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Edinburgh made to work hard for Champions Cup win by Castres


Edinburgh added a five-point Heineken Champions Cup win to the losing bonus they earned at Saracens last Sunday, but they had to fight all the way before finally beating Castres 31-20.


The French side had supposedly selected a second string for the trip to the DAM Health Stadium but they came close to securing a try bonus themselves before eventually falling just short in the Pool A clash.

Edinburgh had to make a late change to their line-up when Duhan van der Merwe failed a fitness test on a minor ankle injury – however, the winger is expected to be fit for Friday’s match at Glasgow.

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A high-tempo game remained scoreless until midway through the first half, when Edinburgh finally made their pressure tell, Bill Mata forcing his way over, with Emiliano Boffelli converting.

Castres hit back soon after. A scrum penalty went to touch, and when Pierre Colonna’s throw-in bounced off an arm and back into his path, he raced for the line then flopped over for an unconverted try.

The French side then took the lead after half an hour with another five-point score when scrum-half Julien Blanc finished on the right.

Edinburgh regained the lead through a penalty try, awarded after Quentin Walcker came in from the side and pulled the maul down. The loosehead prop was sin-binned for the offence but the 14 men had the last word in the first half when Julien Dumora found the target from a penalty to take the score to 14-13.


Edinburgh increased their lead early in the second half when Charlie Savala finished off from a pass by James Lang. The try, made possible by an excellent run from Luke Crosbie deep into the 22, was converted by Boffelli from in front of the posts.


The hosts were soon under renewed pressure but they got the bonus try when a James Lang kick ahead was fumbled by Martin Laveau then touched down by Ben Vellacott. Boffelli converted.

Castres hit back immediately, with Adrien Seguret dashing through a gap in the defence after Edinburgh failed to deal with the restart.

Ben Botica converted, but the home side weathered the storm, and a Boffelli penalty minutes from time completed the scoring.


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