Edinburgh v Ospreys: seven-try stroll sees home team return to winning ways

Darcy Graham back to his bustling best with two well-take scores

Darcy Graham
Darcy Graham scores his second try of the night for Edinburgh against Ospreys. Image: © Craig Watson.www.craigwatson.co.uk

Edinburgh 45

Ospreys 21

FERGUS MAINLAND @ The DAM Health Stadium

ON an evening dubbed ‘Fan Appreciation Night’, Edinburgh thrashed the Ospreys, rewarding the patience of their supporters who have been left repeatedly frustrated with their side’s inability to deliver wins.

A brace for Darcy Graham meant Edinburgh ended their home campaign on a high, a performance that leaves the crowd wondering what could have been in a year of should haves and could haves.

“I’m so conflicted,” said Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair. “I thought the vast majority of the game we were right on it. We had five minutes around 30 minutes when Sam [Skinner] got his yellow card and we lost it a little bit, but apart from that we were on it for a huge amount of the game.

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“There is huge satisfaction that we’ve done that; that we’ve put away a team like Ospreys with the quality they have, but it’s tinged with a bit of frustration that we’ve not seen that consistency of performance throughout that season.

“One of my frustrations is I believe that what I’ve tried to do isn’t an 18-month or three-year process. It is a three or four year process in terms of empowering the players, giving them ownership of the team. These things don’t just happen so I believe we are starting to move in the right direction but it’s not for me to say that.”

Memories of a season of shortcomings were replaced with elation as Ben Vellacott broke the deadlock after five minutes. The scrum-half capitalised on a careless pass from Owen Williams as the Edinburgh men swarmed the Ospreys’ attacking line.

Vellacott scooped the loose ball and cantered through the dumbstruck defenders from the 10-metre line to open the scoring for the hosts under the posts. Emiliano Boffelli added the extras.

No sooner had the crowd processed the score than Edinburgh had thundered back into their opposition’s 22 as Bill Mata spearheaded an attack that Ospreys struggled to find early answers to. The ball worked its way into the hands of fly-half Blair Kinghorn who set up Dave Cherry to score under the posts. Boffelli had no trouble with the conversion.

Ospreys, who were still fighting for the Welsh Shield, finally took flight, disrupting Edinburgh’s line-out five metres from the hosts’ try line. The set-piece has been faltering all season and failed at a costly moment, turning the ball into the hands of the visitors. who wasted no time in building their attack, moving the ball to within a few feet of the Edinburgh line before Dewi Lake rumbled over from close range. Williams added the conversion.

This break in Edinburgh’s bombardment of the Ospreys line proved to be only temporary. Quick hands after hard yards from the forwards saw Hamish Watson link up with Skinner, who galloped in for the home side’s third of the night. Boffelli continued to be dynamite from the tee.

Blair’s side had the bonus point wrapped up after 20 minutes when Boffelli snapped a loose Ospreys pass clean out of the air and danced over the try-line as if at a Tango Milonga, before converting himself.

After an electric opening quarter of the match, Edinburgh’s engine room was reduced by a cylinder after Skinner was sent to the sin-bin for a clear-out above the horizontal.

With three minutes to go before the break, it was the Ospreys’ turn to be shown yellow as Rhys Davies was sent to the bin for blocking Darcy Graham and connecting with his head.

Edinburgh punished  the weakened visitors by adding one more score with the final play of the half. Off the back of securing a line-out deep inside Ospreys’ half, Watson added the finishing touch, and Boffelli converted again.


The visitors scored first after the break when Lake got his brace off the back of a driving maul. Williams converted and suddenly the DAM Health had some nervous energy about it for the first time all game, but Ospreys then had their wings clipped 15 minutes into the second half when Morgan Morris was sent to the bin for slowing the ball down.

Any concerns of a comeback in the capital were put to bed by Graham. The Prince of Hawick, who has been dearly missed whilst recovering from injury could not be brought down by the Ospreys as he added Edinburgh’s sixth try, in his first home game since Munster before Christmas.

The Scotland winger added his second with less than 10 minutes to go in the match after Boffelli saw space and kicked in behind the Ospreys line and Graham won the foot-race to the bouncing ball.

Ospreys got a third through Sam Parry and another driving maul, however, the match was all but over.

Reflecting on Graham’s player-of-the-match performance, Blair was full of praise for his winger who has been starved of game time of late.

“He’s brilliant, Darcy. He’s scoring that try [his second] 99 times out of a hundred, whereas a lot of other wingers would be scoring it 50 times out of a hundred. He’s got a sense, an understanding, he moves so well and he’s low to the ground,” said the coach. “Once that kick goes in, you know it’s odds-on for him to be scoring.”

Edinburgh travel to Ulster next Friday night for their final game of the United Rugby Championship campaign, an opportunity to back up this tantalising performance at the DAM Health and finish a disappointing campaign with  flourish.


Teams –

Edinburgh: E Boffelli, D Graham (D van der Merwe 77), M Bennett (C Dean 68), J Lang, D Hoyland, B Kinghorn, B Vellacott (H Pyrgos 60), P Schoeman (B Venter 60), D Cherry (S McInally 57), WP Nel (L De Bruin 57), M Sykes (J Hodgson 22), S Skinner, J Ritchie, H Watson, V Mata (C Boyle 69)

Ospreys: L Hopkins, G North, M Collins, K Williams, L Morgan, O Williams, R Webb, G Thomas (S Parry 51), D Lake (N Smith 51), T Botha (T Francis 51), A Beard, A Wyn Jones, R Davies, D Lydiate, M Morris.

Referee: G Gnecchi (Italy)


Scorers –

Edinburgh: Tries: Vellacott, Cherry, Skinner, Boffelli, Watson, Graham 2; Con: Boffelli 5.

Ospreys: Tries: Lake 2. Con: Williams 2.

Scoring sequence (Edinburgh first): 5-0; 7-0; 12-0 14-0; 14-5; 14-7; 19-7; 21-7; 26-7; 28-7; 33-7; 35-7 (h-t) 40-14; 45-14; 45-19; 45-21.


Yellow cards –

Edinburgh: Skinner (24 mins)

Ospreys: Davies (38 mins), Morris (54 mins)


Attendance: 6,864

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About Fergus Mainland 4 Articles
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Fergus grew up playing rugby up to the point that the opposition became a lot bigger than him. Currently studying for a Masters in Sports Journalism and NCTJ diploma, he can be found covering the Premier 15s as well as the trials and tribulations of Scotland’s teams whilst hosting the TW2 Rugby podcast.


  1. Had to watch on TV last night. What a great view it was. Edinburgh on top from the start with some very good interplay throughout the team.
    If you give BK time to operate, he’s very good at 10. Also heartening to see Darcy back on form after a difficult first outing in the last game..
    However, perhaps this game highlights the perennial weakness in our squad strength. Most of the top results come when we have had our strongest team on the field. When they are not there, we struggle more than other teams. There may be many capped names in the squad but perhaps sometimes the SRU are guilty of capping players in the hope they may yet improve to the required standard rather than for having attained that level already.
    Either way, it will be interesting to see who is selected and if we can close out the season with a win in Belfast.
    They can do it when they are up for it.

    • Hmm seems unlikely we’ll get the win in Ulster, but it’s what we need to put any respectability on the season.

      It was great to see Darcy back he just so enjoys his rugby, and also to give the large no of leavers a send off.

      Re the game, probably should have been two red cards, but glad they were not. Talking of which the sending off in the Leicester v Exeter, where Woodburn pushed Ashton into touch, got a second yellow, which I didn’t realise was automatically therefore a red …. a) pushing a player into touch shouldn’t be foul play and b) why should that therefore be a Red …. ??

  2. great result which should do wonders for confidence, and a very decent crowd indeed which again should boost the team.
    But before they get carried away Ospreys were dire, handed Edin a good lead (I do enjoy Webb messing up) and generally all round, well dire
    Still you can only play what is in front of you and Edin did just that, put them away with some ease. Well done

  3. Positive to see players play to their potential, and that it shouldn’t take much change to repeat and be consistent. Always been a good squad, just needs a few signings to improve squad depth and the right coaching team/leadership.

    It shouldn’t have taken Mike or some players to leave to get the players motivated, some still potentially playing for their contracts though I guess despite the number moving on.

    But…… Keep the faith – we Warriors were in the pits at the end of last season….who would have thought?

  4. Great to see the old Darcy Graham back. Funny game (pretty unexpected given Edinburgh’s recent woes) but some lovely tries and beating a Welsh team always good.

  5. Just returned from fan appreciation night and it was nice to see the players doing a lap of honour at the end in front of a surprisingly good crowd which showed that there is a good core support who still have faith in the team. It was great to see the team finish like this and show that there is a good team lurking in Edinburgh it just hasn’t shown itself too often this season.

    They seemed to play with freedom with nothing at stake and played with some tempo which was more reminiscent of the early season games. A clean slate for next season and we will all be back with a new coach and hopefully a few star signings – it can only get better.

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