Thursday 22 March 2018

Bradley keeps cool as Edinburgh stun Exiles


MICHAEL Bradley might have been keeping his cool after his Edinburgh side came from nine points down to beat London Irish in Reading, but his team blew Pool 2 wide open with a historic win on Saturday.

The Scots joined Cardiff Blues on top of Pool 2 after this shock result.

London Irish had led 19-10, but allowed the Sottish side come back and they won 20-19 after Shontayne Hape's silly shoulder charge on Sean Cox gave Greig Laidlaw the chance to secure victory with a penalty.

Exiles coach Toby Booth admitted the show of indiscipline from the England centre proved costly.

"Emotional control is a massive part of professional sport," he said.

Bradley was sanguine, saying: "Rugby is a physical game. You have incidents on the pitch.

"As a coach I look a it in terms of results. If there was a running battle there was a running battle. Fine."

In 21-year-old No 8 Stuart McInally, Edinburgh had the best player on the field.

With the Scotland No 8 position possibly up for grabs at the moment, a few more performances of this calibre could thrust him well into Test contention. The back-row embroidered his all-round contribution with a storming run to collect Edinburgh's second try.

Meanwhile, Tommy Bowe (pictured) scored the Ospreys' only try as the Welsh region beat Biarritz at the Liberty Stadium.

The boot of Dan Biggar was crucial, the out-half scoring 23 points in a 28-21 win over the French side in Pool 5.

Leicester went above Ulster at the top of Pool 4 with former Leinster man Niall Morris among their three try scorers in their 28-12 win at Aironi.

A good weekend for the Welsh continued as the Scarlets beat Castres 31-23 in Llanelli thanks to tries from Sean Lamont, Jonathan Davies and Scott Morgan.

Mike Tindall's travails are never going to disappear overnight, but the England centre will be feeling a whole better today after one of the best performances of his club career nearly inspired a famous Gloucester away win over mighty Toulouse. However, the visitors eventually went down 21-17 after giving their illustrious hosts a genuine scare. Meanwhile, Shaun Edwards has signed a new contract with the Wales to remain defence coach for the next four years. He had been linked with a similar role with England, but Edwards will now remain part of Warren Gatland's staff.

Irish Independent

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