Edinburgh seal crucial comeback win over Sharks

Edinburgh fought back from 12-0 down at the break to seal an incredible Champions Cup road win against English Premiership side Sale Sharks.

Mark Bennett went over early in the second-half to cut the deficit to 12-7, before Jaco van der Walt slotted a pair of penalties to give the capital side a 12-13 lead late in the game.

Sale then clawed back in front via Du Preez’s long range penalty, however with Jean-Luc du Preez sent to the bin for a high shot on eventual Star of the Match Hamish Watson, Van der Walt made them pay with his third penalty of the evening.

With a numerical advantage for the final 10 minutes of action, Richard Cockerill’s side showed excellent game management to grind out the deserved road victory.

Key moments

Edinburgh began the game energised and immediately had an opportunity at three points as the pack came up big at scrum time.

However with a strong wind blowing across the AJ Bell Stadium, Jaco van der Walt’s penalty attempt drifted just wide, letting the hosts off the hook after just three minutes.

The Sharks – who displayed some physical running in the opening stages – enjoyed much of the possession to start the match, but it was Edinburgh who looked the most threatening with ball in hand.

Stuart McInally had a lightning blindside break that saw the ball recycled out wide at pace, while Kinghorn looked sharp when countering from his own 22m.

It was the hosts who took the lead after 14 minutes however after taking a quick lineout deep inside the Edinburgh half.

With the ball shifting through the hands, Denny Solomona was on hand to finish out wide, with Rob Du Preez converting. [7-0]

With their tails up, the hosts continued to pile on the pressure and they would soon go over for their second of the night after a defensive lapse in midfield.

As the Edinburgh defence rushed up, Rohan Janse Van Rensburg broke a tackle before racing in from 20m out. With Du Preez slicing his conversion wide, it was 12-0 at the AJ Bell stadium.

With both sides battling in midfield, and packs going at each other, there was few and far between the sides heading into half-time.

The English side went in 12-0 ahead at the break, but a more creative and determined Edinburgh side would come out for the second half.

After some patient build-up, the capital side worked it out wide to find Matt Bennett who crashed past two Sale tacklers and crossed the whitewash, nipping inside to make the successful conversion easier for Van der Walt [12-7].

Sale’s indiscipline was proving costly, and as they took their penalties conceded tally up to 10 for the evening, with two of them being in kicking range, Van der Walt landed both and put Edinburgh ahead heading into the moments of action [12-13]

The English side would hit the front again with 10 to play as Rob Du Preez landed a long-range penalty kick [15-3], but the crucial penalty would be given shortly after.

Jean-Luc du Preez was sent to the sin bin, meaning Edinburgh would end the match with an extra man and Van der Walt kicked the match-winning three-pointer with seven minutes left to play.

Edinburgh showed excellent game management to close out the clock and as Nic Groom spiralled it into touch with the game in red, it sparked wild celebrations from Richard Cockerill’s side!

Edinburgh seal a narrow win and put themselves right back into contention for Heineken Champions Cup knockout stage qualification.

live commentary 8:00 PM Saturday 19 Dec 2020

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Kick-off 8:00 PM

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