This match was played in the sort of wet and windy weather that must have had the two captains contemplating tossing a coin for the points.
Having lost by 73-10 last weekend against the same opposition, Accies drafted in a slew of pro-players – seven of yesterday’s pack were contracted to Edinburgh one way or another, and still struggled to match the sheer physicality of the championship opposition.
Former Scotland stand-off Gordon Ross is a player/coach at Welsh and, given the miserable conditions, he looked mightily relieved to be a waterboy yesterday rather than a player. He was rested, presumably, with next weekend’s first-versus-third game against London Scottish in mind.
Welsh dominated for the vast majority of this match, despite Accies having first use of a strong wind. In fact, the home team could barely get their hands on the ball in the opening quarter and on the few occasions they did someone would cough up possession or drop the slippery ball.
Edinburgh’s latest recruit, Mike Coman, got his first run in the Accies’ back row and did enough in difficult conditions to suggest that he may be a useful addition to Alan Solomons’ squad.
The home side started poorly in the set piece. Stuart McInally has work to do before his arrows find their mark, and the match was 25 minutes old before Accies won clean ball from a set-piece. The scrum improved as the match progressed but Accies young pair of props Lewis Niven and Alex Allan still conceded a pushover try early in the second half. This is the standard of rugby these Edinburgh apprentices need to be playing on a regular basis if they are to make a marked improvement and both men will be much the better for the experience.
Welsh scored first just inside the 20-minute mark when No.8 Olly Stedman took advantage of an Accies mistake at the base of the scrum to pounce from short range. The game stayed that way for the remainder of the first 40 minutes although the flood gates eventually opened in the second half when the visitors grabbed another four tries.
Five minutes after the restart, Welsh inched a set scrum towards the Accies line and the referee awarded a penalty try without a moment’s hesitation. Stedman got his second try after a quick tap penalty under the sticks and Niven was shown yellow for persistent scrum infringements. Accies got one score back with ten minutes left when Welsh were short-handed with prop Billy Moss in the bin. After some good defensive pressure, replacement winger Mike Campbell hacked ahead three times and won the race to the ball.
Still, the last word went to the visitors with further tries for Josh Watkins and Moss, nicely rested after his sin bin.