Bonus-point win for Edinburgh

Date published: December 8 2018

Edinburgh moved top of Pool Five in the Champions Cup after notching a 31-13 bonus-point win over Newcastle Falcons at Murrayfield on Friday.

The home side were in control for long periods although it took them some time to get going as wet weather made handling and underfoot conditions difficult.

Newcastle were competitive during the first half and even led 13-10 at half-time but Edinburgh dominated the second half and eventually outscored their visitors by four tries to one.

The Falcons were on the back foot from the outset as they were forced to play the game with only seven players on the replacements bench. This, after tighthead prop David Wilson and reserve front-row Trevor Davison were declared unfit and withdrew from the matchday squad. Sam Lockwood came into the starting line-up as Wilson’s replacement but the Falcons failed in their bid to register Jack Payne as an additional prop.

Despite that setback, Newcastle held a slight edge during the opening exchanges and they took an early lead courtesy of a Brett Connon penalty in the fifth minute after Pierre Schoeman was blown up for a ruck infringement.

Edinburgh soon took control of proceedings and 10 minutes later they took the lead via a Hamish Watson try from close quarters, after WP Nel was stopped close to the tryline in the build-up.

Jaco van der Walt added the extras which meant the home side were holding a 7-3 lead but, although they continued to hold the upper hand during the next 10 minutes, Edinburgh could not convert that dominance into points.

And on the half-hour mark, the game’s complexion changed when Tom Arscott and Pedro Bettencourt did well to create space down the left-hand touchline for Adam Radwan, who raced away before crossing for a deserved try.

The conversion from Connon was good but shortly afterwards the Falcons’ front-row were punished for illegal scrummaging and Van der Walt slotted the resulting penalty to draw Edinburgh level again.

However, Falcons would regain the lead on the stroke of half-time when Connon landed another penalty after illegal play from Grant Gilchrist at a lineout.

Despite trailing 13-10 at the break, Edinburgh were fastest out of the blocks in the second half and five minutes after the restart Chris Dean ran a great line before crashing over from close range.

Edinburgh continued to dominate over the next 15 minutes and in the 57th minute they pulled further ahead courtesy of a penalty try after the Falcons’ forwards capitulated under pressure at a scrum close to their try-line.

Three minutes later, Edinburgh thought they had claimed their bonus-point when Darcy Graham showed a superb turn of speed before diving over in the right-hand corner. His effort was disallowed, however, as television replays revealed he had a foot in touch while crossing the try-line after a superb cover tackle from Tom Arscott.

Edinburgh continued to pile on the pressure and they sealed their win and secured the bonus-point in the 72nd minute when Van der Walt stabbed a grubber kick through which Blair Kinghorn gathered before dotting down.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Watson, Dean, Penalty try, Kinghorn
Cons: Van der Walt 3
Pen: Van der Walt

For Newcastle Falcons:
Try: Radwan
Con: Connon
Pens: Connon 2

Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 James Johnstone, 12 Chris Dean, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Bill Mata, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 WP Nel, 2 Stuart McInally (c), 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 David Cherry, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Callum Hunter-Hill, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Simon Hickey, 23 Juan Pablo Socino

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Pedro Bettencourt, 11 Adam Radwan, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Tane Takulua, 8 Callum Chick, 7 Gary Graham, 6 Ryan Burrows (c), 5 Glen Young, 4 Tex Cavubati, 3 Sam Lockwood, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Adam Brocklebank
Replacements: 16 Santi Socino, 18 Sami Mavinga, 19 Calum Green, 20 Simon Uzokwe, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Johnny Williams

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Andrea Piardi (Italy), Matteo Liperini (Italy)
Television match official: Stefano Pennè (Italy)