Edinburgh thrash Scarlets

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 17:56
Large edinburgh v scarlets 2018 800

PRO14 REPORT: Duhan van der Merwe scored two tries as Edinburgh took a big step towards qualifying for the Pro14 Final Series by thrashing a much-changed Scarlets 52-14 at Murrayfield.

After losing at home to Ulster last time out, Edinburgh are now nine points ahead of their nearest challengers and victory over Glasgow Warriors in two weeks' time will seal their play-off place.

Richard Cockerill's side ran in eight tries in total in what was a ruthless performance that closed the gap between them and Scarlets to just one point in Conference B, meaning a home semifinal is still up for grabs.

Edinburgh flew out of the traps by scoring two tries in the first nine minutes, a slick move from left to right ended with James Johnstone putting in Blair Kinghorn.

Almost straight from the restart, Kinghorn fed the ball to Van der Merwe, who escaped the attempted tackle of Tom Varndell before sprinting clear down the left.

A third try for the hosts followed when Jaco van der Walt dummied to get through a gap before sending Sam Hidalgo-Clyne away for a 50-metre dash to the line.

The bonus point was wrapped up inside 24 minutes when Ben Toolis off-loaded to Chris Dean, who timed his pass to give the lively Magnus Bradbury a score he deserved.

Scarlets finally found a response when Varndell made the most of being given space to score in the corner and when Dan Jones was fed by Lewis MacLeod after a good spell of pressure, the gap was down to 26-14 at half-time.

But Edinburgh regained full control of the game after the break and Van der Merwe had his second on 46 minutes after a lovely kick ahead by Hidalgo-Clyne bounced kindly for him.

Try number six for the hosts followed when Mark Bennett got away down the right before off-loading to Cornell du Preez, whose pass inside gave Luke Crosbie a simple finish.

There was no let-up in the closing stages, with Duncan Weir seizing on a loose ball and breaking clear before timing his pass to allow Bennett to get in on the act.

And Edinburgh's half-century was brought up off the final play, when a clever line-out from Neil Cochrane led to Nathan Fowles catching the Scarlets defence unawares to score.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Kinghorn, Van der Merwe 2, Hidalgo-Clyne, Bradbury, Crosbie, Bennett, Fowles
Cons: Hidalgo-Clyne 5, Weir

For Scarlets: 
Tries: Varndell, Jones
Cons: Jones 2


Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 James Johnstone, 12 Chris Dean, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 Cornell du Preez, 7 Jamie Ritchie, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 Simon Berghan, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Jordan Lay. 
Replacements: 16 Neil Cochrane, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Murray McCallum, 19 Lewis Carmichael, 20 Luke Crosbi, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Mark Bennett.

Scarlets: 15 Rhys Jones, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Ioan Nicholas, 12 Steff Hughes (captain), 11 Ryan Conbeer, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Will Boyde, 7 Josh Macleod, 6 Lewis Rawlins, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Steve Cummins, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Dylan Evans. 
Replacements: 16 Taylor Davies, 17 Phil Price, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Josh Helps, 20 Shaun Evans, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Corey Baldwin, 23 Tom Rogers.

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: David Sutherland (Scotland), Dunx McClement (Scotland)
TMO: Charles Samson (Scotland)


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Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
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Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
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Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
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Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
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Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 20 15 1 4 75
Munster 20 13 0 7 67
Cheetahs 20 11 0 9 58
Cardiff Blues 20 11 0 9 53
Ospreys 20 8 0 12 40
Connacht 20 6 0 14 34
Zebre 20 6 0 14 32
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 20 14 1 5 70
Scarlets 20 13 1 6 65
Edinburgh 20 14 0 6 64
Ulster 20 12 1 7 60
Treviso 20 11 0 9 54
Dragons 20 2 2 16 20
Kings 20 1 0 19 11