Season so far
Newcastle Falcons will remain top of Heineken Champions Cup Pool 5 on Friday night if they can defeat Edinburgh Rugby at BT Murrayfield. The match gets underway at 19:45 GMT, with exclusive coverage on BT Sport.
- Edinburgh and Newcastle have met just four times previously in Europe, twice in the European Cup in 2004/05 and twice in the Challenge Cup in 1997/98 with Falcons winning all four games.
- Newcastle are one of just four clubs with a 100% record after two games this season, along with Toulouse, Saracens and Racing 92.
- St James’ Park – home of Newcastle United FC – will host the Heineken Champions Cup final and Challenge Cup final, with Falcons playing a Gallagher Premiership match at the stadium next March.
- Edinburgh have won their last 14 home pool stage matches in European competition, including a 40-14 victory over RC Toulon.
- Edinburgh’s Bill Mata has made more carries (42) than any other player after two rounds.
- Newcastle’s Glen Young has claimed 17 lineouts in the opening two rounds (including one steal), more than any other player.
Edinburgh Rugby sit top of Heineken Champions Cup Pool 5 after a 31-13 bonus point win over Newcastle Falcons at BT Murrayfield on Friday evening.
The home side knocked on early giving Newcastle the chance to win the attacking line-out and then force a penalty as a couple of Edinburgh players strayed offside. Newcastle Falcons fly-half Brett Connon – and not the competition points leader Joel Hodgson who is out injured – kicked the away side in front.
A try reminiscent of Newcastle’s last gasp effort against Montpellier then followed, as Edinburgh worked a mammoth set of phases before eventually powering Hamish Watson over the try line. Van der Walt’s conversion attempt flicked the post but went the right side for Edinburgh fans.
Adam Radwan was a European Rugby sensation last season – scoring a remarkable 10 tries in eight Challenge Cup matches – and he scored his first Heineken Champions Cup try on the half hour mark.
The visitors worked the hands really well, finding Radwan who stayed in play and bounded down the left wing before diving over for the go-ahead try.
Van der Walt missed a penalty for Edinburgh minutes later, but they won possession back and in doing so, earned another kickable penalty that the fly-half popped over, drawing the sides level.
Newcastle went until just before the interval, when Connon again slotted over after a Edinburgh infringement.
Edinburgh started the stronger in the second half, winning a line-out and driving towards the line, before a simple inside pass to Chris Dean opened a hole in the Newcastle line at the posts, which Dean flew through and dotted down.
The home side then won a penalty try to extend the lead, after multiple scrums were brought down by Newcastle Falcons, giving referee Marius Mitrea little choice but to award the seven point score.
Edinburgh’s crucial bonus point try came on 72 minutes, when good work from Van der Walt down the right flank left Kinghorn clear to dot down with ease.
The two sides will meet again next weekend at Kingston Park in what could prove to be a crucial clash in Heineken Champions Cup Pool 5.