Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO
THERE WAS MORE than an element of good fortune to it, but Edinburgh claimed an important win in their bid for a play-off place with the last meaningful play of an entertaining nine-try encounter at Myreside.
There was an agonising wait before Mark Bennett’s late winning try was awarded, but after checking with the TMO Kiwi referee Paul Williams could see that Glenn Bryce had batted the ball backwards over as head as he contested a high ball chipped through by Jaco van der Merwe.
Leinster had thought they would go away celebrating a late winner of their own after Barry Daly produced a smart finish in the left corner, but Leinster were unable to hold on to secure a 10th straight victory and so they taste defeat for the first time since November, when Scotland – Scotstoun on that occasion – also provided the back-drop for the loss.
Source: Bryan Keane
Both sides had registered three tries by the break and were separated only by Ross Byrne having registered one more conversion than opposite number Van der Walt.
Leinster had taken the early initiative, steadily building through the phases before Max Deegan registered a fourth minute opening try. However, carelessness cost them two quick-fire tries as Byrne had an attempted chip charged down by Luke Crosbie, who powered away from the cover to complete a 60-metre break to the try-line.
Dave Kearney then had the ball stripped by Chris Dean, Nathan Fowles gathering it around the visitors’ 10 metre line, breaking a tackle and going the distance.
Another spell of Leinster pressure was rewarded when Deegan put Scott Fardy in on the right and the No.8 claimed another assist soon after when he provided a fine pass that put Daly in position to to fend off two tacklers on his way over .
Edinburgh claimed their third two minutes into first-half injury time when sustained pressure ended with Murray McCallum driving in.
Source: Bryan Keane
After a scoreless third quarter both secured their bonus points in rapid succession, Edinburgh thanks to a clever little chip by Sam Hidalgo-Clyne which bounced perfectly for on-rushing winger Duhan van der Merwe and Leinster when Daly was put in for his second after Ross Byrne’s miss pass gave him just enough room to get over in the left corner.
It looked as if that would be enough for the visitors until Edinburgh stole victory in that final play.
Edinburgh: Tries: Crosbie (13), Fowles (15), McCallum (40+2), Bennett (79)
Conversions: van der Walt [1 of 2]; Bennett [0 of 1]; Hidalgo-Clyne [1 of 2]
Penalties: van der Walt [0 of 1]
Leinster: Tries: Deegan (4), Fardy (25), Daly (33, 65)
Conversions: Byrne [2 of 4]
Edinburgh: Dougie Fife; Darcy Graham (Rep: Glenn Bryce 66), Mark Bennett, Chris Dean (Rep: Junior Rasolea 68), Duhan van der Merwe; Jaco van der Walt, Nathan Fowles (Rep: Sam Hidalgo-Clyne); Jordan Lay (Rep: Rory Sutherland 56), Cameron Fenton (rep: Neil Cochrane 45), Murray McCallum (Rep: Matt Shields 66), Fraser McKenzie (C), Lewis Carmichael, Luke Crosbie (John Hardie 56), Jamie Ritchie (Rep: Magnus Bradbury 69), Viliame Mata
Leinster: Dave Kearney (Rep: Adam Byrne 66); Fergus McFadden, Rory O’Loughlin, Noel Reid, Barry Daly; Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park (Rep: Luke McGrath 59); Peter Dooley (Rep: Ed Byrne 46), Richardt Strauss (C) (Rep: Bryan Byrne 46), Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Scott Fardy, Josh Murphy (Rep: Mick Kearney 71), Will Connors (Rep: Peadar Timmins 66), Max Deegan
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)