Report and reaction to Edinburgh’s record defeat

Rhys Webb scores the first try for Ospreys (Swansea''� CameraSport)
Rhys Webb scores the first try for Ospreys (Swansea''� CameraSport)
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Edinburgh captain Andries Strauss was left to lament a lack of character and attitude after they crashed to their biggest ever Celtic League defeat.

The Ospreys scored nine tries to leave Edinburgh nursing a second successive defeat in the Guinness Pro 12 and their heaviest domestic loss since a 48-0 defeat at Cardiff in 2007. The rout was also the first time they had conceded nine tries in a Celtic League match.

Hamish Watson scored a consolation try, before the interval, and outside half Tom Heathcote added two penalties and conversion. However, it was one-way traffic in the second half with the Welsh region scoring six tries without reply.

Strauss said: “That was a painful defeat. I thought we lacked character and attitude on the field. There is not a lack of team spirit within the squad, but we showed a very poor attitude.

“We were nowhere near where we needed to be physically – we fell off tackles and allowed them to score too easily.”

The visitors could not have got off to a worse start with Wales scrum half Rhys Webb dashing 50 metres through four would-be tacklers to score at the posts.

Heathcote responded with a penalty, but Webb’s second try and a third from Dan Baker, after the home side drove a line out 20 metres, all but settled the issue inside half an hour.

Coach Alan Solomons said: “It was disappointing because for the first half an hour our line out didn’t work and we were soon in trouble on the scoreboard. We also turned the ball over too many times.

The only moment of joy before the interval came via the boot of Tim Visser. His speculative kick ahead bounced nicely into his own hands and when Watson appeared on his shoulder, the Scotland wing popped up the ball and the openside swept in for a try that Heathcote improved.

Biggar kicked a penalty on the stroke of half time, but Solomons said: “We went into the shed at half time trailing 24-10, and to be honest, it was nothing we couldn’t fix up. We then kicked a penalty straight after the restart and that was 24-13.”

Unfortunately, from that juncture, Edinburgh’s hopes evaporated as a lack of accuracy, stray passes and an all-round malaise cost them dearly.

Solomons added: “We gave them two tries in the 46th and 49th minutes and, thereafter, we were playing catch up.”

Biggar’s try gifted the Ospreys their bonus point and Jeff Hassler made it 36-13 when he seized on a sloppy Edinburgh pass in his own 22 and galloped 80 metres to score.

Both sides rung the changes around the hour mark, but it was the Ospreys who were always in control. They played with pace and poise and left Edinburgh clutching at straws. Tomas Leonardi was the pick of the Edinburgh back five, whilst scrum half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne did his best to lift the tempo.

Sadly, it was not to be, and when centre Jonathan Spratt extended the lead further with 19 minutes remaining, Edinburgh were staring down the barrel of a record defeat.

Solomons said: “It’s one of my worst defeats, although Munster last year was a tough one.

“Looking back at that game, I remember how well we bounced back. That is something we need to do now.”

With Edinburgh down and out, the Welsh region topped up their points tally with three further tries in the final 11 minutes.

Hanno Dirksen dashed in for try number seven, Tom Grabham came off the bench to make it eight and Tyler Ardron put the seal on a job thoroughly well executed by the Ospreys. Replacement outside half Sam Davies converted all three.

Scorers: Ospreys: Tries – Webb (2), Baker, Biggar, Hassler, Dirksen, Ardron, Grabham, Spratt. Conversions – Biggar (4), Davies (3). Penalty – Biggar.

Edinburgh: Try – Watson. Conversion – Heathcote. Penalties – Heathcote (2)

Ospreys: D Evans; J Hassler (T Grabham 61), J Spratt, J Matavesi, H Dirksen; D Biggar (S Davies 61), R Webb (M Roberts 64); N Smith (D Jones 58), S Baldwin (S Parry 62), A Jarvis (D Arhip 50), A W Jones (T Ardron 60), R Bernardo, J King, J Tipuric, D Baker (M Allen 59).

Edinburgh: J Cuthbert; N McLennan, P Burleigh, A Strauss (S Beard 61), T Visser, T Heacthcote (G Tonks 61), S Hidalgo-Cline (Hart 51); A Dickenson (R Sutherland 61), J Hilterbrand (N Cochrane 75), WP Nell (Andress 51), F McKenzie, A Bresler (O Atkins 51), T Leonardi, H Watson (R Grant 61), C du Preez.