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Edinburgh go top for first time since 2009/10 Celtic League season

By PA
(Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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Edinburgh shot to the top of the United Rugby Championship table after bagging four first-half tries against Cardiff. The Scottish capital side won 34-10 to reach the summit of a combined league table for the first time since the 2009/10 Celtic League season.

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The first-half tries came from each of Mike Blair’s starting centres – James Lang and Mark Bennett – and wingers Ramiro Moyano and Emiliano Boffelli. Cardiff played the final quarter with 14 men after both Liam Belcher and James Botham were driven off injured, the latter after a lengthy spell of treatment.

They initially fared better after the stoppage, with Owen Lane breaking away to score their only try, although Bennett added his second of the day late on. Edinburgh’s previous game was a European Challenge Cup win over Saracens four weeks earlier, but they showed no sign of rustiness as they crossed twice inside nine minutes.

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The opener came after Magnus Bradbury forced a turnover deep inside Edinburgh’s half. The hosts moved the ball to the right and Lang spotted a gap to burst forward before offloading for scrum-half Ben Vellacott to set up Moyano.

The second try soon came in similar circumstances when Bennett saw the space to break the Cardiff line and feed Boffelli. Edinburgh defended well when they had to and were quickly over after a scrum on the half-hour mark, with Bennett exchanging passes with Boffelli before crossing.

Another scrum deep in Cardiff territory led to the bonus-point try in the final minute of the half. Blair Kinghorn found Jamie Ritchie on the right wing with a long pass and the Scotland forward laid it off for Lang to cross. Boffelli kicked seven first-half points, with Rhys Priestland’s penalty the only positive for the visitors. Moyano came close to another try after running through a series of tackles from ten metres inside his own half, but the second half was more scrappy, with Cardiff’s double injury blow coming around the 57-minute mark.

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The visitors got their try just after the hour mark. Kinghorn spilt Ritchie’s pass and Lane broke away before dribbling the ball over the line to dive for his fourth try of the URC season. Cardiff briefly threatened an unlikely comeback when Tomos Williams intercepted, but he lacked support and Edinburgh got back on top. The hosts had a number of late chances and Bennett supplied an impressive 35-metre finish to round off the win.

 

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