Edinburgh 33 Ospreys 17

A late rally wasn't enough to secure an unlikely losing point for the Ospreys as they suffer a first Magners League defeat since October at Murrayfield.


Tries from Nikki Walker, Jerry Collins and Sonny Parker in the final quarter aren't enough as the Ospreys were made to pay for an incredible 22 minutes of rugby that saw Edinburgh score 33 unanswered points to secure the win.

There were late checks on the fitness of Barry Davies and Richard Hibbard, with the Ospreys opting to take no risks and go for Gareth Owen at full back and Ed Shervington at hooker. James Goode got the nod among the replacements due to Andy Lloyd staying behind in Swansea to be with his wife who was due to give birth. A welcome sight was Mike Phillips in the number nine shirt as he made his first start since suffering ligament damage back in October.

The home side got the game underway on a glorious spring afternoon with Murrayfield bathed in sunshine, but it was the Ospreys who had the first chance to open the scoring after the hosts were penalised for offside, Dan Biggar's long range penalty from just inside his own half falling just short with only a minute on the clock.

Edinburgh took control of the opening minutes, their positive rugby taking them deep into Ospreys territory only for their handling to let them down on more than one occasion as they looked to threaten the visitors line. As the Ospreys edged their way back into the game, they were unfortunate to be called back by referee George Clancy for crossing in midfield as Andrew Bishop looked to release his outside backs, the whistle halting their progress with Owen and Walker moving forward ominously into the 22.

The Ospreys defence was put under real pressure just past the halfway point off the first period after Owen was bundled into touch close to his own line, Edinburgh's forwards taking turns to batter on the try line. Geoff Cross came closest, ducking under a challenge only to be held up short by the combined efforts of Phillips and Craig Mitchell. Having sucked in defenders, Edinburgh spun it wide looking to find an alternative way through, only for Nick de Luca to spill it as he tried to jink his was through the defensive cover.

Edinburgh had enjoyed the better of a scrappy game that was being dominated by the referee's whistle, and it came as no surprise when they finally broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute. After putting the Ospreys under pressure at a scrum five, the ball was worked the width of the pitch for Ben Cairns who swapped passes with Tim Visser to create space before going over for the try, David Blair converting from close to the touchline.


Edinburgh were able to double their lead their lead minutes after the restart, Cairns turning provider as he linked up again with Visser, launching a counter attack from his own half, stepping away from an Andrew Bishop tackle before passing to the wing who carved his was past Walker and Owen to score, Phil Godman adding the extras.

The Ospreys were back behind their posts almost immediately as Visser grabbed his second, and Edinburgh's third try of the afternoon. The visitors lost the ball deep in Edinburgh territory, and the ball was worked wide to Visser on his own 22. Facing Walker, he chipped long and won the race with Bishop to touch down, the conversion attempt going wide.

It got worse for the Ospreys, as Visser went over to complete an improbable five minute hat-trick, the fastest ever in the Magners League, that secured a bonus point for Edinburgh inside the first 53 minutes. An Owen kick was charged down, allowing the hosts to break at speed, Steven Turnbull and Andrew Kelly combining to feed Visser. Godman's conversion made it 26-0.

Mark Robertson then went on a length of the pitch run, outpacing the covering Biggar to go over for Edinburgh's fifth try of the game, the conversion from Godman completing an incredible spell that had seen the hosts chalk up 26 points in the first 15 minutes of the second half.

Mr Clancy had to go to the TMO for assistance just after the hour as the Ospreys looked to score their first points of the afternoon, Edinburgh's 8 doing sterling defence work as he tried to prevent Scottish winger Walker scoring in the corner, but he was able to use his strength to ground it just inches from the touchline to finally put his side on the scoreboard, Biggar missing with his conversion attempt leaving it 33-5 to the home team.

There was then a lengthy delay as Edinburgh's Craig Hamilton received extensive treatment after a collision in a ruck, the replacement lock eventually being stretchered off the field.

With the clock showing 69 minutes there was a second try for the Ospreys, skipper Collins barging his way through from close range after great work from replacement Barry Davies, whose kick and collect opened the initial gap, with prop Ryan Bevington providing excellent support. Biggar successfully converted to reduce the deficit further.

The Ospreys pressed hard for a third try, a flowing move seeing the ball passing through numerous pairs of hands before Visser hauled down Owen lose to the line, before Collins was held up on the line as he looked to pounce for a second try of the afternoon but had to settle for an attacking five metre scrum. The try did come from the set-piece though, Walker being stopped just short of the line before the ball was recycled, Bishop's offload allowing Parker to cross for an unconverted score with just two minutes remaining.

An improbable bonus point was in touching distance for the Ospreys, but Edinburgh were able to keep their line intact for the closing minutes and hold on for a win that keeps them very much in the mix for the end of season play-offs.