Edinburgh 35-18 Dragons: Kinghorn fires hosts to battling victory

Edinburgh's Blair Kinghorn, right, impressed in the victory. Picture: SNS
Edinburgh's Blair Kinghorn, right, impressed in the victory. Picture: SNS
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New signing Robbie Fruean marked his Edinburgh debut with the bonus-point sealing fourth try in an encouraging 35-18 win over the Dragons.

The former Bath and Crusaders centre cut through a tiring Welsh defence in the final five minutes as Edinburgh made it two Guinness Pro14 wins in a row under new coach Richard Cockerill.

Edinburgh returned to Myreside for the first time this season and faced the same opposition against whom they completed their home programme last term.

On that occasion they had fought back to beat the Welsh region 24-20 and snap a 
nine-game losing streak. They went on to beat Glasgow at Scotstoun the following 
week, and started the new campaign with a win at Cardiff, so were going for a fourth Pro12/14 victory on the trot – something they hadn’t achieved since the start of the 2015-16 season.

The opening exchanges were dominated by the visitors as they enjoyed lots of early possession and had made a few threats on the home line before a Gavin Henson penalty gave them a deserved lead.

Former Wales and Lions star Henson, initially deployed at stand-off last night, then clipped over a neatly-taken drop goal to double the advantage in the 15th minute.

As the game moved into its second quarter, the home side finally sparked into life as a well-worked short lineout move between hooker Stuart McInally and blindside Jamie Ritchie got them on the front foot with the first sustained set of phases.

Fruean, pictured, enjoyed his first real taste of the action with some deft touches but the Dragons’ line held, although they did infringe to allow Weir to half the lead with a straightforward penalty.

The home stand-off then levelled the scores in the 27th minute as Cockerill’s men started to take a grip on 

That grip tightened bang on the half-hour mark as Edinburgh got the first try of the evening. And what a cracker it was as Chris Dean’s cute inside flip found the onrushing Blair Kinghorn, who scorched over. Weir converted and things were looking rosy.

Kinghorn sparked another fine attack with a surge up the left which almost got wing Jason Harries in but desperate Dragons defence held them out. There was a twist when Weir was sent to the sin bin for stamping in a ruck.

The 14 men couldn’t quite hold out as Dragons were rewarded for some pressure late in the half as Henson, who had switched to centre after Sam Beard went off, knocked over another penalty.

The second half started in an open manner and it was Edinburgh who struck six minutes in when Kinghorn again hit a beautiful line and put in Sam Hidalgo-Clyne to dive over between the sticks and Weir, back from the bin, slotted the extras to make it 20-9.

Henson chipped another three points back with a well-struck penalty and continued his impressive night with the boot to pull his side back to withing two points.

Earlier it looked like they had scored in the left corner after a majestic cross-field kick by sub Angus O’Brien. But the TMO spotted that wing Hallam Amos had a foot in touch as he made the scoring pass.

Weir responded to Henson’s run of successful penalties to make it 23-18 before the home side struck a decisive blow as sub centre Junior Rasolea barged over in the left corner for an unconverted score that put Edinburgh ten points clear. Then Fruean struck after a mighty driving maul deep into the Dragons’ 22.