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Heineken Champions Cup: Newcastle 8-21 Edinburgh

Edinburgh vs Newcastle
© Scottish Rugby Blog

Edinburgh’s destiny is now in their hands after a well fought out first away win of the season.

Despite conceding a try early in the first half, Edinburgh scored fifteen unanswered points in the second half, thanks to tries from James Johnstone and Duhan Van Der Merwe, which gave them a vital away victory that means Edinburgh, realistically, only need one more win to secure a quarter-final spot.

Edinburgh are the hunted in this group now, and realistically have one challenger to their qualification hopes. Montpellier, with their bonus point home win against Toulon, are only four points behind. Although Edinburgh still need a further victory from their two fixtures, Montpellier need to be flawless in their final fixtures to keep the pressure on.

The first half was, like last week, a tight affair – very physical but a lot of loose ball. Both Edinburgh and Newcastle showed good intent in defence, with opportunities missed on both sides. The only try of the half came from the dazzling Sinoti, who was put through by a typical Goneva break as they targeted the wide channels, though it was unconverted. After further trading of penalties, the score at half time was 8-6 to the home side.

Half-time: Newcastle 8-6 Edinburgh

Edinburgh stepped up both in attack and defence, keeping a clean sheet while taking the lead and coming out comfortable winners by the end.

Only a few minutes after the restart, Edinburgh had an attacking platform in the Newcastle half and the opportunity for points. Running onto a Watson pass, Pyrgos chipped over the on-rushing defence for James Johnstone to score under the posts for a 8-13 lead.

The second and decisive try for Edinburgh came in the final ten minutes when Pyrgos threw an outrageous pass from the base of the ruck to James Johnstone. He passed it out to the flying Kinghorn, who made an inch-perfect flat pass for Van der Merwe to run onto and round the Newcastle defenders for the try. Although unconverted, the previous penalty gave them a comfortable margin of victory the home side were unable to overcome.

Although a bonus point try would have been an incredible achievement, that aim was no where near Cockerill’s sights, who only had eyes for the win.

Edinburgh have Toulon away next, where a famous replication of Newcastle’s own victory there would cement their place in the quarter finals. Although Edinburgh have two bites at the cherry, Cockerill would love to secure qualification with a famous win. One more win in Europe would see Edinburgh surpass any expectation that was laid upon them for the European season.

9 Responses

  1. Would be good to have your view on who was man of the match. I would need to watch the match back again to make my pick but from memory pinball was the top man.

    1. I’d be OK with that, but I thought Darcy Graham was great. If he played for Warriors he’d have 30 professional tries by now, such is the support play. Nel was pretty good, too, as was Hamilton.

    2. I thought Pyrgos had a very good game, controlled it well and involved in the key moments. I’ve never been a fan of his, but I was very pleasantly surprised.

  2. The last paragraph is wrong, about what Edinburgh need to progress to the QFs.

    Montpellier are on 11 pts and Edinburgh are on 15pts which means that if both teams win in the next round it will come down to the final game, with Montpellier able to surpass Edinburgh with a BP win at Murrayfield.

    In actual fact, Edinburgh could lose next week and Montpellier get a BP win, but Edinburgh still qualify by beating Montpellier in the final round. So next week is a free shot – get a better result than Montpellier and happy days. But lose and it doesn’t really matter so long as we do the business at Murrayfield.

    Also worth highlighting that most people assume Glasgow need to beat Cardiff to ensure qualification for the QFs. In actual fact, if Montpellier could pip Edinburgh at the post even if Edinburgh get a BP win against Toulon. Edinburgh could end up one of the best runners up on 20/21pts. In that scenario, Glasgow could finish on 18/19pts after beating Cardiff at home but it would still come down to comparable results against Ulster and Toulouse/Leinster.

    So, Edinburgh’s fate in pool 5 could have a direct impact on Glasgow’s hopes of progressing. Best minimum case scenario, Edinburgh beat Montpellier at Murrayfield and Glasgow beat Cardiff at Scotstoun and both teams will be guaranteed progression regardless of other results.

    1. Oh dear…well at least Glasgow will have the fun of pumping Edinburgh this weekend to keep them going.

  3. Internal memo :
    From : Cockers
    To : Hodge

    David ( someone check this ), as you know I don’t think anything outside the scrum, ruck, maul and lineout is really part of proper rugby at all. That’s all Deano & I spoke about on the back seats of the bus at Leicester.
    However while I was pushing past some youth experience kid with a laptop in the coaches box on Sunday, he was saying apparently when we give the ball to some saffer bloke called Deirdre ( check this ? ) on the wing with a bit of space, more often than not he scores. Sort that out will you – it sounds like a tictac. If Deirdre doesn’t get three passes a half against Glasgow it’s another chinese burn for you.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion