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Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

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

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Preview: Edinburgh Rugby v Dragons

Paul Eddison 7 Sep 2017

A pair of new Guinness PRO14 head coaches will face off against one another at Myreside on Friday evening as Richard Cockerill’s Edinburgh play host to Bernard Jackman’s Dragons at 7.35pm. After an opening victory in Cardiff against the Blues, Edinburgh will be looking to make it two from two against another Welsh opponent.

What’s at stake? Richard Cockerill spoke of the importance of improving Edinburgh’s home record upon his arrival in the Scottish capital. He will get the first chance to put that into practice this weekend as his side look to build on a strong opening display against the Blues. The Dragons, meanwhile, will be looking to bounce back from their loss at home to Leinster last Saturday. This is an intra-conference encounter in Conference B, giving it an added importance even at this early stage of the season.

Team news (Edinburgh): Cockerill has made five changes to the team that beat the Blues with the most notable coming in the centres where Robbie Fruean will make his debut for the side. The former Crusaders centre starts alongside Chris Dean, a try-scorer last week. Elsewhere Damien Hoyland starts on the wing, Michele Rizzo is included at loosehead, while Ben Toolis and Hamish Watson also get their first starts of the campaign.

Team news (Dragons): Jackman has made two changes to the team that lost to Leinster last time out, with former Edinburgh player Sam Beard coming into the centres. The other change is in the pack where the experienced Rynard Landman replaces Matthew Screech in the second row.

Talking points: This game pits two coaches trying to build new cultures at their respective clubs against one another, and for Edinburgh Cockerill’s touch was already apparent last week in the set-piece and the tight. The former Leicester and Toulon boss hasn’t been afraid to rotate his squad, and is keen to use that depth as Edinburgh look to challenge higher up the table this season.

Key battle: There are plenty of options to choose from but we’ll go for a match-up between two up-and-coming No.8s. Magnus Bradbury has been chosen to captain Edinburgh at the age of 22, and racked up ten carries and nine tackles in the win in Cardiff. Meanwhile the Dragons have once again turned to a 21-year-old in Harrison Keddie, after his all-action display against Leinster with 12 carries and nine tackles.

Key stat: Ben Toolis was the leading lineout taker in the league last year and he showed no rust last weekend after coming on for the final 25 minutes in the Welsh capital. In that time he managed a couple of lineout steals, and he will be a key target for Stuart McInally in the set-piece.

Did you know? The last time Edinburgh played at Myreside was also against the Dragons in Round 21 of last season. On that occasion the home side battled to a 24-20 success.

Edinburgh: B Kinghorn; D Hoyland, C Dean, R Fruean, J Harries; D Weir, S Hidalgo-Clyne; M Rizzo, S McInally, WP Nel; A Bresler, B Toolis; J Ritchie, H Watson, M Bradbury.

Replacements: R Ford, D Marfo, S Berghan, F McKenzie, C du Preez, N Fowles, J Tovey, J Rasolea.

Dragons: Z Kirchner; A Hewitt, T Morgan, S Beard, H Amos; G Henson, C Davies; B Harris, E Dee, L Brown, R Landman, C Hill, J Thomas, J Benjamin, H Keddie.

Replacements: R Buckley, P Price, L Fairbrother, M Screech, M Williams, O Leonard, A O’Brien, A Hughes.

TV: BBC Alba (KO 7.35pm)

Match officials – Referee: Stuart Berry (SARU). Assistant Referee 1: Quinton Immelman (SARU). AR2: Cwengile Jadezweni (SARU). TMO: Charles Samson (SARU).

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 for adults and €5 for children, and be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Winning start continues for Edinburgh with bonus-point success over Dragons

Ross Lawson 8 Sep 2017

Richard Cockerill marked his first home Guinness PRO14 match in triumphant style as his Edinburgh Rugby side delivered a bonus-point win over the Dragons at Myreside.

The impressive Blair Kinghorn scored in the first half, but nine points from the boot of Gavin Henson kept the Welsh region within touching distance.

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne’s second-half try threatened a breakaway only for Henson to once again successfully kick three penalties in the space of nine minutes to set up a frantic conclusion.

But replacement Junior Rasolea crashed over while Robbie Fruean, who crossed in the game’s dying embers, secured Cockerill a bonus point and a happy home welcome to the Guinness PRO14.

It was the Dragons who found their footing first, at times camped in the Edinburgh 22 as wave after wave looked destined to see the scoreboard troubled in the early stages.

That came thanks to Henson’s first penalty on 11 minutes, and just four minutes later a well-executed drop goal saw the Dragons double their lead as Edinburgh were put under pressure.

The home sides won the two meetings last season, but it took until the 23rd minute for Edinburgh to get their first home points of the campaign, thanks to Weir.

The Scottish international levelled up shortly after and, with momentum behind them, Edinburgh notched the first try of the game on the half-hour through a piece of brilliance.

The ball was whipped wide to Chris Dean, darting his way between four tackles before offloading to Kinghorn, with the full-back left with the easy task of dotting down and giving the hosts the lead.

Weir added the extras but the celebrations weren’t to last for long as he went to the sin-bin, while Henson notched his second penalty, narrowing the half-time score to 13-9.

The first score of the second half always looked key, and it was Kinghorn at the heart of the action once again to ensure Edinburgh some breathing room.

He glided his way through the Dragons defence, supported perfectly by Hidalgo-Clyne, taking the offload with precision and crashing under the posts for another score.

Three more Henson penalties set up a tense finale however as the score narrowed to 20-18, though an offside infringement ensured Weir would kick for goal, with success, once more.

And as the clock ticked into the final ten minutes, a third try was to come the Scottish side’s way, hitting back through replacement Rasolea thanks to excellent work by wing Damien Hoyland, starting a move that finished with an equally-impressive delayed pass by Fruean.

Fruean himself was not to be denied on debut, dotting down with just four minutes left on the clock, leaving Edinburgh to celebrate a strong opening home display in this season’s Guinness PRO14.

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 for adults and €5 for children, and 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