MATCH REPORT: Exiles defeated in Edinburgh

9 December 2017

London Irish were unable to back up their victory in Paris, losing 50-20 against Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield in Round 3 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

The Pro 14 side ran in eight tries as they cemented their position at the top of Pool 4.

Irish’s scores came in the shape of Ben Ransom, former Edinburgh favourite Mike Coman and replacement scrum-half Ben Meehan.

Starting the contest well, a new look Exiles front row of Manasa Saulo, Saia Fainga’a and Scotland international Gordon Reid spearheaded a dominant pack in the early exchanges giving Tommy Bell the chance to put 3 points on the scoreboard with a penalty in the sixth minute.

Trailing 5-3 with 10 minutes on the clock, Irish’s scrum was in fine fettle as they pinned Edinburgh inside their own 22 for a long period. However, the visitors were unable to make their pressure count and the Scots came away unscathed.  

On 27 minutes Edinburgh registered their second try of the evening, Blair Kinghorn latching onto his kick through to score despite the best efforts of Greig Tonks.

With Edinburgh looking the more likely to add further scores, Irish hit back with a sucker punch through Ransom. Scooping up a loose ball close to his own try line, Scott Steele was the catalyst for the score. His offload to Tommy Bell set Irish on their way, with Ben Loader’s grubber pounced on by the onrushing Ransom. Tonks’ conversion cut the gap to 12-10.

Edinburgh replied with two quick-fire tries from man of the match Phil Burleigh to make it 26-10 going into the break.

The hosts took 10 minutes of the second half to pick up where they left off, thanks to Sam Hidalgo-Clyne who scrambled his way to the line. Three minutes later, Darcy Graham took a bouncing ball to squeeze in at the corner for Edinburgh’s sixth try of the night.

Nick Kennedy’s men pulled a try back on 57 minutes through former Murrayfield regular Coman, but after Tonks’ yellow card, Edinburgh took advantage to extend their lead to 41-15 courtesy of a Junior Rasolea try.

Ransom’s neat break and offload to Meehan yielded the Exiles’ third try on 79 minutes to reduce the deficit, but Edinburgh rounded off the scoring with a Sean Kennedy try to end the game 50-20 to the Scots.

SCORES

Edinburgh Rugby

Tries: McInally 9, Kinghorn 27, Burleigh 34, 36, Hidalgo-Clyne 50, Graham 53, Rasolea 69, Kennedy 80    

Cons: Van der Walt 28, 35, 37, Kinghorn 70, 80

Pens:

Yellow card: Sutherland 19

London Irish

Tries: Ransom 31, Coman 57, Meehan 79

Cons: Tonks 32

Pens: Bell 6

Yellow card: Tonks 66

Edinburgh: Kinghorn, Hoyland, Dean, Burleigh, Graham, Van der Walt, Hidalgo-Clyne, Marfo, McInally (c), McCallum, Toolis, Gilchrist, Bradbury, Watson, Mata

Replacements: Cochrane, Sutherland, Shields, Carmichael, Ritchie, Kennedy, Fife, Rasolea

London Irish: Tonks, Ransom, Fowlie, Williams, Loader, Bell, Steele, Reid, Fainga'a, Saulo, Lloyd, De Chaves (c), Cooke, Northcote-Green, Lomidze

Replacements: Woolstencroft, Elrington, Chawatama, Basham, Coman, Meehan, Brophy Clews, Williams

Referee: Sean Gallagher (Ire)

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