Ospreys 31, Edinburgh 22: Improved showing but sin-binnings are costly

Blair Kinghorn, left, ran 30 metres to score Edinburgh's second try
Blair Kinghorn, left, ran 30 metres to score Edinburgh's second try
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Another away trip in the Pro 12 and yet another defeat for Edinburgh, this time at the home of the high flying Ospreys.

Since September of last year, Edinburgh have secured only one win away from Murrayfield and this latest defeat was already a third in Wales this season during which they have failed to pick up a single point.

After defeats at Cardiff Blues (34-16) and Newport-Gwent Dragons (27-19), this was another disappointing reverse against the Ospreys, who maintain their challenge at the top.

That said, this was an improved showing by Edinburgh, who showed considerable spirit and were much better in attack than they were at Newport on Sunday.

They scored three good tries to reward the whole-hearted efforts of Murray McCallum and Nasi Manu in the pack, which allowed the returning Sam Hildago-Clyne to have an incisive game at scrum half.

Junior Rasolea was a constant threat with Blair Kinghorn, a brave and impressive full-back. However, Ospreys weren’t at their clinical best and should have capitalised on Edinburgh losing two players to the sin-bin in the second half. Edinburgh suffered an early blow when Chris Dean was stretchered off with a knee injury after only two minutes. Still, they were fortunate when Duncan Weir escaped a yellow card after his tip tackle saw Brendon Leonard fall to the floor.

Although the home side maintained the early pressure and were rewarded when Sam Davies kicked an easy penalty, Edinburgh responded immediately with an excellent try.

From just outside the Ospreys 22, Rasolea collected a loose ball to set in motion a sustained round of passing which culminated in Will Helu crossing in the corner.

Weir missed the ensuing conversion and Edinburgh’s lead became short-lived when, from a lineout on half-way, a pre-planned move created a huge gap in the defence for Dafydd Howells to sail through and run 40 metres to score.

Davies converted and then an excellent kick from the outside half gained his side a platform five metres out from the try-line.

Good defence from Edinburgh snuffed out the resulting lineout drive but the visitors were embarrassingly shoved off their own scrum leaving Dan Baker with a simple pick up to score. A second conversion from Davies gave Ospreys a 17-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Another stroke of good fortune for Edinburgh put them back into contention with a highly controversial try. Dan Evans was positioned to collect a high ball from Weir when Damian Hoyland clattered into the full-back and the ball ran loose for Kinghorn to run 30 metre to score.

The frenetic opening continued with a third try for Ospreys when Ma’afu Fia drove over from close range as Edinburgh struggled to cope with the power of the home pack.

Just before the interval, Edinburgh suffered another injury blow when Hoyland left the field for a head assessment and was replaced by Jason Tovey. However, a penalty from Weir left Edinburgh only nine points behind at half-time.

After the restart, Hoyland returned in time to see Ospreys collect their bonus-point try. Skilful handling from Davies and Alun Wyn-Jones gave Keelan Giles an easy run-in before Edinburgh had two good chances to reduce the deficit but Weir declined kickable penalties in the hope of collecting further tries.

However, the hosts’ defence was too strong and when their skipper Grant Gilchrist was sin-binned after 55 minutes, Edinburgh looked set for a heavy defeat, but they showed remarkable resilience.

That should have been rewarded but Rasolea lost the ball in the process of touching down and Ospreys swiftly moved up field to be denied a try by a crunching tackle by Kinghorn on Scott Baldwin.

Both players departed for head assessments with Gilchrist returning only for Allan Dell to immediately replace him in the sin-bin.

Ospreys looked set to make their superiority count but squandered a number of opportunities and it was left to Edinburgh replacement No 8, Vilame Mata, to cross for the final try. However Weir’s conversion wasn’t enough to secure a bonus point but it was a creditable performance from the visitors.


Ospreys: Tries: Howells, Baker, Fia, Giles. Conversions: Davies (4). Penalties: Davies

Edinburgh: Tries: Helu, Kinghorn, Mata. Conversions: Weir (2). Penalties: Weir

Ospreys: D Evans; K Giles, A Beck (K Fonotia 59), J Matavesi, D Howells; S Davies, B Leonard (D Biggar 68) (T Habberfield 40); N Smith (P James 64), S Parry (S Baldwin 59), M Fia (D Arhip 40), R Thornton, A Wyn-Jones, J King, D Baker (J Ashley 72), J Tipuric (S Underhill 72)

Edinburgh: B Kinghorn (J Tovey 66); D Hoyland, C Dean (G Bryce 2), J Rasolea, W Helu; D Weir, S Hildago-Clyne ( N Fowles 66); A Dell (K Whyte 68), S McInally (N Cochrane 66), M McCallum (F Arregui 66), G Gilchrist, B Toolis (L Carmichael 74), J Ritchie, N Manu (V Mata 62) M Bradbury

Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)