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Cockerill's Edinburgh lead Conference B

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Edinburgh eye French league leaders after topping PRO14 Conference B

By PA Authors
By Online Editors

Edinburgh stand-off Jaco Van Der Walt says his side are heading to France on a high after storming to the top of their Guinness PRO14 division.

The Murrayfield outfit claimed a 61-13 victory over Southern Kings on Saturday to take over at the summit of Conference B.

And a victory over Bordeaux Begles – the Top 14 league leaders – next weekend will see them also take the lead in their European Challenge Cup pool.

South African Van Der Walt – who racked up his half-century of appearances for Richard Cockerill’s team at the weekend – told Edinburgh’s Twitter account: “What a great win for us and what a way to celebrate your 50th cap.

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“Kings were a man down so it was easy for us to throw the ball about. It’s nice for us to get those points and go top of the conference.

“It’s a nice way for us to end before this break as we go back into Europe. There’s still a lot of games left so we need to keep our focus and keep working hard.”

The Isuzu Southern Kings were reduced to 12 men at one stage against Edinburgh after receiving a red card in the opening minutes of the clash, but despite this, they managed to produce a competitive first half display.

The numerical disadvantage, however, eventually cost them as they went down 61-13 at Murrayfield.

They were then reduced to 13 players in the second half when De-Jay Terblanche (prop) left the field due to a concussion, and later found themselves down to 12 men when Aston Fortuin (lock) received a yellow card for infringing in a maul close to the tryline.

Isuzu Southern Kings coach Robbie Kempson was pleased with his team’s effort, although he admitted the numerical disadvantage killed off any chance his side had.

“We did exceptionally well in the first 50 minutes with 14 men, but the wheels came off when we had uncontested scrums,” said Kempson. “Being down to 13 and then to 12 against one of the best sides in the competition, you are always going to be on the back-end of a hiding.”

The coach, however, was positive about the strides his side had taken after a month off.

“In the first half, in particular, when we were down to 14, we managed to keep Edinburgh very close,” he said. “We had one opportunity in the second half to score a try and unfortunately we didn’t take that. If we had taken that it would have brought things a little closer for the players.

“But we have come on in leaps and bounds from where we were.

“This game was an anomaly; you are never going to beat any side with 12 men on the park at any stage. The way this team has grown in the past six months has been impressive. The coaches we have brought in have made a difference and there is certainly a belief that we can take another step forward despite the unfortunate result.”

– Press Association/additonal reporting PRO14

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Edinburgh eye French league leaders after topping PRO14 Conference B
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