Match Report: Edinburgh Rugby 16-10 Ulster Rugby

Ian Humphreys

Ian Humphreys attacks

Ulster’s away woes in the Guinness PRO12 continued as they slipped to a 16-10 defeat to Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield.

Three penalties and a conversion from Greig Tonks and a try from man of the match Hamish Watson propelled Edinburgh to victory, while a try from Sean Reidy provided Ulster with the losing bonus point.

The hosts were the side that got off the mark first as full-back Tonks landed a straightforward penalty from in front of the posts in the fifth minute.

Edinburgh were looking impressive with ball in hand and they were dominating possession too, but the Ulster defence limited them to just another Tonks penalty in the 17th minute to double their lead.

For the first half an hour Ulster were struggling to impose themselves on the game due to a lack of possession and territory, but they did manage to get themselves on the scoreboard courtesy of a 24th minute penalty from Peter Nelson.

The game was being dominated by defences and it took until four minutes into the second half for the whitewash to be crossed, and it was the visitors who did so.

Nick Williams effected a turnover deep in the Edinburgh 22 after Paul Marshall kicked the ball down the field and the ball was worked out wide to openside flanker Sean Reidy who burrowed over for the try.

Nelson landed the difficult touchline conversion and Neil Doak’s side led for the first time in the game.

That lead lasted all of ten minutes as Edinburgh launched a counter attack from a poor kick and the ball found its way into the hands of their openside Hamish Watson who was set over by Nasi Manu to score.

The game continued to be dominated by errors and defences, but Tonks was on hand to slot over another penalty in the 64th minute to extend the hosts’ lead to 16-10.

With ten minutes to go there was a lot of confusion on the pitch after Edinburgh’s substitute prop Grant Shiells went down injured and coach Alan Solomons attempted to replace him with hooker George Turner.

Eventually referee Dudley Phillips let him on, while at the same time Tonks had a penalty attempt to push the Scots’ lead to nine but the kick came up just short.

Ulster managed to force an attacking scrum in the Edinburgh 22 with a few minutes to go, however they couldn’t fashion a scoring chance and Edinburgh were able to hold on and keep their unbeaten run alive.

 

The scorers

 For Edinburgh

Try: Watson

Con: Tonks

Pens: Tonks (3)

For Ulster

Try: Reidy

Con: Nelson

Pen: Nelson

 

EDINBURGH RUGBY

(15-9) Greig Tonks, Tom Brown, Chris Dean (Will Helu 40), Andries Strauss, Damien Hoyland, Phil Burleigh, Nathan Fowles; (1-8) Allan Dell (Grant Shiells 10 (George Turner 70)), Neil Cochrane, John Andress (Simon Berghan 65), Anton Bresler, Fraser McKenzie, Mike Coman (Cornell du Preez 55), Hamish Watson, Nasi Manu.

Subs not used: Alex Toolis, Sean Kennedy, Jack Cuthbert.

ULSTER RUGBY

(15-9) Louis Ludik (Ian Humphreys 59), Craig Gilroy, Sam Arnold, Stuart McCloskey, Andrew Trimble, Peter Nelson, Paul Marshall; (1-8) Callum Black (Andrew Warwick 55), Rob Herring (John Andrew 68), Wiehahn Herbst (Bronson Ross 55), Dan Tuohy (Lewis Stevenson 34), Franco van der Merwe, Roger Wilson (Willie Faloon 51), Sean Reidy, Nick Williams.

Subs not used: David Shanahan, Rory Scholes.

 

Man of the Match: Hamish Watson (Edinburgh)

Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU)