Edinburgh get the better of Cardiff
Edinburgh posted their third win of the Guinness PRO12 campaign as they saw off Cardiff Blues 28-13 at BT Murrayfield, with the Welsh outfit paving the way for the hosts after having three players sin-binned at crucial moments.
Edinburgh, who also had two players yellow carded late in the game, welcomed back several men who had been out with long-term injuries and all emerged unscathed from a bruising encounter. The home side had tries from Andriess Strauss, Dougfie Fife and Tom Brown, with Tom Heathcote kicking the two conversions and three penalties.
Two penalties by Gareth Davies were all Cardiff had to show for their efforts until seven minutes from full time when Adam Thomas touched and Davies converted.
With both sides desperate to make up for poor starts to their respective campaigns, it was always likely to be a feisty affair, and that proved to be the case. There were only four minutes in the clock when Cardiff lost Jarrad Hoeta to the sin bin for a punch on his opposite number Ollie Atkins.
The home side took advantage of their numerical supremacy with a powerful surge by the pack, followed by a dart at the line by Rory Sutherland. When that was halted just short, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne fired out a long pass to Strauss who raced over Heathcote adding the extras.
The Cardiff response was an attack that yielded a penalty for offside. Davies thumped over the kick via a post to trim the deficit. However, Heathcote responded in kind to restore a seven-point gap.
Davies struck the other upright with his next effort, but this time his good fortune deserted him and the ball ricocheted wide. Heathcote had no such problems when he banged over a long-range kick after 24 minutes
Cardiff clicked up a gear and launched a series of attacks that appeared to have paid off when Chris Dicomidis crashed over. However, after referring to the TMO, the referee decided that the replacement lock had been held up by Edinburgh prop Willem Nel.
Heathcote notched up another three points following an offence that earned Cardiff flanker Eliis Jenkins 10 minutes in the sin bin. But the visitors had the final points of a lacklustre first half when Davies stroked over a penalty for a 16-6 half-time scoreline.
Heathcote was off the mark with is first kick at goal of the second period but he was back in the groove to land his second conversion of the evening after 47 minutes when a spell of Edinburgh pressure culminated in the ball being thrown wide to Fife who dotted own in the corner. In the aftermath, Sam Hobbs became the third Cardiff sent for 10 minutes on the side.
Edinburgh continued to press and they bagged a third score when Heathcote picked out Brown with a long pass and the winger marked his return from injury with an unconverted score that handed the hosts a 22-point lead entering the final quarter.
Cardiff had the better of the closing stages and the referee showed yellow to Roddy Grant and Heathcote. However, Macauley Cook and Monoa Vosawi both knocked on with the try line in sight. The score finally came in 73 minutes when Thomas raced over. Davies slotted the conversion but that proved to be the final score and the visitors travelled home empty handed.