.

Again though, this sudden burst of action was followed by a dip in play, with each Edinburgh attack becoming snared by the full-bodied defence of Dragons.

It would be almost 15 minutes into the second half when finally a line-out was granted in the capital side’s favour, mere metres from the try-line. The pack were working hard, Pierre Schoeman leading the bombardments, as the line edged ever-closer.

Whilst it never came to a try, a penalty was awarded, which saw Dragons flanker Huw Taylor receive a yellow card, and Simon Hickey’s trusted right foot added another three points on the scoreboard for Edinburgh. [13-0]

Dragons finally showed a response however. A slick movement just past the Edinburgh 22’ led to a crash ball which Adam Warren took in his stride, cutting through the defence to touch down for an impressive try. Sam Davies added the extras. [13-7]

This seemed to be a wake-up call for Edinburgh though, as a series of attacks, spearheaded by Matt Scott and Henry Pyrgos, brought the capital side back to the opposition’s final third.

If there’s ever a man to help switch up the tempo in a game, it’s Duhan van der Merwe, who did just that. Sitting patiently on the touchline, the South African saw his chance when the Dragons defence was left agape out wide. A flurry of short, sharp passes barrelled along the line to Duhan, who was left to trot over the whitewash for the try. Hickey again added the conversion from a difficult angle this time, to make the score 20-7.

Edinburgh now switch gear as they face Agen at Stade Armandie in their opening match of the European Challenge Cup next Friday (15 November, kick-off 7pm GMT).

live commentary 7:35 PM Friday 8 Nov 2019

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Kick-off 7:35 PM

Edinburgh

Dragons

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