Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Edinburgh 37-10 Ospreys

Jason Tovey
Jason Tovey - pic © Alastair Ross / Novantae Photography

Most people fancied Edinburgh were in with a chance of beating an Ospreys team that has been the wrong side of stumbling for most of this season, but the Myreside crowd were delighted to see them comprehensively outplay the Welsh region for the full 5 league points.

It probably counts as Edinburgh’s best win under Cockerill and caps off a nice little winning run going into the international break.

They might not be on a streak quite as hot as counterparts Glasgow but despite off-field issues in recent weeks, Edinburgh are certainly now playing like a team and have been winning in both competitions, unlike Glasgow.

The game started quite differently for Edinburgh with Ospreys prop Dmitri Arhip barrelling over the line for the opening try after 11 miuntes. Edinburgh’s defence had been frantic but held out for as long as it could under repeated strain.

The try came on the heels of three penalties awarded by referee Andrew Brace, none of which the Ospreys kicked for goal. That overconfidence was perhaps unfounded as they only scored another three points all night through a Sam Davies penalty, after Jason Tovey had slotted one of his own to get Edinburgh on the board.

The home side, on the other hand, looked confident with the ball in hand and Blair Kinghorn was once again providing the creative impulse close to the line, with a line break creating space for Tom Brown to gain ground and set up the attacking position. The fullback stayed in support and made himself available for Cornell du Preez to offload and put him in at the corner on the next phase. He may have been left out this time round but if Kinghorn keeps this form up all season, Townsend will have to start thinking – is there a way to put Kinghorn and Hogg in the same team?

Tovey took another penalty before half time to give Edinburgh a decent lead, but not a comfortable one.

Half-time: Edinburgh 16-10 Ospreys

Edinburgh kept the pace up in the second half and there were further tries to come. The first was for Nathan Fowles but was a superb team effort created largely through the attacking instincts of James Johnstone (and Kinghorn again), and the second was an individual effort by Tovey who jinked through a tiring Ospreys defence to dot down.

Edinburgh settled then, but despite their control of the game it looked like they might not achieve the bonus point they deserved.

There was a nice note of redemption for Magnus Bradbury who appeared off the bench to score the final try with a short range batter to the posts and put that matter to bed.

In part the success is due to consistency of selection and while it is undoubted that Jason Tovey playing at ten is bad for Scottish standoffs, Jason Tovey playing at ten seems to be good for Edinburgh as they’ve played their best rugby when he is at the helm. The Welsh man took a try himself as well as a 17 points with the boot, up against another long-overlooked Welsh fly-half James Hook who was playing at centre.

Cockerill not always picking the established international names for Edinburgh has also helped the transition into this period when a lot of them will be away; you don’t miss what you haven’t been relying on all that much.

Like Glasgow, injuries have bitten Edinburgh this week with the news that Ross Ford (who has rarely featured anyway) has a pectoral injury set to keep him out of the Scotland tests and beyond. With front row players thin on the ground, he has been replaced in the Scotland squad by Neil Cochrane.

The main challengers for the hooker’s shirt are all now Edinburgh players – Cochrane, Stuart McInally and George Turner, who ironically wouldn’t be if he wasn’t on loan at Glasgow amassing bucketloads of game time. At 33, Cochrane might seem unlikely for a cap this late in his career but in all honesty he has done little but be impressive since he pitched up at Edinburgh. He’s not the youngest, but wouldn’t let anyone down. As an old-school hooker whether he suits Toony’s high-speed plan is another matter.

Bradbury and Rory Sutherland have also been drafted into the Scotland squad this week by Gregor Townsend.

SRBlog Man of the Match: A big points haul from the boot and a well-taken individual try against his countrymen mean Jason Tovey gets the honours. As usual, Cornell du Preez and Blair Kinghorn were close.

Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)

24 Responses

  1. Really good win with lots of pace in defence & attack, very in-Edinburgh like, pretty much bullied the Ospreys pack. Gilchrist, Kinghorn even Tovey & Fowles all played well but the standout was Du Preez who looks back to the form of 2 seasons ago. It even sounded as if there was bit of atmosphere building towards the end.

  2. The first 25 minutes of the second half is the best I’ve seen Edinburgh play for about 4 years. They looked cohesive and were running hard on to the ball. First I’ve seen Crosby, who looks like a hard running flanker. Looking forward to more of this.

  3. A very good win for Edinburgh. Shorn of a few international players, as were Ospreys, it’s still a good bonus point win. And with Glasgow’s near second string doing so well too last night, I’m trusting that Toonie is making sure the Test training squad is doing what they need to do to prepare for three tough AIs given most of them have been pulled from the club front line for a couple of games.
    Got to credit the SRU and supporting infrastructure for getting us moving towards a point where the two pro clubs don’t suffer too much if at all from mass absences on international duty.

  4. Fantastic effort. Can see a massive difference in the likes of Berghan (he just looked a big lump last season good in scrum but now much more effective in the loose). Du Preez I thought had bulked up early season and was still adapting but now looks to be getting there (still plenty to come I think (Hopefully)).
    The young guys Crosbie, Ritchie and Kinghorn were brilliant. and great to see Bradbury return with a bang and the team seemed to be united around him.
    Seen for 1st time tonight why Toonie rates Fowles he was just consistent, played simple balls well kept things moving didnt make many mistakes when SHC came on he was a bit more energetic but a bit more risky (although thats not always a bad thing when it comes off) his passes always seem to go above the head of the receiver which makes them have to work harder to catch and possibly allows the defenders to line them up easier or slows them down half a yard Fowles passing just seemed more accurate (or maybe I was just watching for it more as thats what Toonie said!)
    This was a game that last year they would have lost and now they are coming away with wins and the occasional bonus point. Had they had a better season last year (or there was more than one Scottish team allowed in a conference) they would be sitting pretty in 3rd and challenging for 2nd but as it is there putting up a good showing in conf b (Not sure what would happen if it finished like it is – Cheetahs cant play in Europe so does that mean Connacht would take their place and then it would be a play off between Zebre and Edinburgh for the 7th Champions Cup Spot?)
    What I would give now for 2 wins out of 3 for Scotland imagine the high Scottish rugby would be on going into next year!

  5. Edinburgh really starting to look like a good team. Passing much better… attacking more more fluid…solid front pack. Cockerill really making impressive progress with the players he has.

    Kinghorn was a constant huge threat every time he had the ball. He is going to be a cracking FB one he fills out a bit more. Surely a better option for the AIs than R Jackson.

    Great to see R Sutherland back. Even tho only playing for a short stint looked like he hadn’t been away. A couple of full games at club level and Id be putting him in against Australia or NZ. Best player we have in that position if fit.

    Fowles showed why he is preferred to SHC. Far better passing. Team looked better with Fowles in there.

    Gilchrist looked more like his pre-injury form. J Johnstone looks like …if he could improve his handling a bit more…be a very useful centre.

    Crosbie really looks like a test level 6 in the making. Du Preeze game in a long while…should get selected in the AIs…we really don’t have anything better at 8.

  6. Whilst the 6 nations is too soon for the youngsters, I’m looking forward to the summer tour to see Crosbie, Kinghorn, Ritchie and Johnston play with even better players around them. If they keep on playing the way they are then they should get on the plane.

  7. Some great prospects breaking through or cementing places this season.

    Crosbie, Carmichael, McCallum, Ritchie, Bradbury. I really hope Hunter-Hill gets a shot as well as he’s a bit of a bastard which we’ve lacked in the boiler room. Fenton will have a good chance whilst Ford is injured and McInally with Scotland to get some minutes too.

  8. It’s a big ask but if they can get 10 points in SA they’ll definitely be in running for a playoff spot, as theyll be affected less than the other teams during 6 nations.

    Major plus is that they have the second best defence in the league and thats counting two away games to Scarlets and Leinster. If they continue with the strong attacking play, I think they can get 3rd.

    1. If Edinburgh get an additional 10 points in SA, they may be more heavily affected by the 6 Nations than any previous year.

    2. I’ll be happy if Edinburgh get forth and have a decent run in the Challenge cup. 3rd I think is just beyond us. I also think the start of our season hasn’t been to tough fixture wise bar going to Dublin and scarlet’s away.

  9. Not looking forward to the 1872 cup – looks like Edinburgh could do some real damage when you take Saturday’s performance into account plus the extra little something they add when playing Glasgow! Hogg vs. Kinghorn should be worth the price of admission alone… Great to see both teams doing well.

    1. Yeah I agree. I think Edinburgh could sneak it given they have the stronger pack I think at present. Edinburghs front and back rows edge it over glasgows presently, especially with Vunisa, Kebble and Brown out.

    2. Maybe its just because I have no massive allegiance to either club, but I do always wonder why the matches aren’t fixed for whoever has the best chance in the league. The last few years where Glasgow have been in the reckoning for the league, a guaranteed 10 points would be a huge boost! Maybe I’m just not aware of any rivalry but it would hardly be like asking Rangers to let Celtic win would it?

      1. You are joking right? That’s called match fixing and is pretty much prohibited by league rules, and probably against the law too

      2. Yes of course its illegal but with so much at stake for the Unions involved I’m just saying I’m surprised it doesn’t happen.

    3. My money is on Edinburgh. It is the 6N trial and ego’s are bound to get in the way of team orders.

  10. Great win for Edinburgh. Acadamies really starting to show their worth with so many young players at Glasgow and Edinburgh stepping up. Just need to unearth another flyhalf to compete with Finn. Hopefully (although wishful thinking due to the nature of rugby) we can have injuries to a minimum for the 6 nations, seem to remember Wales being pretty unaffected this year, be good if we had the same. Anyone no on the extent of Duncan Taylors injury? Apart from reports of him walking around on crutches in a boot i’ve not heard anything about type of injury or length of time out.

    1. Hastings has shown he has the tools in his brief outings thus far. If Rennie can teach him how to run a game at pro level, we could be in the healthiest position we have been for flyhalves for 20 years! Hopefully Jason Baggot and Josh Henderson can also step it up over the next season to provide even more competition.

      1. Is Jason Baggot any good?Seems like he’s been in the academy for ages without appearing for Edinburgh despite our lack of options at 10.

  11. So who on earth is the starting front row against NZ?

    I hope if fully fit – Nel, Sutherland, plus… Turner – he’s been tearing it around the pitch, throwing OK and would be great to see alongside at least one older prop.

    But maybe it could be Glasgow v Samoa
    Fagerson, Turner, Bhatti

    Then Edn v NZ
    Nel, McInaly, Sutherland/Marfo

    Last men standing against Oz.

    I have really no idea

    1. I would go:

      Marfo-Cochrane-Nel (Sutherland-Turner-Fagerson)

      Against Samoa and hope Sutherland gets on and comes through OK.


      For the next two game which is our best fit unit though Cochrane could be a more cautious option on the bench. If Nel is running out of steam than Fagerson could come in for the last game as that would be the least noticeable drop in standard. It’s a shame for Berghan that he has two top quality players ahead of him as his form this season deserves recognition. I wouldn’t play Bhatti as he will be vulnerable in the scrum but his time will come. Marfo is bigger and a better scrummager though I would be surprised to see him selected again unless he pulls up some serious trees or we have another injury blitz. If he can hold his end up from the bench and make his tackles he will have done his job.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion