Edinburgh ordered to cut out the mistakes

Andries Strauss nearly scores a try. Pic: Ian Cook/CameraSport''Rugby Union www.camerasport.com
Andries Strauss nearly scores a try. Pic: Ian Cook/CameraSport''Rugby Union www.camerasport.com
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Eliminate the errors, play with the same honest endeavour and Edinburgh can defeat the Ospreys at Meggetland on Friday night.

That was the candid assessment of Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons after Saturday’s frustrating journey to south Wales ended in a 25-21 defeat to Ospreys.

Two first-half tries from the former Wales Under-20 full-back Jordan Williams, not only saw Edinburgh suffer an eighth Pro12 defeat of the season, but left Solomons to lament yet another missed opportunity.

“We’ve only got ourselves to blame,” said Solomons. “Our error rate was through the roof. Every time we had a chance to do something we made a mistake and that’s frustrating. We had a crooked line-out which cost us and that was the way it was all afternoon.

“I know we are good enough because we have shown it. But unless we cut out those mistakes we are going to struggle.

“I don’t want to talk about positions or things like that, because we took a view from the start of the season that this year would be about getting our performances right.

“When I look at phases of the game I think we are slowly, but surely, moving in the right direction. But then we go and blow a chance to score and as a result miss out on winning.”

Edinburgh certainly made a bright enough start and, in the fifth minute, Nick De Luca was both creator and try scorer in a slick move that began with an eye-catching miss pass in midfield.

De Luca, who performed with aplomb in Edinburgh’s three-quarter line, eventually applied the finishing touch when he dashed in for a try that outside half Carl Bezuidenhout converted from the touchline. The South African added a penalty shortly after and Edinburgh were deservedly ten points to the good.

Scarlets’ outside half Aled Thomas kicked two penalties to cut the deficit to four and as the hosts found their feet, highly rated young scrum-half Gareth Davies set up the elusive Williams for the first of the young full-back’s two tries. Thomas converted, but Bezuidenhout levelled with a penalty from 45 metres.

Although Edinburgh were more than combative in all aspects of the game, Williams secured an 18-13 interval lead for the Scarlets when he nipped over for a second try of the afternoon.

It was a disappointing end to the first 40 minutes, but one that gave way to better times for the visitors at the start of the second period. Having turned down the chance to kick a penalty at goal, Edinburgh were rewarded for their ambition. A five metre line-out created the platform and when the ball was worked out along the line, Tom Brown collected a fine pass from replacement pivot Harry Leonard to dot down for a smart try.

Adam Warren’s 55th minute try was converted by Thomas before Jack Cuthbert reduced the deficit with a try. However, despite concerted pressure, Edinburgh were unable to get any closer or to cross for the try that would have brought a sixth win of the league season.

Flanker and captain Mike Coman said: “It was an improved performance, but it’s still a loss and a bitter pill to swallow. A losing bonus point is better than nothing.”

Scorers: Tries: J Williams (2), Warren. Cons: A Thomas (2). Pens: A Thomas (2).

Edinburgh: Tries: De Luca, Brown. Con: Bezuidenhout. Pens: Bezuidenhout (2), Cuthbert.

Scarlets:

Scarlets: J Williams, K Phillips, A Warren (G Maule 68), O Barkley, F Climo, A Thomas, G Davies (R Williams 65), P John (R Evans 68), E Phillips (K Myhill 68), S Lee (J Adriaanse 58), G Earle (R Kelly 27), J Snyman, J Turnbull (S Timani 53), R McCusker (capt), J Barclay.

Edinburgh: J Cuthbert, D Fife, N De Luca (S Beard 40), A Strauss, T Brown, C Bezuidenhout (H Leonard 40), G Hart (S Hidalgo-Clyne 58), W Blaauw (A Allan 74), J Hilterbrand, W Nel, G Gilchrist, I van der Westhuizen (O Atkins 67), M Coman (capt), C Du Preez, R Grant (T Leonardi 70).

Referee: M Mitrea (Italy).