Edinburgh suffer opening day defeat

Edinburgh suffered a 2020-21 opening day defeat as Ospreys scored three tries to claim a hard-earned win on a miserable night at BT Murrayfield.

Although Edinburgh struck first after being awarded a penalty try for Justin Tipuric’s last-man offence, the Welsh side struck back through first-half scores from Nicky Smith and Mat Protheroe.

Protheroe grabbed another shortly after half-time and from there Edinburgh struggled to battle back into a match that saw very little rugby played due to the wet and wild conditions.

It was Edinburgh who got on the scoreboard first, thanks in large to a magnificent break by Jamie Farndale. The winger decisively cut inside his man inside his own 22m before carrying the ball 30m into the Ospreys half.

The winger offloaded to Chris Dean, before his attempted pass was knocked down illegally by Justin Tipuric.

The Ospreys captain was shown the yellow card for the offence and Edinburgh were awarded the penalty try, making it 7-0 after 11 minutes.

Ospreys dominated the half thereafter however and quickly drew level following Grant Gilchrist’s yellow card – with the lock penalised for taking an Ospreys player out in the air.

Nicky Smith powered over from a metre out, before Stephen Myler to stepped up to level proceedings, with the score tied 7-7.

After Stephen Myler knocked over a penalty to make it 7-10, the visitors quickly extended their lead with perhaps the most fluent attacking move of the night.

After spreading the ball wide, Keiran Williams broke free before offloading to the trailing winger Mat Protheroe, who had the simple task of dotting down under the sticks. [7-17]

Edinburgh continued to battle, and after a series of skirmishes into the Ospreys 22m – which saw Jaco van der Walt uncharacteristically miss pair of penalties – the number 10 did eventually slot home, with the score 10-20 at the break.

Edinburgh displayed renewed vigour to start the second period, with plenty of guts going forward, but very little to show for it.

Ospreys – to their credit – handled the poor conditions better and when the Welsh side won a number of penalties on the Edinburgh 5m line, they made the capital club pay.

With a blindside strike move, Protheroe darted over for his second of the night to extend his side’s lead. [10-25]

Edinburgh rang the changes for the final 20 minutes of action, but they failed to make a significant impact and in the end Ospreys battled to a deserved win on a soaking wet night at BT Murrayfield.

live commentary 7:35 PM Saturday 3 Oct 2020

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