Edinburgh v London Scottish: new boys step up in comfortable home win

Capital outft score nine tries to visitors' three in useful first run-out of the season

Damien Hoyland
Edinburgh full-back Damien Hoyland was named man-of-the-match. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Edinburgh 57

London Scottish 21

GARY HEATLY @ Murrayfield

EDINBURGH new boys Nick Haining, Ewan Ashman and Nic Groom were among the scorers as the capital side ran in nine tries to see off London Scottish in their first pre-season fixture at BT Murrayfield on Saturday. With 30 players given a run out over the 80 minutes, this was a useful outing for Richard Cockerill’s men ahead of the start of the Guinness PRO14 season in four weeks time.

Full-back Damien Hoyland was named man-of-the-match and the Scotland cap who is usually seen on the wing looked comfortable in his new position. Elsewhere in the Edinburgh ranks, the first half back-row trio of Ally Miller, Luke Crosbie and former Bristol Bears man Haining looked good, while Chris Dean and Matt Scott were both strong in the 12 jersey. Youngsters Jack Blain and Connor Boyle also played well in the second half.

Edinburgh will now build-up to their next pre-season hit-out at home to the Ospreys on September 14th before the league starts on September 28th at home to Zebre.

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“It was good to get a proper hit out, we have had more low key warm-ups with the Scotland squad and Boroughmuir [the Bears Super6 squad], but this now gives us a reference point as coaches to see what has worked well and what perhaps needs work on,” said assistant coach Duncan Hodge.

“Everyone has come through unscathed which is key, there was some good rugby and we can move on from here. Damien did well at full-back, potentially for a fair bit of this season we will without the two guys that played there most of last year [Blair Kinghorn and Darcy Graham] so it is good to build depth there.”

Scotland’s World Cup squad will be named on Tuesday, from that ‘cut’ Edinburgh may get some players back.  “It is tricky one, on a personal level for the guys we want them all to go to Japan, but from a team point of view we could do with a couple back in some positions,” said Hodge. “We will see what happens and go from there.”

The home side took the lead in the 14th minute when some good hands from forwards and backs created space on the right and last season’s Scotland Sevens co-captain Jamie Farndale went over in the corner. A number of core sevens players have been training with Edinburgh over the summer and Farndale showed a good eye for the try line here. Stand-off Jaco van der Walt added the conversion to make it 7-0.

In the 22nd minute Haining showed good composure to bag Edinburgh’s second try. After scrum-half Henry Pyrgos had gone close in the right corner, he popped the ball into No.8 Haining and he spun, created a yard of space and dotted the ball down. This time the conversion by van der Walt just slipped past the upright.

London Scottish then got themselves on the scoreboard three minutes later, winger Rob Stevenson evading the defence to run in from 25 metres out. Stand-off Harry Sheppard converted and it was 12-7. Edinburgh’s coaching team were not happy with conceding that try and their players came up with a good response in the 33rd minute.

After a number of ‘pick and goes’ by the forwards, the ball was spun wide and winger Dougie Fife strolled over on the left. Van der Walt converted. And try number four came just before the interval, great work from Farndale and Pyrgos setting up captain for the day Dean for the score. Van der Walt converted the centre’s score to make it 26-7.

As is the nature of such pre-season hit outs, both teams made a raft of changes at half-time. It was one of Edinburgh’s replacements, hooker Ashman who is on loan from Sale Sharks, who scored try number five after 45 minutes. As he did so often for Scotland Under-20s at the summer’s World Championship he was at the back of a driving maul to dot down.

Groom, on for a debut at scrum-half in place of Pyrgos, then grabbed try number six, then Hoyland and replacement centre Scott teamed up well to break from their own half with the former eventually scoring, with both scores converted by replacement stand-off Simon Hickey.

London Scottish got their second converted try through hooker James Malcolm, a former Glasgow Warriors player, before Scotland Under-20 winger Blain showed good pace to score Edinburgh’s eighth.

London Scottish never gave up and bagged a third converted score through centre Dan Barnes, but Edinburgh rounded things off with a ninth try from replacement full-back Tom Brown.

Teams –

Edinburgh: D Hoyland; J Farndale, M Bennett, C Dean (C), D Fife; J van der Walt, H Pyrgos; R Sutherland, D Cherry, P Ceccarelli, F McKenzie, M Douglas, A Miller, L Crosbie, N Haining. Subs all used: P Schoeman, E Ashman, J Stanley, T Brown, C Shiel, M Scott, J Blain, S Pecqueur, D Marfo, M McCallum, J Hodgson, C Boyle, N Groom, S Hickey, J Johnstone.

London Scottish: L Hibbard; R Stevenson, B Beattie, D Barnes, E Creed; H Sheppard, J Barton; J Harris, J Malcolm, P Cringle, M Jurevicius, L Frost, M Wakeling, L Wynne (C), M Bright. Subs all used: X Valentine, B Harding, M Eliet, J Ingall, C Ingall, M Gordon, A Toolis, J Brodley, O Adams, J Tyas, R Eveleigh, O Allsopp, M Davies, C Gowling.

Referee: Sam Grove-White.


Scorers –

Edinburgh: Tries: Farndale, Haining, Fife, Dean, Ashman, Groom, Hoyland, Blain, Brown; Cons: van der Walt 3, Hickey 3.

London Scottish: Tries: Stevenson, Malcolm, Barnes; Cons: Sheppard, Barnes, Gowling.

Scoring sequence (Edinburgh Rugby first): 5-0, 7-0, 12-0, 12-5, 12-7, 17-7, 19-7, 24-7, 26-7 (h-t), 31-7, 36-7, 38-7, 43-7, 45-7, 45-12, 45-14, 50-14, 50-19, 50-21, 55-7, 57-21.


Man of the Match:  Edinburgh moved winger Damien Hoyland to full-back and he showed up well in the 15 jersey. A similar type of player to Darcy Graham the fleet footed player looked like he could do well in that shirt going forward if given more game time in the role.

Talking Point: Scotland may be spoilt for back-row options currently, but with the likes of John Barclay, Hamish Watson, Jamie Ritchie and Magnus Bradbury – as well as Fiji’s Bill Mata – currently unavailable for Edinburgh the likes of Ally Miller, Luke Crosbie, Nick Haining and Connor Boyle stepped up well in this one.

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About Gary Heatly 457 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.