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Match Report – Edinburgh 31 – 13 Newcastle

Last Updated: 07/12/18 10:17pm

Hamish Watson was among the try scorers as Edinburgh claimed a bonus-point win over Newcastle

Hamish Watson was among the try scorers as Edinburgh claimed a bonus-point win over Newcastle

Hamish Watson was among the try scorers as Edinburgh claimed a bonus-point win over Newcastle

Edinburgh moved to the summit of Pool 5 of the Champions Cup with a comfortable 31-13 win in a scrappy encounter with Newcastle at Murrayfield.

It was the first defeat for Newcastle and dents their hopes of featuring in a home final at St James’ Park next May.

The Falcons had a try by Adam Radwan and a string of kicks by Brett Connon to lead by three points, with the host’s response coming with a Hamish Watson try and five points from the boot of Jaco van der Walt.

However, Edinburgh dominated for most of the second half and a converted touchdown by Chris Dean followed by a penalty try and a score from Blair Kinghorn allowed them to take control.

Richard Cockerill's side now head to Newcastle next week for Round 4 Richard Cockerill's side now head to Newcastle next week for Round 4

Richard Cockerill’s side now head to Newcastle next week for Round 4

Falcons had been struck by a front row crisis leaving them with only one fit tight-head in the build-up. However, there was still plenty of pace behind the scrum and the reliable boot of Connon to inflict pain on the hosts.

And it was the visiting stand-off who registered the first points when he banged over a fourth-minute penalty.

An offence by George McGuigan presented an opportunity to square matters. However, the hosts opted for the lineout option then lost the throw.

The wet conditions were causing havoc with any aspirations of flowing rugby.

The solution was to keep it tight and that approach paid off for Edinburgh when a multi-phase assault ended with Watson crashing through a despairing tackle by Pedro Bettencourt to touch down – Van Der Walt added the extra two points via an upright.

Watson notched the game's opening try after 15 minutes Watson notched the game's opening try after 15 minutes

Watson notched the game’s opening try after 15 minutes

The error tally continued to mount and a rare attempt to move the ball wide came to grief when Falcons winger Tom Arscott fumbled.

However, the next effort paid off when Bettencourt found space and drew the Edinburgh full-back Kinghorn before offloading to Radwan who scuttled in at the corner. Connon was on target with the conversion to hand Falcons a three-point lead.

Edinburgh had a chance to square matters but Van Der Walt’s penalty attempt rattled back of a post.

He atoned for that miss with his next effort which soared between the stocks to restore parity.

Then, when Grant Gilchrist then strayed offside at a lineout, Connon stroked over the kick to give the visitors a three-point lead at half-time.

The hosts resumed with a patient build-up that saw them inch closer to the whitewash then, when Viliame Mata was thwarted just short, Henry Pyrgos flipped out a pass for Dean to finish off between the sticks and leave Van Der Walt a simple conversion.

Chris Dean (left) was also among the try scorers for the home side Chris Dean (left) was also among the try scorers for the home side

Chris Dean (left) was also among the try scorers for the home side

Edinburgh were dominant at this stage and their sustained pressure paid off when a string of attacks within sight of the line ended with referee Marius Mitrea running round behind the posts to signal a penalty try.

The home side then set off in pursuit of the bonus-point try and they thought they had snatched it when Darcy Graham hurtled down the right flank and dived over, though he was deemed by the television match official to have been nudged into touch just before touching down.

The fourth try eventually came with eight minutes left when Van Der Walt delivered a kick into space and Kinghorn gathered then dotted down, leaving the creator of the score to add the extras and complete a successful night for the Scottish outfit.

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