Edinburgh edged out in bruising encounter
Edinburgh fell just short against the Cell C Sharks in a hugely physical encounter at DAM Health Stadium.
The visitors held on at the death with the clock deep in the red to claim the spoils, though the Edinburgh men can hold their heads high after fronting up after a disastrous start to the match.
Sharks scrum-half Grant Williams claimed the opening score after five minutes, pilfering a loose pass from Savala to charge under the posts. The men from Durban doubled the score shortly after, with a man advantage after Wes Goosen had seen yellow for stopping an attack illegally.
The extra man was taken advantage of immediately, with the Sharks going wide, fullback Fassi offloading to Potgieter to score in the corner.
The hosts rallied well, with Adam McBurney bagging a brace to level the scores. The first capped off a flowing move from the home side. Vellacott broke forward with a quick tap penalty, and with quick ball got a head of steam. Venter rumbled through, and offloaded to his front row partner who managed to hold off the defence to cross the whitewash.
His second try was a more traditional hooker’s score. Immelman thundered a 50:22 to put Edinburgh on the front foot, and the pack did the rest, mauling well with McBurney at the base to score his second.
Edinburgh then hit the front a minute later with a try of the season contender. Lang hacked through a loose ball, and managed to regather with the Sharks defence scrambling. The ball went wide, with the impressive Boan Venter floating a beautiful pass to Haining, who put Immelman into the corner to give the home side the lead at the break.
The second half started poorly, with Bosch adding a penalty to close the gap after a minute of action. The half then entered into a pattern of Sharks attacks, with the hosts doing everything to hold them out. Shiel brought life to the Edinburgh attack, bursting through on a number of occasions.
The defence eventually crumbled, with van Vuuren crossing after the referee had initially called the ball held up.
The home side threw everything at the men from the southern hemisphere, with Blain and Bennett coming close. However it wasn’t enough, with the Sharks holding on their line with 85 minutes on the clock.