Super Series: Edinburgh ‘A’ edge past Heriot’s in high-scoring affair

Visitors maintain their unbeaten record in this competition but result hung in the balance until final whistle

Man-of-the-Match Ben Muncaster on the charge for Edinburgh 'A' versus Heriot's at Goldenacre. Image: James Parsons/Edinburgh Rugby
Man-of-the-Match Ben Muncaster on the charge for Edinburgh 'A' versus Heriot's at Goldenacre. Image: James Parsons/Edinburgh Rugby

Heriot’s 38

Edinburgh ‘A’ 40

COLIN RENTON @ Goldenacre

EDINBURGH ‘A’ prevailed in a Super Series try-fest that hung in the balance to the final whistle. Neither side managed to seize full control at any time and that ensured it was top entertainment for a decent sized crowd.

In the end, the difference between the teams was the clinical edge that Edinburgh showed as they took more of their scoring opportunities, while Heriot’s did enough to win the game but paid the price for a couple of errors as they chased the victory in the final quarter.

Edinburgh coach Kris Burney was happy with the way his players had handled the challenge posed by a strong Heriot’s squad, saying: “We have a really young backline and that was a big test for them. Heriot’s have probably got one of the strongest backlines in the competition so it was good to see how they stuck to the plan and dealt with what was coming at them.”


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He is happy to have had the game time presented by the squad’s temporary involvement in the competition and is hoping that many of those on show will have another opportunity in their remaining fixture against Watsonians.

“It would be good if we can keep the young guys and let them finish it off, see what they have learned week to week”, he added.

Heriot’s coach Ben Cairns was pleased with the way his men reacted to a disappointing performance at Stirling in the previous outing.    

“It’s not a bad spot to be in that we’re really disappointed not to beat a team that’s never been beaten in Super Series,” he reflected. “I thought some of the rugby we played was outstanding and I thought the way we continued to play the whole game and used the whole bench then still looked like we could win in the end was testament to the whole group.

“We need to pitch up every week. It can’t be that because we’re playing at Goldenacre and because we’re playing the pro team, we turn up. That performance today made last week even more frustrating.”

The hosts looked determined to atone for the previous week as they opened the scoring in six minutes. A penalty to touch carried play deep into the Edinburgh 22, but the chance appeared lost when they failed to secure the line-out ball. However, the pack drove a group of defenders over the line and from the ensuing five metre scrum, Seamus Smith sparked a move involving Liam Richman and Matt Davidson, who fed Lewis Wells to go in at the corner.

Edinburgh’s response came four minutes later when Tom Currie carried into contact and several recycles later Fin Burgess flipped the ball to Cammy Scott who dotted down then added the extras to give his side the lead.

A period of aerial ping-pong ended with a turnover by Ruaridh Leishman that enabled Heriot’s to apply renewed pressure. A take by Ronan Seydak at a close-range line-out and a surge by Euan McLaren tested the Edinburgh defence before Cammy Fenton arrived in support and twisted over for a try, converted by Richman.

The gap grew to double figures three minutes later when Smith darted from deep and McLaren was again on hand to continue the move before feeding Jack Blain, who raced in.

Edinburgh responded instantly and a penalty to touch provided the platform for a surge by Ben Muncaster that tested the Heriot’s defence before Burgess popped up a beautifully weighted pass for Freddy Douglas to claim five points with his first touch. Scott’s conversion cut the gap to three points.

Edinburgh took the lead after another penalty to touch produced a platform for Paddy Harrison to barge over from close range with Scott again converting.

The stand-off posted his first miss after Edinburgh bagged a fourth try with a slick breakout featuring three passes and a sharp finish from 30 metres by Finn Douglas.

However, Heriot’s trimmed the deficit to two points with a converted score in the final play of the half. Blain ran down the flank and passed the ball inside to Sam Wallace who juggled it briefly then pinned back his ears to hurtle over. Richman added the extras with a sweetly struck kick.

 

 

Heriot’s had a chance to regain the lead early in the second half, but conceded a penalty within striking distance and fumbled at the breakdown a couple of minutes later, meaning the score was unchanged with an hour on the clock.

Edinburgh grabbed the first points of the second period when, following a line-out on the left, the ball was swept through several pairs of hands to Scott, who wriggled over then added the extras for a nine point lead.

That was swiftly reduced after Blain galloped away and exchanged passes with Sinjin Broad before running round behind the posts to leave Richman a straightforward conversion.

The end-to-end stuff continued and Edinburgh restored their cushion when Callum Norrie muscled his way over following another spell of pressure and Scott again booted the conversion.

But there was still life in the game and Heriot’s gave themselves a chance to take the win when Wallace squeezed over after a close range penalty, with Richman again converting.  However, the hosts could not add to their tally and had to settle for a narrow defeat.

 

Teams – 

Heriot’s: C Townsend; L Wells (S Pecqueur 54), M Davidson, A Hunter (F Wood 64), J Blain; L Richman, S Smith (S Broad 54); J Scott (L Porter 54), C Fenton (D Hood 65), E McLaren (R Dunbar 65), R Seydak (J Hill 64), J Campbell, W Nelson (P Spence 54), S Wallace, R Leishman.

Edinburgh Rugby ‘A’: J Brown; N Moncrieff (F Doyle 50), S Leweni (M Wallace 64), J Hocking, F Douglas; C Scott, F Burgess (H Patterson 50); L de Bruin (R Deans 59), P Harrison (H Morris 59), A Williams, (C Norrie 64),E McVie, R Carmichael, T Currie (M Fyffe 73), C Boyle © (F Douglas 29), B Muncaster.

Referee: Hollie Davidson

 

Scorers – 

Heriot’s: Tries: Wells, Fenton, Blain 2, Wallace 2; Cons: Richman 4.

Edinburgh A: Tries: Scott 2, Freddy Douglas, Harrison, Fin Douglas, Norrie; Cons: Scott 5.

Scoring sequence (Heriot’s first): 5-0; 5-5; 5-7; 10-7; 12-7; 17-7; 17-12; 17-14; 17-19; 17-21; 17-26; 22-26; 24-26 (h-t) 24-31; 24-33; 29-33; 31-33; 31-38; 31-40; 36-40; 38-40.

 

Man-of-the-Match: Edinburgh No 8 Ben Muncaster earned the accolade for a performance that featured hard graft at the breakdown and a big shift with ball in hand.

Talking point: The decision to include Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors ‘A’ sides in this competition was a good one, but doing so for only part of the tournament distorts the overall picture, especially when Glasgow’s opponents receive five points for unfulfilled fixtures.


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About Colin Renton 292 Articles
Colin has been a freelance writer on various subjects for more than 20 years. He covers rugby at all levels but is particularly passionate about the game at grass roots. As a fluent French speaker, he has a keen interest in rugby in France and for many years has reported on the careers of Scots who have moved across the Channel. He appreciates high quality, engaging writing that is thought provoking, and hopes that some of his work fits that bill!

8 Comments

  1. What about Stirling Wolves playing Edinburgh A or a selection of both A squads? Why not if the unfulfilled Glasgow A v Wolves fixture isn’t on the cards? It will give both teams a chance to benchmark where they are and provide rugby fans, not all of them, with an opportunity to see the upcoming starts of Scottish rugby
    It is better than awarding dead rubber points.

  2. Proper rugby this – Quality on show for the full 80. Good to see so many young talents showing what they’re about

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      • Were you there, it really was entertainment of the highest standard. Lots of young talent. Fascinated to see how the 2 pro teams absorb and look after these young players.

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      • Iain Milne.
        this AngryGala Man must be everywhere in Scotland

        Is there something he and his aliases hasn’t commented on .
        He obviously hates anything to do with Hawick
        I can picture him sitting alone on a phone in the corner of the Ladhope Inn

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      • If i’m what floats your boat Colin then your welcome to keep ‘picturing’ me. Kind of weird though.

        This is an article for Edinburgh vs Heriots – Your comment has nothing to do with it. It really was a fantastic game so not sure what your trying to have a pop at? I suggest you grow up.

        Iain i agree – There needs to be an avenue created of the right calibre for these young players – they need game time to keep progressing. I hope they can manage to set up enough A games but i’m not convinced. A real shame the Super Series will not be continuing.

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      • A shame for who? Certainly not the club treasurers or SRU Board. The business model proved to be unsustainable and the five year contracts haven’t been renewed. A no brainer really unless your aim is to go bankrupt. They tried it anyway so we won’t wonder what might have been. We’d all love to see a third professional team as well but that equally is a currently unaffordable aspiration.

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        • As much as a third pro team is currently unafforable, I think the bigger issue is that there is nowhere for the third pro team to play.

          URC is a closed shop with no promotion/relegation so unless one of the existing teams folds (a real possibility in Wales) then there isn’t room for another team. There is also the less important and slightly weird ‘Shield’ thing – though they may have scrapped this as I’ve not heard it mentioned this season – where you have the two Scottish and two Italian teams in a group. Adding an additional Scottish team will unbalance the whole league.

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