Edinburgh go top with bonus-point win
CHAMPIONS CUP WIN: Edinburgh came back from a half-time deficit to blow Newcastle Falcons away and go top of pool five.
The English team, Newcastle, held a 13-10 lead at the break.
However, three second-half tries – including a penalty try from a monstrous scrum – saw the Scottish outfit race to a 31-13 win
They not only ended the Falcons’ two-match winning run in Europe, but also displaced them to the top of the pool.
The home side knocked on early, giving Newcastle the chance to win the attacking line-out and then force a penalty as a couple of Edinburgh players strayed offside.
Newcastle Falcons flyhalf Brett Connon – and not the competition points leader Joel Hodgson who is out injured – kicked the away side in front.
A try reminiscent of Newcastle’s last gasp effort against Montpellier then followed, as Edinburgh worked a mammoth set of phases before eventually powering Hamish Watson over the try line. Van der Walt’s conversion attempt flicked the post but went the right side for Edinburgh fans.
Adam Radwan was a sensation last season – scoring a remarkable 10 tries in eight Challenge Cup matches – and he scored his first Champions Cup try on the half hour mark.
The visitors worked the hands really well, finding Radwan who stayed in play and bounded down the left wing before diving over for the go-ahead try.
Van der Walt missed a penalty for Edinburgh minutes later, but they won possession back and in doing so, earned another kickable penalty that the fly-half popped over, drawing the sides level.
They were level until just before the interval, when Connon again slotted over after a Edinburgh infringement.
Edinburgh started the stronger in the second half, winning a line-out and driving towards the line, before a simple inside pass to Chris Dean opened a hole in the Newcastle line at the posts, which Dean flew through and dotted down
The home side then won a penalty try to extend the lead, after multiple scrums were brought down by Newcastle Falcons, giving referee Marius Mitrea little choice but to award the seven point score.
Edinburgh’s crucial bonus point try came on 72 minutes, when good work from Van der Walt down the right flank left Kinghorn clear to dot down with ease.
The two sides will meet again next weekend at Kingston Park in what could prove to be a crucial clash in Champions Cup Pool 5..
Tries: Watson, Dean, Penalty try, Kinghorn
Cons: Van der Walt 3, penalty try does not require a conversion
Pen: Van der Walt
Pens: Connon 2
Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 James Johnstone, 12 Chris Dean, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Bill Mata, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Stuart McInally (captain), 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 David Cherry, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Callum Hunter-Hill, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Simon Hickey, 23 Juan Pablo Socino.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Pedro Bettencourt, 11 Adam Radwan, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Tane Takulua, 8 Callum Chick, 7 Gary Graham, 6 Ryan Burrows (captain), 5 Glen Young, 4 Tex Cavubati, 3 David Wilson, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Adam Brocklebank.
Replacements: 16 Santi Socino, 17 Trevor Davison, 18 Sami Mavinga, 19 Calum Green, 20 Simon Uzokwe, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Johnny Williams.
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Andrea Piardi (Italy), Matteo Liperini (Italy)
TMO: Stefano Penne (Italy)