Thursday 26 April 2018

Last-gasp Edinburgh try condemns Leinster to agonising defeat on the road

Dave Kearney of Leinster is tackled by Darcy Graham of Edinburgh during the Guinness PRO14 Round 14 match between Edinburgh Rugby and Leinster at Myreside, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Dave Kearney of Leinster is tackled by Darcy Graham of Edinburgh during the Guinness PRO14 Round 14 match between Edinburgh Rugby and Leinster at Myreside, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Will Jackson

Mark Bennett scored a last-minute try to give Edinburgh a dramatic 29-24 win over Leinster at Myreside.

With time running out, it looked as though the hosts' wastefulness with the boot would cost them a victory despite running in four tries.

However, Bennett was on hand to collect a Jaco van der Walt kick and after a painful wait for confirmation, the try was given to the delight of the crowd.

There was barely time to restart the game before the referee blew the whistle to give Edinburgh - who welcomed back John Hardie from a three-month ban - an entertaining win in the Guinness PRO14.

Large sections of the visiting support had barely sat down before they were on their feet celebrating as Leinster got off to a flying start.

Edinburgh had hardly felt the ball in hand but found themselves seven points down after Leinster went through the phases before Max Deegan bundled over from close-range in front of a group of Irish fans.

The hosts were handed a way back into the game when Ross Byrne, after kicking the conversion, telegraphed a chip over the defensive line and was charged down by Luke Crosbie, who picked up nicely before showing a good turn of pace to touch down under the posts from inside his own half.

Out of nowhere, they were ahead as Bennett did well to rip the ball in the tackle, and Nathan Fowles, on his return from the Scotland squad, picked up and wriggled out of a couple of tackles before racing into the corner to give Edinburgh a somewhat fortunate lead against the run of play.

The game continued to see-saw as Leinster hit back, eventually finding an overlap on the blindside to record a fourth try in the opening half hour of a hectic match and put them 14-12 up.

Barry Daly added another try from out wide but Edinburgh responded strongly on the verge of half-time with a strong maul and new Scotland cap Murray McCallum barged over from point-blank range to leave Leinster narrowly ahead, 19-17, at the break.

The second half took a while to get going, but the hosts were back ahead as Sam Hidalgo-Clyne kicked cutely for Van der Merwe, and the ball bounced nicely into the winger's arms for a simple score.

The lead did not last long as Leinster again battled their way up-field before spinning the ball out to Daly who scored again in the corner.

It looked like Edinburgh would be made to pay for a poor kicking display, but with seconds to go, Van der Walt chipped over the top and Glenn Bryce's attempted catch dropped to Bennett who charged over the line for the match-winning try.

Online Editors

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