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PRO 14    

Clinical Edinburgh see off Dragons

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PRO 14    

Edinburgh win entertaining clash brimming with open rugby

By PA Authors
By Online Editors

Edinburgh beat Dragons 20-7 in a Guinness PRO14 contest brimming with open rugby. The hosts were the more clinical of the two sides, although they had to show plenty of character after allowing the visitors back into the contest midway through the second half.

Dragons contributed to their own downfall with a string of errors at key moments, and ultimately paid the price for failing to capitalise on lengthy spells in the ascendancy.

Blair Kinghorn and Duhan van der Merwe bagged a try apiece for Edinburgh, while Simon Hickey converted both and two penalties. Adam Warren touched down for the visitors and Sam Davies added the conversion.

Dragons had missed an early penalty attempt before Edinburgh’s first incursion into the opposition 22 yielded a similar award. The hosts spurned the kick at goal and looked to have driven over from the ensuing line-out but the referee called play back for a knock-on.

The home side continued to press and with 14 minutes on the clock, Kinghorn kicked a penalty into touch. Ben Toolis secured the throw and the ball was swept along the line to Kinghorn, who darted between two defenders to dot down. Hickey added the extras.

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Dragons had another tilt at the home defence when Taine Basham raced into space and when he was tackled, the recycled ball was lost in contact, allowing Edinburgh further respite.

With the momentum in their favour, Davies passed up another scoring opportunity when he struck a post with a penalty attempt. And the Edinburgh defence held firm in the face of a further onslaught, which ended with a Jordan Williams knock-on.

Dragons’ failure to open their account was largely down to a mounting error count, and skipper Rhodri Williams then kicked straight into touch from close to the halfway line.

That returned the initiative to Edinburgh and the resulting attack earned a series of penalties within striking distance of the Dragons’ line. The last of those came as the clock ticked into the red, prompting Hickey to go for the posts and take the home tally into double figures at the break.

The visitors had an escape as Edinburgh restarted briskly and Matt Scott looked to have hurtled over for a try. However, the final pass had gone forward. Then, as Dragons sought to profit from that good fortune, Jordan Williams broke from deep and kicked ahead. He was brought down illegally by Toolis, whose offence earned him 10 minutes in the sin-bin.

The personnel numbers were evened up shortly afterwards when Huw Taylor was despatched for 10 minutes for killing the ball just short of the line. Hickey nudged Edinburgh further ahead with a successful kick.

Dragons hauled their way back into the game after 58 minutes with a well-executed try from a scrum in the home 22. Rhodri Williams fed Davies, who sent Warren clear before slotting the conversion.

Within a couple of minutes, the hosts had regained control when the ball was transferred slickly through six pairs of hands to van der Merwe, who raced in at the corner. Hickey hammered over the touchline conversion to complete the scoring.

– Press Association 

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Edinburgh win entertaining clash brimming with open rugby