Lee-Roy Atalifo scored a debut try as an understrength Edinburgh side emerged from the fog to beat Cardiff 18-0 at BT Murrayfield. The Fiji prop and hooker David Cherry crossed the line in each half as the Edinburgh pack did the damage.
The fog made visibility extremely difficult for the majority of the second half but Edinburgh had built a commanding lead before the conditions deteriorated.
Richard Cockerill’s side lost their first three games of the Guinness PRO14 season before bouncing back to beat Scarlets last week and they made it a Welsh double as Cardiff suffered a third consecutive defeat following their flying start to the campaign.
Cockerill was without nine players through injury while he had 13 players on international duty. On top of that, stand-off Jaco van der Walt, who is set to join the Scotland set-up when he meets the residency criteria later this month, was back in his native South Africa getting married.
His stand-in, 20-year-old Nathan Chamberlain, opened the scoring with a seventh-minute penalty as Edinburgh started on the front foot. Cardiff kept out some relentless attacks from the Edinburgh pack until former Jersey player Atalifo broke their resistance with a close-range try in the 25th minute. Chamberlain added the points with the boot.
The fog descended on BT Murrayfield but even that couldn't stop @EdinburghRugby!
— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) November 9, 2020
Jason Tovey hit the post with a penalty just after the half-hour mark following Cardiff’s first real spell of pressure but Edinburgh otherwise maintained their discipline to keep the visitors at bay. The home side survived some early second-half pressure before extending their lead in the 54th minute.
Cherry had earned a starting place after his impressive performance off the bench in Llanelli saw him named in the PRO14 team of the week, and he vindicated his selection by going over following a lineout drive. Chamberlain sliced his conversion wide just as the deep fog descended on the stadium.
Through the gloom, Edinburgh centre Mark Bennett was stopped in the corner as the home side looked to put the game out of sight before Blues rallied in the final ten minutes. Cardiff full-back Hallam Amos had the chance to offload and send a teammate beneath the posts but he attempted a dummy and was stopped in his tracks by opposite number Jack Blain.
Edinburgh No8 Ally Miller also produced a vital tackle to halt Owen Lane’s progress down the right wing before the home side saw out the final stages in the opposition half and Chamberlain kicked a penalty to close the contest.
'We can’t change what happened. I know people have a lot of questions.'
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 8, 2020
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