Edinburgh 28 – 29 Scarlets

Some slack defending saw Edinburgh get an early score through ace finisher Tim Visser as he crashed over under the posts. A neat conversion saw the home side lead 7-0 and given their recent form it was a much needed boost for them.

The Scarlets hit back straight away with a try of their own through winger George North, before a neat break and pass from scrum half Davies sent the supporting Reynolds over for another try.

Edinburgh kept in touch the whole of the first half through a string of penalties, as indiscipline crept into the Scarlets’ game. Yet the Welsh visitors extended their lead through another George North try, where good footwork combined with a poor Edinburgh defence saw him slide over to score.

Despite the Scarlets’ dominance, it was nineteen all in the lead up to half time yet the visitors were unrelenting and with Edinburgh knocking the ball on near their own line, the ever sharp Gareth Davies snaffled the ball to crash over for a bonus point try and for his team to head in 26-19 leaders at half time.

The second half saw Edinburgh gain more possession, but with the breakdown becoming a baffling battle the penalties, nearly all against the Scarlets, kept on flowing. Davies saw himself yellow carded for an apparent infringement at the breakdown and Leonard kept the points ticking over nicely for Edinburgh and they eventually took the lead.

The Scarlets continued to look dangerous, regularly making their way into Edinburgh’s half, yet their first chance for points only came with four minutes left on the clock, where Denton was penalised for going off his feet. Replacement fly half Rhys Priestland kicked the three points and the game ended with the Scarlets, despite outscoring Edinburgh four tries to one, gaining the narrowest of victories  by just one point.

It was a much improved performance by Edinburgh but there are still big worries in their game. The lack of ability to create tries, especially when their opponents were down to fourteen men is concerning, but not nearly so much as their defensive display. The lack of first up tackling is something their coaching team will need to improve drastically if they are to have any sort of chance of improving their league standing.

The Scarlets will be frustrated that they couldn’t add to their tally of tries in the second half, and their inability to keep their discipline. It could be argued that the match official was not consistent in his application of penalising both sides, yet the Scarlets sometimes did themselves no favours in their game management at the breakdown, and it is an important part of their game that they need to improve.

Despite a sub- standard second half, the Scarlets will be pleased to get the five points from this often tricky away fixture. Edinburgh will feel disgruntled with just a losing bonus point after having led for so much of the second half, yet it is a step in the right direction for them, and they will hope that they keep improving.

Full time score: Edinburgh 28 – 29 Scarlets

Teams

Edinburgh: Greig Tonks; Lee Jones, Matt Scott, Nick De Luca, Tim Visser; Harry Leonard, Chris Leck; John Yapp, Andy Titterrell, Willem Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Sean Cox (capt), David Denton, Ross Rennie, Stuart McInally

Replacements: Ross Ford, Robin Hislop, Alex Allan, Robert McAlpine, Roddy Grant, Richie Rees, John Houston, Tom Brown

Scarlets: Liam Williams; George North, Nick Reynolds, Scott Williams, Morgan Stoddart; Aled Thomas, Gareth Davies; Phil John, Matthew Rees, Samson Lee, Sione Timani, Tomas Vallejos, Aaron Shingler, Rob McCuskser (capt), Johnathan Edwards.

Replacements: Ken Owens, Shaun Hopkins, Deacon Manu, Richard Kelly, Kieran Murphy, Aled Davies, Rhys Priestland, Gareth Owen.

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