Edinburgh power to bonus-point win
Edinburgh Rugby claimed an important 31-20 bonus-point win over Castres Olympique in the Heineken Champions Cup this Saturday.
In the first Heineken Champions Cup match held at DAM Health Stadium, Edinburgh were well deserving winners as efforts from Bill Mata, Charlie Savala and Ben Vellacott, plus a first-half penalty try, secured the bonus point.
Castres fought hard, but simply couldn’t create enough on the day, despite crossing for three tries, through Pierre Colonna, Julien Blanc and Adrien Seguret.
The first 19 minutes were well contested, but Edinburgh eventually made the breakthrough; a tap and go from a penalty under the posts, and number 8 Mata came from deep to power over the line, Emiliano Boffelli adding the extras as he did for all the hosts’ tries.
Castres responded through Colonna, the ball bouncing out of a lineout in Edinburgh’s 22 and into the hooker’s hands. The 21-year-old then weaved his way through the gap to the try-line in a piece of individual brilliance.
Castres took the lead on 29 minutes with a well-worked try finished by scrum-half Blanc, but with both first-half crosses for the French team unconverted, Edinburgh took back their lead before the break.
Referee Tom Foley lost his patience after seeing one infringement too many by Castres in their own 22, awarding the capital side a penalty try.
Edinburgh flew out of the blocks in the second half and soon extended their lead, replacement fly-half Savala finishing an excellent move on 47 minutes, and when scrum-half Vellacott capitalised on a Castres mistake behind their own line to down a loose ball, the game was all but over.
The French side may have responded instantly through centre Seguret, but a late penalty from full-back Boffelli killed off all hope of a comeback.
Next up for both teams is a repeat of this match in Round 3 of the Heineken Champions Cup, with Edinburgh tasked with braving a fiery Stade Pierre Fabre on January 15.