Edinburgh beaten in Durban

Edinburgh beaten in Durban

Edinburgh were beaten in Durban on Saturday afternoon, with Hollywoodbets Sharks running out 23-13 winners in Round 13 of the BKT United Rugby Championship.

Full-back Aphelele Fassi proved a match winner on the day after running in a solo try that was one of several eye-catching breaks, while also pinning back the visitors with his pinpoint left boot.

Edinburgh are still firmly in contention for a play-off spot but they struggled to leave any meaningful mark on the South African province beyond two Ben Healy penalties and an overtime touch down from Boan Venter.

The opening quarter produced contrasting styles as the Sharks made inroads through their pack while Edinburgh’s livelier moments came when their backs attacked the outside channels.

But it was Fassi who delivered a moment of magic in the 21st minute to turn the early balance on its head as he took a line-out and sprinted through a large gap in the opposition forwards.

Edinburgh scrapped well in defence as the Sharks used their pack to batter away at the whitewash and on three occasions the committed capital defence held them up over the line.

Van der Merwe launched a high-speed counter attack that was the prelude to a penalty from Healy and despite being under pressure for most of the first-half, the visitors were only 7-3 down at the interval.

Fassi’s repeated threat with the ball was accompanied by his superb kicking as Edinburgh were sent backwards through a deft touchfinder and his fine afternoon continued by providing the final pass for Lukhanyo Am to touch down in the right corner.

A 50-22 was Fassi’s next intervention and when Siya Masuku hit back to back penalties, the Sharks could breath more easily with number eight Phepsi Buthelezi and Venter exchanging late tries.

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