Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

Match Page 2017-18 - Last Time WP ID: 133

Match Page 2017-18 - Current Standing WP: 134

Match Page 2017-18 - H2H WP: 136

Match Page 2017-18 - Last 3 Matches WP: 142

Match Page 2017-18 - Season so Far WP:141

Preview: Dragons v Edinburgh Rugby

Will Thompson 22 Feb 2018
Chris Dean, Edinburgh Rugby

Edinburgh Rugby travel to Eugene Cross Park hoping to continue the momentum from their dramatic late victory over Ulster last time out when Duncan Weir slotted a last-minute drop goal to give the Scots a 17-16 win.

The Dragons suffered a frustrating loss to Benetton in the last round, having scored two early tries to give themselves the perfect start, then letting the game slip after half-time.

What’s at stake?

Edinburgh closed the gap on the second-placed Scarlets with a win last weekend and will be hoping to cut the difference again this time out, currently lying in third just eight points behind the Welsh outfit.

With only five games left after this weekend, Richard Cockerill and his men will be eager to close in on the top two.

The Dragons, on the other hand, sit sixth in Conference B of the Guinness PRO14, 21 points off Benetton Rugby in fifth, so have an even bigger challenge on their hands if they are to hunt down the rest of the pack.

Team news (Dragons)

There are four changes to the team that tasted defeat in Round 15 as Bernard Jackman looks to improve the team’s performance in key areas.

Dorian Jones comes in at fly-half, hoping to take advantage of the familiar setting, having played at Eugene Cross Park with Ebbw Vale RFC for the last few weeks in the Principality Premiership.

The front row sees one change as Leon Brown returns to the starting XV and Lewis Evans is named skipper for this match as James Benjamin replaces Harri Keddie and Aaron Wainwright makes up the back row.

The replacements bench sees the inclusion of Ollie Griffiths, who is set to make his first appearance since his injury.

Team news (Edinburgh)

Edinburgh make only two changes to the side who earned victory away to Ulster last weekend, with Dougie Fife set to make his 100th appearance for the club

James Johnstone returns to the midfield to partner Chris Dean at outside centre whilst the back three remain unchanged

After an impactful performance from the bench against Ulster, Magnus Bradbury returns to first-team action alongside John Hardie and Bill Mata in the back row as the only change in the pack.

Talking points

Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman said: “Any frustrations we’ve had this season with injury have been more than compensated by seeing the development of some of our youngsters.

“We’ve given ten debuts to teenagers this season, with Rio Dyer the latest to make his PRO14 debut last weekend. He’s an 18-year old from Newport who we feel has a bright future, so when you are working with enthusiasm and talent like he has, you need a little bit of patience, but you can see the reward at the end of it.”

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill said: “It’s another game that we want to win and so we’ve chosen a relatively unchanged side, who we believe have the quality to go to Ebbw Vale and get a result.

“Although we were happy with the win against Ulster, there are still lots of areas of our game in which we need improve, and if we don’t them right against the Dragons, then we’ll be punished.

Key battle – Dorian Jones v Jaco van der Walt

After Zane Kirchner missed four crucial kicks on Sunday in the defeat to Benetton, Bernard Jackman has brought in Dorian Jones at fly-half to pull the strings and offer confidence with the boot.

Jackman claimed that Jones is on a run of 40 kicks without missing, which will be essential in the close encounter against the Scots.

Jaco van der Walt was given the backing by Cockerill to start despite Duncan Weir’s match-winning drop-goal last time out, showing the trust his places in the South African.

Key stat: The Dragons have played one other game at Eugene Cross Park this season, a 23-40 defeat to Glasgow Warriors in a pre-season friendly in August.

Did you know? Dougie Fife scored the tournament-clinching try in Scotland’s maiden World Rugby Sevens Series victory in London in May 2016 and he was in the team which retained that title the following year.

Dragons: Hallam Amos, Rio Dyer, Zane Kirchner, Jack Dixon, Jared Rosser, Dorian Jones, Charlie Davies, Sam Hobbs, Liam Belcher, Leon Brown, Joe Davies, Rynard Landman, Aaron Wainwright, James Benjamin, Lewis Evans (c).

Replacements: Ellis Shipp, Gerard Ellis, Lloyd Fairbrother, Harri Keddie, Ollie Griffiths, Sarel Pretorius, Connor Edwards, Jarryd Sage.

Edinburgh: Dougie Fife, Jason Harries, James Johnstone, Chris Dean, Duhan van der Merwe, Jaco van der Walt, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Jordan Lay, Neil Cochrane, Murray McCallum, Fraser McKenzie (c), Lewis Carmichael, Magnus Bradbury, John Hardie, Bill Mata.

Replacements: Cameron Fenton, Rory Sutherland, Elliot Millar-Mills, Cornell du Preez, Luke Crosbie, Nathan Fowles, Duncan Weir, Junior Rasolea.

Referee: George Clancy (IRFU, 98th competition game)

AR1: Kieran Barry (IRFU)

AR2: Simon Rees (WRU)

TMO: Non-televised game

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start from just €35 for adults and €10 for children, and can be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

 

Historical Lineup Pre Opta (sfms data) - Preview - v2

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Edinburgh hold off late Dragons fightback to record vital bonus-point win

Ross Lawson 23 Feb 2018

Edinburgh kept up the pressure at the top of Conference B in the Guinness PRO14 as Cameron Fenton secured a last-gasp score to seal the all-important bonus point try against the Dragons.

Neil Cochrane, Chris Dean, Duncan Weir, and Fenton all scored the tries as Edinburgh ensured Scarlets and Leinster will be continuing to look over their shoulders at the summit of the table.

Edinburgh travelled to Eugene Cross Park hoping to continue the momentum from their dramatic late victory over Ulster last time out when Weir slotted a last-minute drop goal to give the Scots a 17-16 win.

And the visitors were the better side in the opening half as they dominated territory and possession and looked the more composed of the two sides.

Edinburgh went ahead after only four minutes as the hugely impressive Sam Hidalgo-Clyne scored the first points of the game with a straightforward penalty in front of the posts.

Dragons were desperate to get themselves level and despite huffing and puffing in the opening 40 minutes the closest they came was a pulled drop goal from Dorian Jones, unable to slot between the posts.

The Dragons lost out to Benetton in the last round, faced with a tough task again after Edinburgh extended their lead on 24 minutes with the game’s first try.

Lewis Carmichael rose highest to take the lineout and the Edinburgh pack drove over the line, with hooker Neil Cochrane at the back of the maul to touch down, with Hidalgo-Clyne adding the extras.

With Jones off, Dragons’ Zane Kirchner had the perfect opportunity to reduce the deficit on 29 minutes though he too was unable to kick the home side’s first points of the game.

Edinburgh continued their domination after the break as Dean hit the line at pace and raced over to extend his side’s lead to 15-0 on 45 minutes, with Hidalgo-Clyne just off target on this occasion.

But Dragons were not about to wave the white flag and lock Rynard Landman nipped over in the corner to bring the home side back into proceedings, with Jones reducing the deficit to 15-7.

And the Welsh side found themselves back in the game on 67 minutes as Jones burst through the Edinburgh defence and offloaded to Landman to go over for his second score of the game – though a missed conversion kept the Edinburgh lead to three points.

From there the Dragons had momentum and looked likelier to score, only for veteran Weir to get his name on the scoresheet for Edinburgh – Nathan Fowles breaking through the Dragons defence and Weir finishing in style, though he was unable to convert.

The late Edinburgh salvo was completed in the final minute of the game, Fenton driving over to score the all-important bonus point score for the visitors.

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start from just €35 for adults and €10 for children, and can be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

Match Page 2017-18 - Summary WP:137

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Performance WP:138