Edinburgh shock Ospreys
March 26, 2011
Winger Tim Visser is congratulated after scoring Edinburgh's crucial second try at Murrayfield
© PA Photos
Edinburgh ended Ospreys' winning run and recorded only their seventh Magners League win of the season by defeating the Welsh region 23-16 at Murrayfield on Saturday night.
The visitors had motored into an early 13-3 lead courtesy of a try, conversion and two penalties from fly-half Dan Biggar as they looked to record an eighth-successive victory in all competitions. But tries from Jim Thompson and Tim Visser hauled Edinburgh back into the game, with Greig Laidlaw's two penalties and two conversions sealing a valuable victory for the lowly Gunners which moved them above Treviso into ninth in the table. The Ospreys remain third in the table but they will be nervously looking over their shoulder as Cardiff Blues look to mount a late play-off push.
The in-form Ospreys, with several Wales internationals back on duty after the Six Nations, made a fast start and their first foray into home territory yielded a penalty which Biggar steered between the sticks to set the scoreboard ticking. The stand-off doubled his tally two minutes later before Edinburgh clawed back three points when Laidlaw stroked over a penalty.
The scrappy nature of the contest ensured that neither side was able to establish any dominance but it was the defending champions who looked the more menacing and they extended their advantage when Richard Fussell darted down the right flank and flipped the ball inside to Biggar, who dotted down, adding the conversion to carve out a ten-point lead.
Edinburgh thought they had reduced the deficit on 18 minutes when David Denton plunged over after a slick handling move but the television match official ruled that the No.8 had knocked on as he stretched for the line.
That close call sparked a flurry of attacks by the home side but their efforts were undone by a lack of inspiration and a solid defensive effort by Ospreys. Nikki Walker was fortunate to avoid a visit to the sin bin for a high tackle on Ben Cairns as the visitors became increasingly desperate.
Then, after more than 20 minutes of almost unrelenting pressure, Edinburgh finally made the breakthrough shortly before the interval when, after a series of unsuccessful close range drives, the ball was spun wide to Cairns, who sent Thompson in at the corner. Laidlaw thumped over the touchline conversion to leave his side 13-10 in arrears at half-time.
Ospreys made a lively start to the second half but failed to add to their points tally and the Scots restored parity when Laidlaw booted another penalty. Almost immediately, Biggar had an opportunity to respond in kind but pushed his kick wide of the target. However, he atoned for that miss almost immediately, following an offence that earned Edinburgh lock Esteban Lozada a yellow card, to edge Ospreys in front once more.
Edinburgh's response was a bristling run by Visser and, although the winger was thwarted, he made no mistake at the next time of asking, dodging past Rhys Webb and Tommy Bowe before twisting over the line for his 12th try of the campaign. Laidlaw added the extras to put four points between the sides.
Ospreys emptied their bench in a desperate attempt to turn the match around. However, the changes failed to produce a change in fortunes and Edinburgh sealed the win when Laidlaw made his final contribution of the evening when he slotted his third penalty.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Monday Maul turns its attention to drunken nights out, a blunt-talking coach, hidden agendas and crooked feeds
As if beating the Springboks and Pumas on their home turf is not onerous enough Australia, it also involves a road trip from hell writes Greg Growden
He teed up Obolensky's try, fought in Burma and played cricket for Warwickshire - we Rewind to look at the story of Peter Cranmer
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for