Pro12: Edinburgh 9-13 Ospreys

By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland at Myreside
Pro12 highlights: Edinburgh 9-13 Ospreys
Edinburgh (3) 9
Pens: Weir 3
Ospreys (10) 13
Try: Matavesi Con: Davies Pen: Davies 2

Ospreys moved top of the Pro12 with a hard-fought victory over Edinburgh in dreadful weather conditions.

Fly-half Sam Davies conjured a rare - and pivotal - flash of quality to send Josh Matavesi in for the game's only try with a superb reverse pass.

Davies converted the score and kicked two penalties to Duncan Weir's three for Edinburgh.

The defeat is the Scottish side's fifth in succession and they remain ninth in the league table.

It was another foul night at Myreside; cold, wet and breezy. The Ospreys and Edinburgh exist in different worlds in the Pro 12, the visitors pursuing the top four and a title while the home side were merely trying to get the win that has eluded them for so long.

Edinburgh owned the opening 20 minutes but a lack of imagination, and wet conditions, plus stout resistance meant they led by just three points from Weir's boot.

Blair Kinghorn
Edinburgh slipped to their fifth consecutive defeat in the rain and wind at Myreside, as the Ospreys climbed to the Pro12 summit

Even that tiny advantage was eliminated soon after when Davies knocked over a penalty of his own. Twenty minutes had been played and the Ospreys hadn't yet fired a shot. They hadn't even got into Edinburgh's 22.

That changed quickly when Ospreys carved Edinburgh open with a rare moment of class in an otherwise poor contest.

It was Davies who created it, a little show-and-go then a nicely-timed pass to Matavesi arriving on an unstoppable line. Clinical. Davies added the conversion to make it 10-3.

Edinburgh had their chances to turn it around. Chance after chance in fact. They spent an inordinate amount of time in the opposition half as the game went on, but couldn't break through what is the Pro 12's best defence.

There was controversy when Edinburgh fired up a close-range, fast-moving maul that the Ospreys collapsed. They were awarded a penalty, but no penalty try.

Edinburgh went for touch instead of the posts and then, painfully, knocked on to allow the Ospreys to lift the siege. Amid all of this was the desperately sad sight of Alasdair Dickinson being stretchered off on his comeback after 10 weeks on the sidelines.

Al Dickinson is stretchered off
On his comeback from a 10-week injury lay-off, Scotland prop Al Dickinson was stretchered from the field

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter will await the medical report with something approaching dread.

Weir made it 10-6 with the boot but it needed to be more given their weight of possession.

Davies kicked the visitors back into a seven-point lead but Weir brought it back down to four. Continually, though, Edinburgh mistake followed Edinburgh mistake.

Ospreys hung on to go top - and their organisation and thunder in defence was the difference, apart from Davies' gorgeous creativity for the only try.

For Edinburgh, a fifth straight loss in what is an increasingly turbulent season.

Edinburgh acting head coach Duncan Hodge: "It was a tough night to play rugby, and they got one chance and took it. That seven points was a big cushion on a night like this. We had chances; we didn't help ourselves with little mistakes.

"We had a line-out five metres out that looked like it was going over the line at a rate of knots, and we don't get a break there. It's a tough one to take.

"The bottom line is, the decision is made by the referee. That's just incredibly tough, on a night like this, you've got an advantage like that. Seven points makes a huge difference to how you play the game, and we just didn't get that break.

"I don't know (the latest on Alasdair Dickinson's injury). It's terrible for Dicko and he'll be absolutely distraught. You can imagine what he's been through the last nine months, to be back on the field for 45 minutes and get carted off, it's not what anyone wanted to see."

Edinburgh: Blair Kinghorn; Damien Hoyland, Glenn Bryce, Chris Dean, Rory Scholes; Duncan Weir, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; Alasdair Dickinson, Neil Cochrane (capt), Murray McCallum, Grant Gilchrist, Ben Toolis, Magnus Bradbury, Jamie Ritchie, Cornell Du Preez.

Replacements: Stuart McInally, Derrick Appiah, Kevin Bryce, Grant Gilchrist, Lewis Carmichael, Nathan Fowles, Junior Rasolea, Michael Allen.

Ospreys: Dan Evans; Keelan Giles, Kieron Fonotia, Josh Matavesi. Dafydd Howells; Sam Davies, Tom Habberfield (capt); Nicky Smith, Sam Parry, Brian Mujati, Tyler Ardron, Rory Thornton, Olly Cracknell, Sam Underhill, James King.

Replacements: Hugh Gustafson, Paul James, Rhodri Jones, Joe Bearman, Dan Baker, Brendon Leonard, Jonathan Spratt, Jay Baker.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

Assistant referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Bob Nevins (Scotland)

Citing commissioner: Paul Minto (Scotland)

TMO: Kevin Beggs (Ireland)

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