Mat Protheroe scored a double on his first start for Ospreys as the Welsh side opened their Guinness PRO14 season with a dominant 25-10 victory in Edinburgh.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Swansea-born wing, a summer signing from Bristol, showed his pace and class as he crossed in each half at BT Murrayfield.

The hosts had taken an early lead through a penalty try but Nicky Smith went over for the visitors with both sides down to 14 men.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

Ospreys dealt with the torrential rain far better than Richard Cockerill’s side, who spilled high balls on a number of occasions as they suffered a fourth consecutive defeat.

Edinburgh’s delayed finale to last season ended with a disappointing semi-final defeat by Ulster and European Challenge Cup loss to Bordeaux and they delivered a flat performance, especially in an insipid second-half display.

Edinburgh were missing the injured Blair Kinghorn, Bill Mata, and Duhan Van Der Merwe along with the self-isolating Jamie Ritchie.

And they suffered the first of a series of blows to their pack when flanker Luke Crosbie limped off inside three minutes, although they had a more than able replacement in Hamish Watson.

ADVERTISEMENT

The hosts opened the scoring in the 13th minute after a great break forward from Jamie Farndale, who then passed to Chris Dean on the left wing. The centre’s pass inside was heading for midfield partner Mark Bennett when Ospreys skipper Justin Tipuric deliberately knocked on, only succeeding in getting a yellow card on top of the penalty try.

However, Grant Gilchrist levelled up the teams when he was sent to the sin bin for tipping an opponent and the hosts were effectively down to 13 men when Smith touched down as the Ospreys pack drove over the line as Magnus Bradbury received treatment.

Andrew Davidson came on in the second change to Edinburgh’s back row and Stephen Myler soon kicked a penalty to add to his conversion.

The visitors went further ahead after some direct running. Kieran Williams was still in his own half when he embarked on a piercing run before his dummy opened up space for Protheroe, who was over the line after a clever side-step.

ADVERTISEMENT

Myler’s kicking took Ospreys 13 points ahead before Jaco Van Der Walt cut the deficit with a penalty in the final second of the half after earlier missing two attempts.

Edinburgh offered absolutely nothing going forward after the break.

The game went further beyond them 15 minutes into the half when Protheroe peeled off behind a line-out maul and Rhys Webb spotted his run to send him over in the left corner.

The Welsh side only won two league games last season but they were completely in control and the only down side for new head coach Toby Booth was that they never turned their possession into a bonus-point try.

– PA

Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.

Sign Up Now