Edinburgh’s fine start to the Guinness PRO14 season under Richard Cockerill continued with a handsome bonus point victory over Dragons at Myreside.
Like in Cardiff last week, the performance in the first home game was again far from perfect – the first and third quarters of the game they were well off the pace – but strong defence and four choice tries meant the ultimate victory was comfortable.
Blair Kinghorn scored one try and made another for Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, with Junior Rasolea and Robbie Fruean securing two late in the game after the Dragons had pulled within two points on Gavin Henson’s six penalties.
Cockerill must have been seething at Edinburgh making more errors in the first 20 minutes than they had in the entire match in Cardiff last week, but one brilliant try had the home side in charge at the break.
Edinburgh’s first two lineouts were disrupted and the Dragons got early ground spreading the ball wide. Henson kicked a penalty and dropped a goal for a quick 6-0 lead with the home team defending well but struggling to get a foothold.
When Edinburgh finally got some ball to work with two big runs from Kinghorn had the Dragons in retreat and being penalised, Weir booting his side level with two fine strikes.
But on the half hour, from turnover ball in the Dragons half, Weir sent Chris Dean shooting through a huge gap in the midfield defence and his backhand pass found Kinghorn running unchallenged to the line for the opening try, Weir converting.
Kinghorn nearly went through again on a thrilling run from his own half but as Edinburgh tried to turn the screw Weir was spotted using the boot in a ruck against Dragons hooker Elliot Dee and was yellow carded.
Dragons next attack exploited the gap left by the stand-off and Edinburgh’s defence held at the expense of an offside penalty kicked by Henson.
Edinburgh wasted little time in reasserting their control when Weir returned, but it was Kinghorn again who made the difference, cutting another line through the porous Dragons midfield on attacking ball and feeding the supporting Hidalgo-Clyne for the try under the posts, Weir converting.
But with that commanding lead they went into their shells, surrendered all the ball and Henson landed three penalties in the space of ten minutes to pull the visitors to within two points.
Weir’s third penalty settled his side, and almost straiught away Hoyland’s brilliant chase and catch set up territory for Fruean to put replacement Rasolea in to score on the other touchline.
And the bonus point try with five minutes left was one to please the head coach, a 20-metre driving maul demolishing the Dragons defence and Freaun bagging his debut try running a direct line on a flat pass, Weir adding the conversion.
Edinburgh: B Kinghorn; D Hoyland, C Dean, R Fruean, J Harries; D Weir, S Hidalgo-Clyne; M Rizzo, S McInally, WP Nel; A Bresler, B Toolis; J Ritchie, H Watson, M Bradbury (capt).
Replacements: R Ford for McInally 57, D Marfo for Rizzo 65, S Berghan for Nel 55, F McKenzie for Gilchrist 65, C du Preez for Watson 55, N Fowles for Hidalgo Clyne 54, J Tovey for Kinghorn 80, J Rasolea for Dean 40.
Dragons: Z Kirchner; A Hewitt, T Morgan, S Beard, H Amos; G Henson, C Davies; B Harris, E Dee, L Brown, R Landman, C Hill (capt), J Thomas, J Benjamin, H Keddie.
Replacements: R Buckley for Lee 70, P Price for Harris 70, L Fairbrother for Brown 70, M Screech for Landman 68, M Williams for Thomas 40, O Leonard for Davies 9, A O’Brien for Beard 18, A Hughes for Morgan 70.
Ref: S Berry (SARU)