Pro14: Ospreys 17-13 Edinburgh
|Pro14: Ospreys v Edinburgh|
|Ospreys (3) 17|
|Tries: North (2) Cons: S Davies (2) Pen: Price|
|Edinburgh (3) 13|
|Try: Kinghorn Con: Van der Walt Pens: Hickey (2)|
Wales wing George North inspired his Ospreys side to victory over Edinburgh with a two-try display on his competitive debut.
North has moved back to Wales from Northampton Saints and showed his class with a second-half double.
After a drab first half, the scores were level at 3-3 with Simon Hickey and Luke Price trading penalties.
Edinburgh are still waiting for their first win in Swansea since 2009 despite a late Blair Kinghorn try.
Turgid first half ends all-square
Former Scarlets centre Scott Williams almost made an immediate impression at his new club with a deft kick but Henry Pyrgos got back in time to beat Dan Evans to the touch-down.
Fellow new recruit North followed suit with a smart pick-up and injection of pace before he was brought down in the corner and then showed his defensive prowess with clever cover alongside Tipuric.
Ospreys enjoyed the lion's share of the early territory and possession but could not turn that superiority into points with Price missing a penalty.
Edinburgh grew into the game and finally opened the scoring in the 31st minute when Hickey struck from the tee.
Price, wearing the number 10 jersey after Dan Biggar's departure to Northampton, immediately responded, but was forced off with a knee injury before the break.
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North double sucker-punches Edinburgh
Edinburgh were in command after the interval and Murray McCallum was held up over the try-line following powerful phase-play. Cockerill's side had to settle for a second Hickey penalty.
This prompted an immediate reaction from the hosts and finally a glimmer of expansive attacking quality as North sidestepped his way to the whitewash leaving Kinghorn and Duhan van der Merwe floundering. Davies converted.
Williams continually turned the Edinburgh defence with useful chips, while Price's replacement Sam Davies launched some more fluid Ospreys attacks.
Edinburgh temporarily broke the shackles with an incisive break from Scotland flanker Hamish Watson who was returning from a four-month injury lay-off.
Then the game erupted into chaos, both sides counterattacking before Tipuric released North to canter home from halfway.
Edinburgh threatened to overturn the deficit in the final 10 minutes with Kinghorn crossing and replacement Jaco van der Walt kicking the conversion.
Cockerill's men almost snatched victory in the end from a maul, but with the drive trundling towards the Ospreys line, the packs hit the deck, and the hosts turned over possession as referee John Lacey ruled no infringement had occurred.
Ospreys head coach Allen Clarke said: "It was pleasing to get the win, particularly at home and in the first game of the season. We felt we deserved it.
"George will get the headlines for scoring two tries and taking them fantastically well.
"I was equally pleased with the complete package with his work off the ball and resilience.
"I am not going to get ahead of ourselves because it's only game one but it feels like a new beginning."
Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill said: "I'm disappointed because we didn't take our opportunities.
"It was a poor quality game, we were in the battle the whole time but gave away cheap points. We probably got what we deserved.
"If you invite George North onto the ball he's going to take his opportunities. Their points all came from our attack.
"We are not going to accept this level of performance from this group because they are better than that.
"However we stayed in the game and could have won it at the end. We are difficult to beat."
Ospreys: Evans; North, Williams, Watkin, Dirksen; Price, A Davies; Smith, Otten, Botha, B Davies, A Jones, Lydiate, Tipuric (capt), King.
Replacements: Baldwin, R Jones, Jeffries, Beard, Cross, Habberfield, S Davies, Thomas.
Edinburgh Rugby: Kinghorn; Fife, Bennett, Scott, Van der Merwe; Hickey, Pyrgos; Schoeman, McInally (capt), Berghan, Toolis, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Watson, Mata.
Replacements: Ford, Dell, McCallum, McKenzie, Ritchie, Kennedy, Van der Walt, Johnstone.
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (IRFU), Wayne Davies (WRU)
TMO: Tim Hayes (WRU)
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