Edinburgh rack up ten tries in dismantling of Brive as debutant Freddie Owsley shines bright

Freddie Owsley scored a debut double as Edinburgh took a huge step towards the last 16 of the Challenge Cup with a thumping 66-3 victory over Brive.

Edinburgh's Freddie Owsley celebrates his second half try against CA Brive.
Edinburgh's Freddie Owsley celebrates his second half try against CA Brive.

The capital side are formidable opponents on their own (artificial) turf and simply blew away their French visitors, scoring ten tries as they racked up a half-century of points.

Mike Blair’s side are unbeaten in competitive fixtures since decamping to the DAM Heath Stadium this season and never looked like losing the record.

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Glen Young, making his first start since his summer move from Harlequins, also weighed in with a brace and there were also tries for Jamie Ritchie, Darcy Graham, Ben Muncaster, Hamish Watson, Mark Bennett and Henry Pyrgos.

Edinburgh's Darcy Graham scores a first-half try against Brive.

The win propels Edinburgh into second place in Pool C, with one match still to play, against Pau at home in April. The top three are guaranteed a place in the last 16.

Thomas Laranjeira’s second-minute penalty gave Brive an early advantage, but that was as good as it got for the away side. It spurred Edinburgh into life and they went straight up the other end for the game’s opening try. The home side showed their ambition by running a penalty from close in. Pierre Schoeman made the initial surge, before Young took things on to score his first try for the club. Emiliano Boffelli, who had an excellent night, converted, his first of six.

The first quarter was a little disjointed, with Laranjeira missing a couple of penalties, but the home side then took control with four tries in 11 minutes.

Edinburgh have a couple of speed merchants in their ranks but it was second row Young who showed real pace to grab his second try. The former Harlequins man charged down and gathered at halfway then outpaced the Brive men for an outstanding score.

Glen Young breaks clear before his second try of the match for Edinburgh.

The French side were in disarray and conceded again three minutes later as Schoeman played in Kinghorn who released Charlie Shiel. The scrum-half was held up short but Mesulame Kunavula used all his strength to offload to Ritchie for the try.

It was time for the backs to get in on the act and Graham and Owsley obliged. The Hawick flyer dived in at the corner for Edinburgh’s fourth try after fine work by Watson and Boffelli.

Owsley then scored the pick of the bunch, using skills befitting a former GB sprinter and one-time member of the Bristol City FC academy. In a move which started on the Edinburgh line, the winger took over just short of halfway and twice fly-hacked the ball on before outsprinting the Brive defence for a memorable debut try.

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There was no stopping Owsley, and the winger stretched Edinburgh’s lead in the first minute of the second half. After Ritchie had won clean lineout ball, Kunavula ran a lovely line before playing in Owsley, whose speed did the rest.

Jamie Ritchie also got his name on the Edinburgh scoresheet.

The former Bristol Bears man was everywhere and stopped what looked like a certain try at the other end when he disrupted Brive hooker Vano Karkadze.

He then turned creator, playing in sub Muncaster for a try in the corner, his first for the club and Edinburgh’s seventh of the night.

Watson ran in an easy eighth as the home side turned the screw and Bennett and Pyrgos added the ninth and tenth, both from close range.

Scorers: Edinburgh: Tries: Young 2, Ritchie, Graham, Owsley 2, Muncaster, Watson, Bennett, Pyrgos. Cons: Boffelli 6, Savala 2.Brive: Pen: Laranjeira.

Edinburgh: E Boffelli (Immelman 62); D Graham, M Bennett, C Hutchison, F Owsley; B Kinghorn (C Savala 58), C Shiel (Henry Pyrgos 58); P Schoeman (H Courtney 50), D Cherry (S McInally 40-46), A Williams (WP Nel 50), G Young (M Sykes 40), G Gilchrist (c), J Ritchie (B Muncaster 50), H Watson, M Kunavula.

Brive: T Laranjeira (c); A Muller, G Galletier, S Galala (T Lacoste 33), P Tournebize; T Abzhandadze, E Sanga (P Abadie 57); H Thompson-Stringer (C Thomas 47), V Karkadze (T Acquier 47), P Ceccarelli (S Bekoshvili 20-33; 54), V Lebas, A Zafra Tarazona, S Cerqueira (T Ratuva 57-67), O Giorgadze, S Fa'aso'o (E Abadie 51).

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Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (Eng).

Attendance: 6,165

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