Edinburgh Rugby reaction: Not a complete performance but one incident stands out for Sean Everitt

Capital outfit clung on under pressure by thwarting late Ospreys challenge

Sean Everitt praised his Edinburgh team for the way they defended a last-minute Ospreys lineout as the home side held on for a valuable 19-15 victory in the United Rugby Championship.

The Welsh visitors trailed 16-3 at the break but came back strongly in the second half with the wind at their backs. Tries from Sam Parry and Morgan Morris brought them back into the match and they sniffed victory in the last play of the game. They went short to the front of the lineout but it was brilliantly read by Edinburgh who stole it then ran down the clock for the final few seconds. Everitt, Edinburgh’s head coach, gave the credit to Stevie Lawrie, the club’s forwards coach

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“That’s one of the pleasing things of coaching,” said Everitt. “Stevie Lawrie worked extremely hard in the defence of that particular play and he was shouting in the coaches’ box that they were going to do it. The one brain was outstanding in being able to stop that, so that was pleasing.”

Edinburgh's Mark Bennett is tackled by Ospreys' Keelan Giles (R) during the 19-15 win.Edinburgh's Mark Bennett is tackled by Ospreys' Keelan Giles (R) during the 19-15 win.
Edinburgh's Mark Bennett is tackled by Ospreys' Keelan Giles (R) during the 19-15 win.

In a scrappy match played in difficult conditions, Edinburgh were on top in the first half and scored the game’s opening try through Hamish Watson. Ben Healy, outstanding off the tee, converted and kicked three penalties as the home side built their lead. He added a fourth penalty after the interval but they were the only points scored by the home side in the second half. Nevertheless, they did enough to hold on and the win moves them up to fourth in the URC standings ahead of the weekend fixtures.

“It wasn’t the complete performance that we had hoped for tonight,” said Everitt. “I thought we started the game off well. Going into half-time 16-3 up, which could have been 19, we were clearly on top. It was going to be tough in the second half with the wind, but we didn’t get a good start against a team that doesn’t go away. We knew they were going to push us all the way through to the 80th minute and that’s exactly what they did. We spoke about that at half-time. We did get ascendancy in the scrums and set piece, but unfortunately what let us down were our unforced errors. And our maul didn’t get any go-forward. I think there were aspects of our game tonight that were really good. Our kick accuracy maybe let us down a little bit, but I’m just happy that we got the win.”

Edinburgh now have a two-week break before they resume in the URC with a double-header in South Africa against the Stormers and Sharks. “Staying in touch with the guys at the top is going to be important in a log that looks like it does,” added Everitt. “Then we’ve got a tough trip to South Africa as well. So we’re still happy where we are, and we’re just happy with the win as well.”