Cardiff Rugby 17 - 25 Edinburgh
HT 17-15
Sun 30 October 15:00 Cardiff Arms Park Ref: Gianluca Gnecchi United Rugby Championship

Cardiff 17 Edinburgh 25

Sun 30 Oct 2022 17:00 Cardiff 17 Edinburgh 25

It was a tale of frustration at the Arms Park as Cardiff slipped to a United Rugby Championship defeat to Edinburgh.

The Blue and Blacks led 17-15 at the break after battling back from an early try with scores of their own from Thomas Young and courtesy of the referee’s whistle.

Cardiff crossed the whitewash two other times in the first-half and once in the second but they were either unable to ground the ball or saw the effort ruled out.

And it proved costly as Edinburgh ground their way to victory with 10 unanswered second half points.

Edinburgh dominated the opening exchanges at Cardiff Arms Park and enjoyed all the early territory following a 50:22 from Charlie Shiel.

The Blue and Blacks defended well and a big hit from Max Llewellyn in midfield forced a knock-on. However, from the ensuing scrum they were penalised despite Gianluca Gnecchi initially appearing to give a Cardiff penalty.

Emiliano Boffelli knocked over the opening points and it was not long until he was back at the tee after Edinburgh claimed the opening try.

Luke Crosbie won a fortuitous penalty at the breakdown and after kicking to the corner the Scots went through the phases. They initially attacked down the right but after coming back left Chris Dean shook off a tackle and offloaded to put Ben Muncaster over in the corner.

Boffelli failed to land the touchline conversion but the try had given his side an 8-0 had after just six minutes.

Cardiff came back and thought they had scored a try when Rhys Carré displayed his devastating power from close range. Jarrod Evans converted the effort only for Gnecchi to halt the restart to consult with TMO Stefano Roscini. Replays then showed a double movement from the in-form prop and the try was ruled out. 

The Blue and Blacks did not have to wait much longer for their first try, however with Thomas Young twisting over on 17 minutes after a fine driving line out initially laid the foundations.

Evans added the extras to make it 8-7 but Edinburgh, who have scored more tries and more points than any there team so far this season, soon replied. 

The opportunity came from an arguable penalty when Thomas Young stripped the ball in a choke tackle but Gnecchi adjudged the Edinburgh attacker’s knees hit the floor.

They kicked to the corner and Cardiff drove their rolling maul back. Mike Blair’s men were left with virtually no back-line but they displayed great patience and eventually broke through with Dean again offloading, this time to his captain Crosbie.

Boffelli converted to stretch his side’s lead to 15-7, before Evans responded through the boot on 26 minutes.

Having already had one try ruled out there was further frustration for Cardiff when their pack steamrolled Edinburgh over the whitewash but with no view of the ball being grounded.

The driving line out remained a weapon for Dai Young’s side and they were finally rewarded when a third rampaging maul collapsed over the line and Gnecchi awarded a penalty try. That gave Cardiff a deserved 17-15 lead, which they took into the break and it could have been more.

Cardiff continued to threaten in the second-half but the frustration continued and they saw a third potential try ruled out on 45 minutes when Evans’ pass to Jason Harries drifted forward. 

Edinburgh were now benefitting from the refereeing decisions and Boffelli booted the half’s first points and his side into the lead on 53 minutes.

Three further consecutive penalties, to the ire of the home crowd, gave the visitors the platform to roll over for their third try of the game and Boffelli bisected the posts to make it 17-25. 

Cardiff battled to get back into the game and when Corey Domachowski burst through in midfield, following slick hands from Ben Thomas and Rory Thornton, they had Edinburgh on the ropes.

The loose-head replacement kicked through and was bodychecked by the full-back and the Scots survived. 

With the clock turned red, both sides refused to kick possession dead, hunting respective bonus points, but it wasn't to be, despite a late break by Thomas, whose pass inside was intercepted.

Cardiff will next be in BKT URC action in a double-header in South Africa towards the end of the month, but face a trip to Bristol for a friendly in a fortnight.