First win of the season secured

Edinburgh secured their first win of the season by beating Scarlets 6-3 in a bruising battle at Parc y Scarlets.

Played in torrential rain, conditions were not inductive to quick, silky rugby and the match was largely contested at the scrum.

In a game with no tries it was Edinburgh who managed to hold their nerve best, surviving a late onslaught from the 14-man hosts to win courtesy of six points from Jaco van der Walt’s boot.

Edinburgh stay in fifth but are now on six points with tonight’s opponents Scarlets fourth on the same number.

Key Moments

The home side made five changes from last week’s win at Benetton, with the biggest news coming in the form of the return from injury of Johnny McNicholl to line up at full-back in the absence of Wales star Liam Williams while Richard Cockerill brought in Scotland internationals Henry Pyrgos, Murray McCallum, Magnus Bradbury, Nick Haining and Mark Bennett.

And it was Edinburgh who felt the early boost of their selection shake-up as they looked much brighter and immediately put Scarlets under pressure in their own 22.

Despite losing two players to injury inside the first ten minutes the visitors were bright but as the half developed it became more of a nip-and-tuck affair with Scarlets grabbing the lion share of possession amid torrid wet conditions.

As the half came to an end Edinburgh piled the pressure on with their pack and thought they had scored the opening try of the game only for it to be ruled short but they did end the first 40 minutes with three points when van der Walt slotted his penalty over to send the visitors into the break in the lead.

Into the second half and Scarlets began well, putting plenty of scrum pressure onto their opponents to force them into conceding a penalty which brought the sides level courtesy of Angus O’Brien.

Continued scrum time penalties from the hosts saw replacement Werner Kruger sent to the sin-bin with just over a quarter of the game to go and Edinburgh took advantage by adding another three points through a van der Walt penalty kick.

Things then got worse for the hosts when Josh Helps was shown a red card for a high tackle but Glenn Delaney’s side showed grit and fight as they mounted a late attack on Edinburgh’s line with 14 men.

However, with the pressure mounting and Scarlets near the tryline, Edinburgh stayed strong and David Cherry turned the ball over to deny the hosts.

Play of the Day

This match was certainly not a classic, but scrum purists would have had plenty to enjoy.

Nevertheless, Scarlets turned on the style with a man down as they hunted a result in the dying embers of the game, pushing the visitors onto their own line.

But Cherry was there to perform some magic at the breakdown, turning the ball over to secure the win in dramatic fashion.

Player of the Match

Forced onto the field after only ten minutes due to injury starting prop Murray McCallum, the veteran South African WP Nel called upon all his experience in tough conditions to boss the pack battle.

Serving as part of a determined Edinburgh defensive effort which made 99 tackles at an 87% success rate, while also winning six turnovers, Nel was supremely disciplined and guided his side through to a much-needed win.

live commentary 6:45 PM Sunday 1 Nov 2020

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Kick-off 6:45 PM



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