Edinburgh climb URC table with win over Ospreys as Hamish Watson gives gentle Scotland reminder

Flanker’s energetic performance catches eye as capital club grab important win

Edinburgh moved up to fourth place in the United Rugby Championship with a hard fought 19-15 victory over the Ospreys at the Hive.

It was unconvincing and the home side ended the match defending on their own line but this could prove a precious four points in the final reckoning. The Welsh side outscored their hosts by two tries to one and will feel aggrieved to go home with only a losing bonus point but they paid the price for an error-strewn first half.

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Hamish Watson scored Edinburgh’s only try and was full of energy throughout, giving Gregor Townsend a gentle reminder of his worth. Ben Healy kicked 14 points and his contribution proved key. Harry Paterson, playing on the wing, also impressed for Sean Everitt’s side. The coach has targeted 12 league wins this season and they now have eight from 11 games with a two-game trip to South Africa up next.

Edinburgh's Hamish Watson scored a try and impressed with his performance against Ospreys.Edinburgh's Hamish Watson scored a try and impressed with his performance against Ospreys.
Edinburgh's Hamish Watson scored a try and impressed with his performance against Ospreys.

Edinburgh didn’t start particularly well but they grew into the first half and there’s no doubt they were galvanised by the 17th minute try. It was Watson who got it but Bill Mata and Matt Currie deserved a huge dollop of credit for the part they played. Mata spotted a gap off the back of a lineout and went surging through before offloading to the supporting Currie. The centre looked like he might get over the line but opted to pass to Watson, who juggled the ball briefly before getting it down. Healy converted.

The score was against the run of play but all Ospreys had for their early efforts was a Dan Edwards penalty. It was scrappy at times but the home side were ruthless in punishing any infringements and Healy landed three first-half penalties, one of which was close to the halfway line.

Harry Paterson had a couple of hairy moments under the high ball but the young winger made a try-saving intervention before half-time after a lightning break from Ospreys centre Keelan Giles. The new Scotland cap hared back to intercept Giles’ pass to Luke Davies with the line beckoning.

The Ospreys did manage to nab their first try early in the second half and, from an Edinburgh point of view, the damage was self-inflicted. Dave Cherry was guilty of tackling a kicker before he had gone five metres and the Edinburgh hooker was then further penalised when he didn’t retreat 10. Play was taken down close to the Edinburgh line to where Emiliano Boffelli originally kicked the ball and Ospreys turned up the pressure. The home side were creaking and the Welsh made the most of it as Sam Parry was bundled over from a lineout drive. Edwards’ conversion struck the wrong side of the post but the visitors had reduced the lead to 16-8.

Edinburgh came back and Paterson went close but was stripped of the ball by Kieran Williams just short of the line. Then Healy proved he was fallible after all as his penalty attempt drifted wide.

Their failure to secure any points from this little spell proved costly as Ospreys bagged their second try, substitute Morgan Morris burrowing over from close range after a period of sustained pressure. Fellow replacement Owen Williams converted to make it a one-point game with 11 minutes remaining.

Healy gave Edinburgh a little breathing space with his fourth penalty but Ospreys continued to look dangerous as the clock ticked down. A last-minute lineout gave them a golden chance to win it but Edinburgh did well to steal it and they kept their heads to see the game out.