Monday 26 September 2016

Cullen era begins with Scottish defeat for Leinster

Edinburgh 16 Leinster 9

Published 04/09/2015 | 22:03

Leinster's Isa Nacewa is tackled by Neil Cochrane during the Guinness PRO12 encounter at Meggetland, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Leinster's Isa Nacewa is tackled by Neil Cochrane during the Guinness PRO12 encounter at Meggetland, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Leinster's Bryan Byrne is tackled by Fraser McKenzie, left, and John Andress, Edinburgh.

Edinburgh made a winning start to their Guinness PRO12 campaign when they edged to a 16-9 victory over Leinster in a keenly contested encounter at the Meggetland ground.

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Winger Damien Hoyland had a try double for the hosts, whose other points came from penalties by Nathan Fowles and Jack Cuthbert.

Three penalties by Isa Nacewa accounted for the Leinster points.

The visitors made the better start and both Darragh Fanning and Dan Leavy came close to breaching the home defence. However, Edinburgh survived and enjoyed a spell in the ascendancy without posing any real threat to the Leinster line.

Leinster's Bryan Byrne is tackled by Fraser McKenzie, left, and John Andress, Edinburgh.
Leinster's Bryan Byrne is tackled by Fraser McKenzie, left, and John Andress, Edinburgh.

A high tackle on Cathal Marsh handed Leinster a long-range penalty and Nacewa banged over the kick to open the scoring in the 17th minute.

Scoring opportunities remained rare and the next chance to trouble the scoreboard came when Nacewa lined up a penalty from inside his own half. His effort drifted left of the posts.

Edinburgh's next visit to opposition territory yielded a penalty and Fowles slotted the kick to leave the scores tied after 25 minutes.

Buoyed by that score, Edinburgh enjoyed a brief spell of pressure and it took a crunching tackle by Luke McGrath to halt Sam Beard as he headed for the whitewash.

The hosts were just as threatening with Dougie Fife and Nasi Manu both coming close to breaking through.

Leinster were penalised for collapsing a scrum five metres from the line. Phil Burleigh despatched the kick into touch and Edinburgh applied renewed pressure. However, six phases later, the hosts were penalised for coming in from the side.

Another opportunity came Edinburgh's way with two minutes remaining in the first half but Fowles was off target with a long penalty that proved to be the final scoring opportunity of the opening 40 minutes.

Edinburgh restarted well but squandered an opportunity to extend their lead when Fowles was off target with a penalty attempt. They continued to press and looked to have rumbled over following a close range lineout. However, the TMO ruled that no try had been scored.

However, the five points were only delayed and several phases later, Hoyland plunged over for an unconverted try.

Nacewa responded with a well struck penalty that trimmed the deficit to two points after 61 minutes.

Edinburgh appeared to have bought some breathing space when Cuthbert banged over a long-range penalty. But once again the visitors responded in kind when Nacewa landed his third penalty of the night.

However, the home side were not to be denied and Hoyland darted in at the corner to clinch the victory in the final minute.

Press Association

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