Dragons 18-12 Edinburgh: Pro 14 scheduling mad – Richard Cockerill

Dragons 18-12 Edinburgh: Pro 14 scheduling \mad\ - Richard Cockerill

Dragons 18 Edinburgh 12: Hosts post morale-boosting win over Scots amid Bernard Jackman absence

Richard Cockerill has labelled the Pro14 schedule as “mad” with Edinburgh given just four days between games with Dragons and Munster.

The Edinburgh head coach says he cant pick players who were on international duty for the trip to Ireland because they have played too much.

“We get home in the middle of the night, we have a couple of days, and were on a plane off to Cork,” he said.

Edinburgh hit back and scored a slightly strange try through right-wing Darcy Graham. He finished off a good back move but seemed to throw the ball behind him once over the line. TV Replays showed he just grounded the ball first. Jaco van der Walt converted to bring Edinburgh back within a score.

Dragons 18 – 12 Edinburgh: Cockerill vents card frustration

Dougie Fife and Darcy Graham crossed for the Edinburgh tries, one converted by Jaco van der Walt, but Jared Rosser scored in either half for the home side with Jason Tovey kicking eight points against his former team.

We got a big penalty at the end, driving penalties throughout the game, scrum penalties in that period before half-time, considering there are ten international forwards missing plus injuries, it was a second-stroke-third choice forward pack doing damage tonight so good depth for us.

“I wont pick any of the internationals next week,” Cockerill told BBC Sport. “Theyve had a heavy workload.

The Dragons came out firing in the second half and dominated possession just as Edinburgh had at the end of the first. Eventually, again, it paid off as Rosser went over in the same corner as Fife, this time after a break by scrum-half Rhodri Williams had tied up the defence.

“The player welfare – you just cant do it. We played tonight at half five, we play next Friday – four and a half days were playing again.

The first try came from some weak tackling in the Edinburgh backs as first outside centre Jamie Johnstone missed Dragons full-back Jordan Williams and then scrum-half Henry Pyrgos could not bring down wing Jared Rosser after he was put clear.

“In a Test window where Scottish and Irish teams are going to get a lot of guys taken away its mad scheduling, its absolutely mad.”

Of course, Edinburgh were without pretty much a first-choice pack who had helped Scotland beat Argentina, seven forwards and Blair Kinghorn left behind, while the Dragons were missing four who had been on Wales duty, all forwards.

Cockerill was frustrated not only at the number of errors his team committed against Dragons, but also with referee Stuart Berry.

He felt the pressure his side exerted should have got greater reward with one or two Dragons being sent to the sinbin, but in the end there was some satisfaction at the effort a makeshift pack put in to earn a losing bonus point.

“We were camped on their line for 10 minutes and they gave away multiple penalties yet received no yellow card. When we did eventually cross the try line it was a double movement after the referee had spent 10 minutes looking at the screen thinking was it wasnt it?

Centre Chris Dean was denied by the TMO for a double movement in the tackle, but he then made the crucial break and long pass for full back Dougie Fife to cap the last move of the half with a try.

“We were camped on their line for what seemed like forever and the referee kept giving them warnings. Its happened in every game that weve played and it never seems to get better.

You camp there forever and the referee keeps giving them warnings. Thats what happened. They are big decisions which sway games, everyone should be accountable.

“But Ill send a report to Greg Garner and Ill get a report back. He will agree with me and well just go to Cork and play again.

“I 100% sympathise with Bernard Jackman because referees make decisions which sway games. Everybody should be accountable, its as simple as that.”

Edinburgh spent the last ten minutes of the half camped in the Dragons 22, turning down several kickable penalties to take the scrum and go for the try.

BERNARD Jackman would have been dancing in his Newport living room after the Dragons withstood a late Edinburgh charge for a precious 18-12 win at Rodney Parade.

A double by Jared Rosser, eight points from the left boot of Jason Tovey and then a nerve-shredding defensive stand at the death earned a first Guinness PRO14 win since September.

The four points meant that they climb off the bottom of Conference B and exceed last season’s pathetic tally of two league victories.

Yet it was too close for comfort with the Dragons, who missed the chance to put the game to bed when Tovey slipped attempting a late penalty, having to defend for 25 phases in their 22.

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