x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Edinburgh catch Castres out cold

A late try from Webster helped hold off a second-half fightback and claim their first Heineken Cup win from four attempts at an empty Murrayfield.

Yannick Caballero, centre, the Castres flanker, is tackled by the Edinburgh defence.
Yannick Caballero, centre, the Castres flanker, is tackled by the Edinburgh defence.

A late try from Simon Webster helped Edinburgh hold off a second-half fightback by Castres to claim their first Heineken Cup win from four attempts at an empty Murrayfield yesterday.

In a match postponed 24 hours due to snow and ice and played in front of an empty 67,000-seat stadium as a result of conditions in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh took a 14-10 half-time lead after Tim Visser scored a first-half try and set up another for Lee Jones.

But Greig Laidlaw's sin-binning midway through the second half was followed by a Castres penalty try and another score for Sebastien Tillous-Borde, leaving Edinburgh trailing by five points with four minutes remaining.

But for the second week running Webster came off the bench to score a try and this time it was not in vain as David Blair kicked the conversion to seal a 24-22 win.

Rodrigo Ortega scored a first-half try for the visitors, for whom Pierre Bernard kicked a penalty and Seremaia Baikeinuku two conversions.

Bernard, the Castres fly-half, kicked his penalty after four minutes but it did not delay Edinburgh unduly as Visser's solo score put the hosts in front.

The Dutchman picked up the ball inside the 10-metre line, stepped inside and then out of the Castres defence before bursting down the touchline to touchdown. Chris Paterson converted.

Castres responded in the 13th minute with Ortega coming up from the bottom of a rolling maul after the forwards rumbled over. The usually accurate Paterson missed two of his first three attempts at goal before Visser set up a second try for Edinburgh after 22 minutes.

The left winger stormed 40 metres down the opposite flank after ghosting past the Castres defence before a tap tackle denied him a second try, but he popped the ball up for Jones to score.

Paterson converted from the touchline, handing the hosts a 14-10 half-time lead, before he went off at the interval with a shoulder injury and Blair, assuming the kicking duties, extending Edinburgh's lead to seven points after 47 minutes.

Laidlaw was sin-binned for not retreating at a free kick and Castres opted for a scrum from the penalty and Edinburgh could not withstand the pressure.

After three attempts to re-set, Wayne Barnes, the referee, awarded a penalty try and Baikeinuku converted to make it 17-17.

Tillous-Borde sniped round the blindside to score but the missed conversion proved costly.

With four minutes left, Webster latched on to a Blair kick through and capitalised on a Castres mistake to score.

* Press Association