Edinburgh travelled to the West coast of Ireland on Friday to play Connacht in the latest round of the Guinness PRO12 knowing that a win would help drag them up the table a bit towards European Cup qualification.
Opting to kick into the howling gale and driving rain in the first half, the visitors were first with points as David Denton battered his way over the line from close in for the opening try just after the quarter hour. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne slotted the conversion home – not a gimmee in the conditions – and it was 7-0.
However, Connacht pulled six points back via the boot, before scoring a try of their own. Penalised for infringing too close to the line, Ben Toolis saw yellow and Connacht smelled blood. Opting for the try, they drove Edinburgh back and the referee had no option but to award a penalty try. Kick over and the half time score was 13-7 for the home side.
Now playing with the wind, Hidalgo-Clyne managed too long range penalty efforts to draw the sides level with 15 minutes left. Dougie Fife nearly went over but he just failed to touch down when he slipped diving for a kick through over the try line. A couple of minutes later, Hidalgo-Clyne put Edinburgh ahead 16-13 with another penalty and, in spite of Connacht puting the visitors’ defence under a great deal of pressure, Edinburgh held on for the win. With the Scarlets losing to Glasgow, they and Edinburgh have swapped places in the table – Edinburgh now seventh – both on 28 points, but Edinburgh have one more win to their name.
Image from the reverse fixture at a much calmer and drier BT Murrayfield
Only three of Edinburgh’s four Premiership teams were in action at the weekend, the game between Currie and Heriots being postponed due to pitch conditions. Boroughmuir and Heriots played another Derby match at Meggetland, but ‘Muir were blown away by the clearly superior Goldenacre side to the tune of 36-3. Edinburgh Accies, on the other hand, had a fine home win, beating second place Ayr 11-8 at Raeburn Place.
In the table, Heriots have extended their lead at the top with 56 points, Currie remain in sixth with 29 points and Accies and ‘Muir continue to prop the table up with 23 points apiece.
BT National League, Div. 1
Both matches at Myreside and Inverleith were postponed on Saturday due to the respective waterlogging of the pitches, so both teams remain in third and fourth, with Watsonians, on 43 points just five points – or a bonus point win – behind Stew-Mel, but the side from North Edinburgh have a game in hand.