Mike Blair hails Edinburgh star who 'led by his actions' in impressive Cardiff win

Edinburgh shrugged off the loss of their international players while offering a lesson in game management in gaining this impressive away win in the clash of the capital sides.
Chris Dean of Edinburgh Rugby under pressure from Rory Thornton of Cardiff Rugby. Photo by Ashley Crowden/INPHO/Shutterstock (13573832al)Chris Dean of Edinburgh Rugby under pressure from Rory Thornton of Cardiff Rugby. Photo by Ashley Crowden/INPHO/Shutterstock (13573832al)
Chris Dean of Edinburgh Rugby under pressure from Rory Thornton of Cardiff Rugby. Photo by Ashley Crowden/INPHO/Shutterstock (13573832al)

They even pressed for a bonus point at the end with the result secured, centre Chris Dean showing the cutting edge in the first half and the forwards showing blunter power in the second with equal effect.

“It was enjoyable to come out with a result as we did, it was a competitive game, scrappy at times, but we matched up well and we started to get ascendancy with penalties at scrum time and driving lineouts, so overall we probably deserved the win,” said Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair after the 17-25 win.

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“That puts us in a reasonable position with the break coming up and then after that we’re into the Christmas bloc.

“Chris Dean was good, he is a thinker and is always talking to people on the field. He led by his actions at the right times to get across gain lines, create opportunities and advantage in the game, but there were others around him pulling that together as well.

“Above all it was just a great effort to come down here and get a win.

“We pay a lot of attention to the cultural identity of the group, attention to what you need to do in training to transfer into games which does not change when you go on the road.”

Although both sides were missing their international squad players, that affected Edinburgh far more than the home side who had a few of their players overlooked by Wales coach Wayne Pivac, while Edinburgh were without 14 with Scotland.

Emiliano Boffelli opened the scoring with a penalty and Edinburgh’s slick interpassing brought them back upfield when a half break by centre Chris Dean put Ben Muncaster in space on the wing and the flanker went over for the try.

Cardiff hit back, but it led to a strange event where prop Rhys Carre went over the line, the try was awarded and the successful conversion was even allowed before the TMO got involved and the try was disallowed for a clear double movement.

A carbon copy series of forward drives on the Edinburgh line did bring a try for the home side, this time flanker Thomas Young, and after Evans had again converted the try was allowed to stand.

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Edinburgh were also able to capitalise on pressure on the line, centre Dean again the creator managing to get his hands over a tackle to put captain Luke Crosbie over for a try, with Boffelli converting.

Cardiff’s reply was powerful as a lineout drive from a five metre scrum made rapid progress towards the Edinburgh line. When it was brought down referee Gnecchi awarded the penalty try and sin binned outside half Charlie Savala. An outside half yellow carded for bringing down a lineout drive ... the game really has changed!

An early Boffelli penalty put Edinburgh back in front and then it was the turn of their forwards as a scrum penalty followed by a lineout penalty took them upfield, where a 12 man lineout rive resulted in a try for replacement hooker Patrick Harrison, Boffelli converted.

Set piece penalties allowed the visitors to stay in control and run out comfortable winners by the final whistle.

Scorers. Cardiff: Tries – Young, Penalty Try, Con – Evans. Pen - Evans

Edinburgh: Tries – Muncaster, Crosbie, Harrison. Cons – Boffelli (2). Pens – Boffelli (2).

Cardiff Rugby: B Thomas; J Harries, M Grady (C Winnett 72), M Llewellyn, T Cabango; J Evans, L Williams; R Carré (C Domachowski 65), K Myhill (L Belcher 57), D Arhip (W Davies-King 74), J Turnbull (capt, T Williams 66), R Thornton J Botham, T Young, J Ratti (G Bradley 48). Not used: E Bevan, A Summerhill.

Edinburgh: E Boffelli; J Blain, M Currie, C Dean (C Scott 74), W Goosen; C Savala, C Shiel (H Pyrgos 61); B Venter (N Auterac 70), A McBurney (P Harrison 13), L de Bruin (A Williams 48), P Phillips (M Sykes 40), J Hodgson, B Muncaster (C Boyle 70, Muncaster 72), L Crosbie (capt), V Mata. Not used: J van der Walt.

Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR)



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