Cardiff 11-19 Edinburgh: George Taylor and Jaco van der Walt spark capital win
“These games could be the difference at the end of the season because they are so unexpected, this win and this four points that maybe you shouldn’t get are huge, aren’t they?” said a delighted Cockerill.
“It was a big win on the road for this group, we have a lot of guys missing but the sum of our parts was the reason we won. Cardiff are in our pool and would probably have put this down as a game they should win.”
The boot of man-of-the-match Jaco van der Walt kept pushing Edinburgh ahead, reward for pressure and territory earned by the forwards. The key moment came from a player who wasn’t even named in the starting line-up, centre George Taylor replacing Matt Scott after a late fitness test and setting up the try for Mark Bennett.
That forward pressure meant Edinburgh stand-off Van der Walt had five kicks at goal during the first half, landing three of them, while the Blues only had one penalty to their name. The home side did get the only try of the first half. It came when stand-off Jarrod Evans put Garyn Smith through a gap, with wings Aled Summerhill and Owen Lane combining for Lane to score.
In some ways the biggest talking points were yellow cards for locks Fraser McKenzie and Seb Davies. Edinburgh’s McKenzie went for stopping the rolling maul. Cardiff’s Davies was fortunate to see yellow instead of red. This time it was Edinburgh driving a lineout and Davies tipped visiting flanker Lewis Carmichael over the maul. He fell safely because of the number of bodies, and it was maybe this which spared Davies a red card.
An exchange of penalties meant Edinburgh kept a one-point lead going into the last ten minutes when Taylor burst through on halfway. He was able to feed the supporting Bennett who had the pace to finish off. The try sealed the victory and denied Cardiff a bonus point.