Edinburgh fall short in Ospreys friendly

Edinburgh fell to a disappointing loss in this afternoon’s Principal & Prosper Pre-Season friendly as PRO14 rivals Ospreys staged a late comeback to claim the spoils at BT Murrayfield.

Despite leading for 78 minutes of the, often turgid, encounter, a late penalty from replacement Cai Evans put the visitors in front with just 90 seconds remaining – and that was enough as the Welsh side held on for the road win.

It was a tight-knit affair in the opening stages, with neither side seemingly able to gain any real ground in the other’s half.

The visitors looked comfortable in possession, but the capital side looked equally as adept in defence, snuffing out any early breaks that Ospreys managed to make.

It would be Ospreys who drew first blood though, with a maul driving over the try-line, allowing hooker Sam Parry to drop down among a mess of boots for the first points of the match. [0-5]

Edinburgh fought back fiercely though, launching a collection of attacks, with the forward pack battering the Ospreys’ defensive line, until finally a gap emerged in the 21st minute – and Matt Scott would be the one to take advantage.

The centre burst through to snatch an offload and forcefully pierced through the Ospreys defence to touch down, leaving the defenders helpless. Jaco van der Walt opened his points tally for this match with a confident conversion giving Edinburgh the lead. [7-5]

It wasn’t long before Edinburgh added their second. Following some excellent play from Duhan van der Merwe and Pierre Schoeman that allowed Matt Scott to make the initial break, Jamie Farndale was given the ball in space down the flank.

The winger was then left to outpace the final defender with ease, touching down beneath the posts for an excellent score. [14-5]

Edinburgh made a whole host of changes at the break, but Ospreys looked determined to claw their way back into the fixture through sheer grunt alone.

And when Luke Morgan found a gap in the home side’s line, breaking through among a collection of bodies, Ospreys closed the gap further. [14-12]

Edinburgh would not lie down, however, and with possession agonisingly close to the Osprey’s try line, Nic Groom had his go-ahead try chalked off for a knock-on in the grounding of the score.

Chances were few and far between for both sides as each defence held impressively strong.

At last though, as the clock ticked into the 66th minute, replacement Ally Miller seized his chance as a gap opened up in the Osprey’s line. The flanker charged over the halfway line, offloading to Matt Scott, who in turn distributed a perfectly timed pass to Jamie Johnstone, who wouldn’t quite make it to the try-line.

However, with Matt Scott in support, the centre hit an excellent line to spot down underneath the posts. Simon Hickey stepped up and added the conversion to make it 21-12.

Ospreys bit back with a well-worked try five minutes later though, as Scott Otten scampered past the Edinburgh line following a lineout, leaving Cai Evans to slot an impressive conversion from out wide, reducing the points deficit to two once again. [21-19]

With the clock running down, Ospreys were desperate to take the lead, seizing their chance with a penalty kick, which Cai Evans kicked to put the visitors just one point ahead, with three minutes to go. [21-22]

Despite their best efforts in the dying embers of the game though, it wasn’t to be for Edinburgh this time, as Ospreys gained possession and booted the ball out, leaving referee Mike Adamson to blow for full time, bringing the curtain down on a hard-fought match, with a frustratingly close score-line of 21-22.

It is now two weeks until the season gets underway as Edinburgh face Zebre in their Guinness PRO14 opener at BT Murrayfield on Saturday 28 September (kick-off 7.35pm).

live commentary 3:00 PM Saturday 14 Sep 2019

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