For Edinburgh, the objective was to claim another bonus point victory to keep qualification on track: mission complete.
Against a depleted Newcastle side, whose focus may now be on domestic form despite good early results, Edinburgh had the perfect opportunity in front of the home crowd to add a further five points to their tally in the group phase. However, for much of the match, Edinburgh
The first half was made into dogfight thanks to the stubborn Newcastle defence and lack of quality from the Edinburgh attack, leading fans to believe this could be much tighter than first anticipated.
Both sides traded tries as Hamish Watson scored for Edinburgh while Adam Radwan scored for the visitors, closing the half at 13-10 to the visitors.
Half Time: Edinburgh 10-13 Newcastle
The second half was much improved for Edinburgh, as they broke down the Newcastle defence and gained control of the match.
Shortly after the break, Edinburgh got that crucial second try to exert their authority on the game and start to build a lead. Chris Dean, on the back of good forward play, cut a tight line to go near under the posts for the guaranteed seven-pointer.
After Edinburgh got their penalty try, a just reward for their scrum dominance in the game, the pursuit of the crucial fourth try was underway, and what a try it would be.
After Kinghorn gathered the kick, its passed through the hands from Van Der Walt to Bill Mata, whose Fijian magic summoned an offload out the back door and drew in two defenders. Van Der Walt, on the loop, gathered the offload and made a break on the outside, with Kinghorn on his inside. Noticing no one is at home, he grubber kicked through for the sprinting Kinghorn to gather and score for the bonus point try.
There was an opportunity for Newcastle to get another score through a Radwan break, only to be brought down brilliantly by the covering David Cherry, the substitute hooker.
With Toulon beating Montpellier Edinburgh stay top of the group by a few points. However, the return fixture will be significantly more challenging than the opposition faced tonight; Toulon, at the Stade Mayol, is still one of the hardest away fixtures in rugby; and Vern Cotter’s Montpellier at home, though at Murrayfield, will still be a tough fixture.
Although only halfway through the pool stage, Edinburgh should be ecstatic with where they are thus far. However, Cockerill will need to keep his players grounded as they are now the hunted, not the hunters.