Edinburgh beaten by Blues

Edinburgh fell short to a second-half comeback as Cardiff Blues scored four straight tries to secure a bonus-point 34-15 victory at the Arms Park.

Edinburgh had an outside chance of claiming a top-three finish heading in to the Monday night clash, and were relying on Welsh rivals Scarlets slipping to defeat against second-placed Connacht

However, Edinburgh fell to defeat, while Scarlets overturned a 21-point half-time deficit to seal a 41-36 bonus-point win in Llanelli and secure third place in Conference B.

An out-of-sorts Blues should have trailed by more than 10-3 at the interval but four second-half tries from Liam Belcher, Rey Lee-Lo, James Ratti and Jarrod Evans was enough to secure the bonus-point win. Evans completed the scoring with two penalties and four conversions.

Edinburgh’s defeat extinguished their hopes – they still have two games remaining in Conference B – despite two tries from George Taylor. Charlie Savala added a penalty and a conversion for the visitors.

Match action

Edinburgh dominated the opening period with the home side unable to break out of their own half. The capital side’s powerful number eight Bill Mata tested the Blues’ defence with a number of surges but the visitors could not make their early superiority count.

Cardiff broke out of defence and should have taken the lead but a straightforward penalty from Evans rebounded back off a post.

A couple of elusive runs from Blues full-back Matthew Morgan enlivened proceedings but he then gave away a penalty for not releasing, which debutant Savala kicked.

Evans was successful with his second attempt before Edinburgh scored the first try of the game when Taylor cut a neat angle to breach the defence and score.

Savala converted before missing a simple penalty shortly afterwards but his side still held a deserved 10-3 half-time lead.

Bearing in mind the importance of the game, Blues were strangely lethargic in the first half but perhaps buoyed with news of Scarlets first-half capitulation – they trailed 33-12 to Connacht at the interval – the home side seemed rejuvenated after the restart.

Within four minutes, Evans had kicked a second penalty before Edinburgh lost tighthead prop Lee-Roy Atalifo to a leg injury.

After 51 minutes, Blues took the lead for the first time when Belcher finished off a succession of forward drives before the capital club suffered another injury setback when lock Andrew Davidson was carried off the pitch on a stretcher.

Four minutes later, Cardiff scored their second try. A superb run out of defence from Morgan brought the Blues 40m downfield with Aled Summerhill up in support to send Lee-Lo over to put the hosts 20-10 ahead.

Edinburgh looked in trouble but they rallied with a period of pressure, which ended with Taylor collecting his second score after a strong run from Damian Hoyland to cut the deficit to five points.

But Blues sealed victory when Evans raced on to a well-judged pass from Lloyd Williams to score before Ratti crashed over for the bonus-point try, with Evans converting both for a match tally of 19 points.

live commentary 8:00 PM Monday 22 Mar 2021

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Kick-off 8:00 PM

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