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Edinburgh grind out home win over Scarlets

Edinburgh bounced back from a heavy opening-day loss to post a workmanlike 20-9 Guinness PRO12 win over Scarlets in dismal conditions at BT Murrayfield.

It was a far from impressive showing by the Scottish outfit, but the manner of the victory was far less important than the result and the most pleasing aspect for the home fans in a meagre crowd of 2,650 was the ability of the hosts to grind down their opponents, particularly at the set piece.

Edinburgh scored tries through Mike Allen and Magnus Bradbury in a seven-minute spell just before the break, while Duncan Weir contributed the other points when he kicked both conversions, having earlier landed a brace of penalties.

Scarlets, who started brightly but fell away and never threatened the home line, had three Rhys Patchell penalties to show for their efforts.

Patchell squandered a chance to open the scoring after two minutes when he struck a post with a penalty from 35 metres. However, the visitors continued to press and the stand-off made no mistake with his second shot on goal, banging over a three pointer with 11 minutes gone.

Edinburgh had struggled to gain a foothold in the game but when they did eventually pay a visit to opposition territory, Weir bagged his first points of the evening when a scrum offence yielded a penalty which he despatched via a post to square matters.

That sparked a spell of Edinburgh pressure and when the visitors offended just shy of their line, Weir was again on target to edge the hosts into the lead.

The scrappy fare continued and the next Scarlets attack produced another penalty. Patchell was again on target with the kick and parity was restored once more.

Seven minutes from the interval, Edinburgh profited from a Scarlets error to grab a try. Weir, a summer signing from Glasgow Warriors, delivered a well-judged chip and when opposition full-back Liam Williams failed to gather, Allen darted in to touch down. Having created the score, Weir also completed it when he thumped over the touchline conversion.

Scarlets lost Jake Ball to the sin bin for an offence at a lineout and almost immediately the hosts claimed a second try. A clearance kick by Patchell ricocheted off an Edinburgh shin into the path of Bradbury and the 21-year-old collected then sprinted over. Weir again added the extras to hand the hosts a 20-6 interval lead.

Bradbury had left the field on a half-time high but within a minute of the restart, he was again departing, this time after being shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Scarlets lock David Bulbring.

Edinburgh had just been restored to full manpower when Phil Burleigh became the next player to spend 10 minutes in the sin bin for an offence at a ruck. From the resultant award, Patchell was on target with his third kick of the evening. Weir had an opportunity to reply in kind but his long-range effort drifted just wide of the mark.

The game deteriorated into a series of speculative kicks before Scarlets produced a late flourish that stretched the Edinburgh defence for the first time.

A last-ditch tackle by Allen on Steffan Evans saved a try but was adjudged high. From the ensuing penalty Scarlets were held up over the line. That proved to be the Welsh side's final scoring opportunity as they ended the match empty handed.


From Belfast Telegraph