EDINBURGH battled to a 16-15 win over Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade on Sunday afternoon to keep their hopes of making the Pro12 play-offs alive. In difficult conditions in south east Wales, the Scots did just enough to squeeze home with Hamish Watson scoring their only try.

Hallam Amos crossed twice for the Dragons but they couldn’t find a way through at the end and had to settle for a losing bonus point.

In a scrappy opening it was the visitors who struck first midway through the first half, Blair Kinghorn nailing a penalty from halfway to reward his team for their efforts. They almost added to their tally five minutes later when Watson thought he was over. The flanker was scragged just as he reached for the line and as he stretched out the ball finished just short of the line.

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne doubled the lead with a penalty on the half-hour, but the Dragons were not finished yet, and they crossed the whitewash three times in the next few minutes – but were not awarded a try on any of those occasions.

Amos went over in the left corner but he had clearly put a foot in touch before reaching the line and Edinburgh had the chance to clear. The subsequent lineout was overthrown though, and Phil Price collected only to be held up over the line, followed soon after by Lewis Evans.

Eventually the Dragons had to settle for three points from Dorian Jones after Edinburgh infringed, but that was quickly cancelled out by Hidalgo-Clyne as Edinburgh went in 9-3 ahead at half-time.

The Dragons burst out of the blocks at the start of the second half, with Amos going over within two minutes of the restart, popping up in midfield to collect the ball from Jones, and then out-pacing Jamie Ritchie and sprinting over. Jones converted to give the home side the lead for the first time.

The lead didn’t last long though as Edinburgh hit straight back through their driven lineout. After Watson had been denied in the first half, he copied Amos in making up for it in the second, working his way over from a maul. Hidalgo-Clyne’s conversion made it 16-10 to Edinburgh. The Dragons weren’t about to give up though, and Amos grabbed his second try on 53 minutes, by finishing off a fine move in which Taulupe Faletau was instrumental.

Jones couldn’t convert from the touchline meaning Edinburgh led by a point with almost half an hour still to play.

Hidalgo-Clyne could have eased the pressure on Edinburgh but missed two penalty shots at goal.

In the end, though, the Dragons couldn’t get themselves back to within striking distance, a knock-on putting paid to their chances at the death.



About David Barnes 4011 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.