Planet Rugby

Hart double sees Edinburgh home

28th February 2014 21:22

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grayson hart edinburgh gloucester

Double: Grayson Hart

Dan Biggar's 79th-minute penalty snatched a losing bonus point for the Ospreys in their 25-31 loss to Edinburgh at Murrayfield.

The hosts ran in three first half tries on their way to a morale-boosting win. Jeff Hassler's double was not enough for the away side, meaning they could move out of a play-off position if results go against them.

Edinburgh's fine performance was well deserved, as a sell out crowd witnessed a pulsating, end to end game.

In the first significant attacking move of the match, the visitors crossed. Justin Tipuric's superb offload five metres from the Edinburgh line gave Hassler the simplest of run ins.

Edinburgh, who were hosting the game at Boroughmuir Rugby Club's ground Meggetland due to the poor state of the pitch at Murrayfield, had arguably started the brightest, but paid for a narrow defensive line.

Alan Solomons will have been delighted with the response he saw, though. After a driving maul which seemed to cover almost half the length of the pitch, Grayson Hart, who had marshalled his pack throughout the drive, took the ball in hand and skipped round the side for a score.

A moment of magic from Jack Cuthbert set up a marvellous second try for Edinburgh. The winger broke the Ospreys line, then played in Sam Beard, who side stepped round the last defender for a 15-5 lead.

Geoff Cross' sin bin not only reduced the home side to 14 men, it also saw the Ospreys cut the gap by three, thanks to Dan Biggar's penalty.

Hart put any suggestions that the Welsh side would kick on with their man advantage to bed when he waltzed over for his second after Edinburgh built a good succession of phases together.

Biggar kept his side's points total ticking over though, his penalty made the score 22-11 going into the break.

Edinburgh's indiscipline once again saw them give away a simple three pointer, with Biggar maintaining his impressive kicking game to keep his side in the hunt for points with two penalties in succession.

At 22-17, and with 25 minutes still to go, Ospreys were far from out of the game. Bezuidenhout knocked over a penalty, but from the restart Hassler showed superb desire to just about get enough downward contact on the ball after a superb Sam Davies kick in behind.

Biggar was unable to convert, meaning with 20 minutes left it was a three-point game. Bezuidenhout's boot was enough to keep the Edinburgh lead a big one, with two penalties meaning victory was secured. Ospreys did at least manage a late penalty to ensure a losing bonus point.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Hart 2, Beard
Cons: Bezuidenhout 2
Pens: Bezuidenhout 4
Yellow Card: Cross

For Ospreys:
Tries: Hassler 2
Pens: Biggar 5
Yellow Card: Beck

Edinburgh: 15 Carl Bezuidenhout, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Sam Beard, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Jack Cuthbert, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Grayson Hart, 8 Cornell du Preez, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Mike Coman (c), 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Wicus Blaauw
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Alex Allan, 18 WP Nel, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Tomas Leonardi, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Ben Atiga, 23 Joaquin Dominguez

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Jonathan Spratt (C), 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Hanno Dirksen, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Lewis, 5 James King, 4 Tyler Ardron, 3 Dan Suter, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Duncan Jones
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dwyer, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Joe Rees, 19 Dan Baker, 20 Ryan Jones, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Aisea Natoga

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ire)
Assistant referees: James Matthew, Stephen Ward (Sco)
TMO: Iain Ramage (Sco)

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