URC: Cardiff v Edinburgh: Sean Everitt’s side inch ever closer to playoffs

Schoeman, Ashman and Venter all crossed the whitewash

Ewan Ashman
Ewan Ashman scored Edinburgh's second try versus Cardiff Image: © Craig Watson. www.craigwatson.co.uk

Cardiff 7

Edinburgh 24

THE premise for Edinburgh at this point of the season is fairly straightforward: just win.

Sean Everitt’s side did just that in Cardiff as they concluded a clean sweep against the Welsh provinces this season to improve their prospects of making the URC playoffs.

Given how tight it is around the mid-section of the table – this victory lifted Edinburgh up into seventh – they may come to regret not adding a bonus point but scoring three away tries to win a scrappy contest is certainly not to be sniffed at.

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Edinburgh captain Grant Gilchrist felt afterwards that every game is now like a cup final and Everitt didn’t disagree.

The capital side now have a week’s break before welcoming first Zebre and then Munster to Hive Stadium before rounding off their regular-season fixtures away to Benetton.

They remain on track to join Glasgow in the post-season but there is now very little margin for error.

“We set ourselves a challenge [to win] the last five games,” Everitt told Premier Sports. “Unfortunately we didn’t get the bonus point today but it’s an away win, it’s an important win, in a congested log as everyone knows.

“So I’m just happy that we were able to get through in the end against a very resilient and relentless Cardiff team. It was always going to be a tough fixture for us.

“Next we have a home game with Zebre which is another must-win game. The pressure pot just continues.”

Cardiff had little to play for but, on an emotional day for some of their departing stars, did not stint in effort. It made for a largely attritional contest, broken up by occasional moments of brilliance.

The first arrived midway through a scoreless first half. Duhan van der Merwe finally got ball in hands and ran from deep into the Cardiff 22.

That gave Edinburgh a platform to manoeuvre themselves close to the line from where Pierre Schoeman was able to stretch to score.

Van der Merwe, though, showed the less attractive side of his game early in the second half when he went in high on Theo Cabango and was shown a yellow card.



Cardiff quickly took advantage of the extra man when Rhys Carre burst through to level the contest.

Edinburgh, though, weathered that storm and came back again once van der Merwe had been released from the sin bin.

Ewan Ashman dropped off the back of the maul to score their second try and, after Ben Healy had added a penalty rather than kick for the corner, Boan Venter then claimed a third.

A late breakaway led by Ben Vellacott almost provided the opening for that elusive bonus point score but Everitt wasn’t too disappointed with the overall outcome.

“Going back to the boys, I thought they did really well in sticking in the fight,” he added. “We were under the pump in the first five minutes of the second half but managed to pull through.

“We did well to keep Cardiff out. They had six entries in the first half so it was a good effort to keep them scoreless.

“I also thought the way we managed the game was superb.

“Cardiff kick a lot and sometimes you can get over anxious on the counter attack but I thought the guys got the balance right today.

“I’m happy with the patience the guys showed with regards to the plan.”


Teams –

Cardiff: C Winnett, H Millard (J Beetham 45), M Grady, B Thomas, T Cabango, T de Beer, G Bertranou (E Bevan 63); R Carre (C Domachowski 53), L Belcher, K Assiratti (C Parker 63), B Donnell, T Williams (R Thornton 63), A Mann, E Jenkins (T Young 28 (E Lloyd 71)), M Martin (J Botham 55)

Edinburgh: W Goosen, E Boffelli, M Currie (M Bennett 59), J Lang (C Dean 77), D van der Merwe, B Healy, A Price (B Vellacott 66); P Schoeman (B Venter 62) E Ashman (D Cherry 62), WP Nel (J Sebastian 62), S Skinner (M Sykes 60), G Gilchrist, J Ritchie, H Watson, L Crosbie (B Mata 51)

Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU)


Scorers –

Cardiff: Try: Carre; Con: De Beer

Edinburgh: Tries: Schoeman, Ashman, Venter; Cons: Healy 3; Pen: Healy

Scoring sequence (Cardiff first): 0-5; 0-7 (h-t) 5-7; 7-7; 7-12; 7-14; 7-17; 7-22; 7-24


Yellow cards –

Edinburgh: Duhan van der Merwe (42 mins)

Sarah Beaney Cup: Watsonians see off Hillhead Jordanhill with first half blitz

About Graeme Macpherson 43 Articles
Graeme Macpherson is a freelance sports writer who covers rugby for a number of outlets.


  1. Never going to rack up bonus points with Price n Healy killing the back line….centres should bring a good book with them for games cos they’ll never receive a pass.

    • Sorry, going to call BS here …

      Edinburgh v C stats …

      Kicks – 20
      Kick to Pass ratio – 1 to 9.6 !

      Passes – 192
      Carries – 156
      Metres made – 278

      These stats confirm my view of the game which was that we had a much more positive as attacking approach than we had a few weeks ago … Which I did find very frustrating…

    • RF – you clearly dont actually watch the game before you make your comments. I assume at least you will be in attendance for the Munster game.

  2. A simple four-word phrase sums up Edinburgh’s season: ‘Not enough bonus points’.

    Only Leinster and Glasgow have won more matches than Edinburgh and yet we are in ninth place! I simply can’t see them beating Benetton or Munster, so it looks like no play-offs or top-tier European rugby again.

  3. Edinburgh needed to step up for this one, as Cardiff are no mean side despite their recent string of losses. Ritchie finally looks interested in putting his hand up for Scotland start once more, while Big Bill made a difference when he came on. It will be interesting to see who has the better part of the deal – them or Bristol – when Bradbury comes home next year. The better side won, but it was a struggle for much of the game. Particularly interesting watching the big beasts VDM and Mason Grady stalking each other, with each overhauling and taking down the other at full gallop, much as lion takes down a wildebeest – for no other man on either side would have been able to stop them. That said, there is too much lateral running from Duhan these days in his search for space and a calm heed is needed. Healy was pleasingly accurate with the boot and remains the league’s top scorer, while the lineout similarly maintained its excellent record. Meat and potatoes rugby was what was required and the team duly delivered. But the acid test will be at home to Munster, who suddenly look unstoppable once more. It will be a season-defining game for both teams and Glasgow would dearly love to see the lads do them a favour by gaining the statement victory that likely would secure a top eight finish. Whether they ae capable of it remains to be seen, but it is not to be missed. Too early to talk of inching towards a top eight finish, because a minimum of two more victories out of three will surely be needed.

  4. I will be polite and simply say Edinburgh are not the sum of their parts and flatter to eceive. This was a full international pack and a team of 3 so called “British Lions” and we syruggled to beat Cardiff.

  5. Inched closer to the play-offs? We are still 9th so sadly no closer another game with a missed bonus point lots of endeavour but very little attacking flair. 2 BPs missed in 2 weeks will be critical in play-offs

  6. Managed to watch this one and it can best be described as a solid if unspectacular win against a team who despite their lowly position are quite a stuffy outfit with a bit of flair. The set piece was solid and I think we won all are lineouts which was a big improvement on last week. We had the upper hand in the forwards as you’d expect with Ritchie quite prominent. As seems to be the norm all the tries were scored by forwards from close range. Still waiting for the backs to cut loose – there were a few attempts today but still not the fluency. Big VdM got on the ball a few times today – he really needs to learn to see what’s around him – he gets the ball and runs into people trying to bounce them off and keeps doing it until he gets felled when there are others in space to offload to. He could be so much better.

    Anyway well take the 4 points and continue with what is becoming an ever closer run in to make the top 8. You cant complain about the end of season games being meaningless. With 3 games to go there are still about 11 teams who can make top 8. If Connacht beat Dragons well be 9th by tonight. Must win at least 2 out of 3 remaining. Will be tight.

    • Yes, you’d have to hope we beat Zebra, Munster and Benetton will be really tough.

      Duhan also made on fantastic try saving tackle and was pretty good all round the park

    • Don’t understand why the guy was given a new contract. Career definitely on a downward spiral.

    • Not sure that was the reason. As Cardiff’s coach pointed out, we made them execute twice the tackles in the first half, and they were tiring. We ground out that win, and Cardiff are not so far off our standard, they have something like 8 losing bonus points and may well be back at the table next season.

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