Challenge Cup: Edinburgh 49-3 Timisoara Saracens

Jason Tovey scores for Edinburgh
Replacement fly-half Jason Tovey scored the sixth of Edinburgh's seven tries, and converted two
European Challenge Cup
Edinburgh (28) 49
Tries: Du Preez, Kinghorn, Allen, Cochrane 2, Tovey, Hoyland Cons: Weir 5, Tovey 2
Timisoara Saracens (0) 3
Pen: Calafeteanu

Edinburgh secured a home European Challenge Cup quarter-final with a 49-3 victory over Timisoara Saracens.

In their first game at Myreside - their home for the second half of the season - Duncan Hodge's side ran in seven converted tries, with captain Neil Cochrane bagging two.

Cornell du Preez, Blair Kinghorn, Mike Allen, Jason Tovey and Damien Hoyland scored the others.

The Romanians' only points came from a Valentin Calafeteanu penalty.

Edinburgh have an unassailable six-point lead at the top of Pool 5, and with 24 points, are guaranteed to be one of the four top-ranked sides in the pool stages, thereby securing a home draw for the last eight.

The club may opt to shift that fixture back to Murrayfield for its greater size as Myreside can hold around 6,000 spectators, less than a tenth of the national stadium's capacity.

Cochrane, on his 50th appearance for the club, grounded the ball after a powerful drive from the home pack to open the scoring, with Duncan Weir converting.

Edinburgh's back row combined smartly in open play to create the second try, with Magnus Bradbury finding fellow flanker Jamie Ritchie, whose basketball-style offload to Tom Brown gave the winger the space to send Du Preez galloping in.

Blair Kinghorn goes over for Edinburgh's second try
Blair Kinghorn scored Edinburgh's second try

Weir converted, and did so again when Kinghorn snapped up a telegraphed pass to canter in unchallenged from halfway.

Centre Chris Dean set up his midfield partner Mike Allen for the bonus-point fourth try on the stroke of half-time, the fly-half adding the extras once more.

Trailing 28-0, scrum-half Calafeteanu slotted Timisoara's sole points from the tee shortly after the break, but Cochrane's second - converted by Weir - stretched the lead after another rolling maul.

Weir's replacement Tovey and Du Preez combined in the tackle to hold up the Romanians when they threatened the home whitewash.

And the Welsh pivot exploited a gap in the Timisoara defence to dot down for Edinburgh's sixth try, converting it himself.

Scotland winger Hoyland scored the final - and arguably finest - try of the evening, when he sped home off a neat inside reverse pass from replacement scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, with Tovey adding the extras.

Edinburgh interim head coach Duncan Hodge: "We got what we needed - a bonus point and a home quarter-final. As ever, there are bits we need to improve on for [playing Munster at Myreside in] two weeks' time, but we've got what we needed.

"The crowd [at Myreside] are closer to the players [than at Murrayfield] so they're incredibly positive about it. You look out and see the stands, and it looks great. I think it's been a huge plus, and it's great to see so many fans here tonight.

"Hopefully they'll come back in two weeks' time, which will be a massive game."

Edinburgh: Kinghorn; Hoyland, Allen, Dean, Brown; Weir, Fowles; Dell, Cochrane (capt), Berghan, Toolis, Gilchrist, Bradbury, Ritchie, Du Preez.

Replacements: McInally, Cosgrove, McCallum, Carmichael, Mata, Hidalgo-Clyne, Tovey, Scholes.

Timisoara Saracens: Fercu; Lemnaru, Sefanaia, Umaga, Shennan; Rose, Calafeteanu; Aholelei, Radoi, Pungea, Popirlan, Drenceanu, Ianus, Lazar, Rus.

Replacements: Capatana, Halalilo, Maris, Muresan, Gorcioaia, Popa, Conache, Manumua.

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