Edinburgh lose out in stadium opener
There was no fairytale opener for Edinburgh Rugby as they lost their SBS Pre-Season Series match against Newcastle Falcons 10-26, in the first match hosted in the all-new ERS.
The record pre-season crowd of 6512 supporters wasted no time in making the most of the closer confines of the new ground, building the sort of atmosphere they have long craved.
Edinburgh responded in kind in the early exchanges, with centre Cammy Hutchison and wing Damien Hoyland both looking sharp, while clean breaks by eventual man-of-the-match winning centre Mark Bennett and prop Boan Venter getting the crowd on their feet.
Stand-off Jaco van der Walt was the first to christen the new ground with three points yielded by bisecting the orange uprights on the ten-minute mark, much to the crowd's delight (3-0).
It was the visitors, however, who were the first to celebrate the stadium’s first try, as a van der Walt pass was intercepted by Falcons scrum-half Louis Schreuder who ran from his own 22 to score the converted try (3-7).
The Edinburgh fans weren’t kept waiting for their own chance to celebrate as the ever-involved Hoyland broke through the middle and offloaded off the deck to the supporting Bennett, who raced under the sticks at the Murrayfield end.
Van der Walt added the extras on the half hour mark before Newcastle hooker George McGuigan crashed over from short range to close out the half.
HALF-TIME: Edinburgh Rugby 10-12 Newcastle Falcons
The visitors started as they left off, as a newly-rotated Edinburgh side succumbed to impressive hands across the back line that fed the ball to wing Ollie Lindsay-Hague, who finished at the corner. An excellent Brett Connon conversion from the touchline added the extras (10-19).
A patient Edinburgh side worked their way back into the Falcons' 22 and set up a maul from a lineout deep behind enemy lines but couldn't find the cutting edge to break through from the 5m line, as excellent Newcastle defence repeatedly held them at bay.
Edinburgh again had the crowd on their feet at the death, first when centre Jordan Venter broke free through the middle at the half way mark and fed the ball to the supporting Henry Pyrgos, who chipped on.
Back-row Ben Muncaster was beaten in the foot race to the corner but, as the ball was rushed wide, Newcastle intercepted once again, on their 5m line, allowing for George Wacokekoke to race the length of the field for a converted score.
FULL-TIME: Edinburgh Rugby (10) 10-26 (12) Newcastle Falcons