Bill Mata and Jamie Ritchie scored late as Edinburgh Rugby secured a second home win in a week as they saw off Toyota Cheetahs in a thrilling battle at BT Murrayfield.
The lightning Sibhale Maxwane scored twice for the visitors but Mata and Ritchie, along with further scores from Ben Toolis and Darcy Graham, carried the hosts to victory.
The Cheetahs remain winless this season but showed plenty of promise at Edinburgh, with their brand of fast and attacking rugby causing all kinds of problems.
Edinburgh move above Ulster and Benetton in Conference B, setting them up nicely for the beginning of the Champions Cup next weekend.
Fresh from a nervy win against Benetton Rugby last weekend, Edinburgh came out of the blocks fast – with Simon Hickie slotting through the first points of the match with a penalty.
The fly-half added a second, benefiting from Edinburgh’s forward dominance before the first try of the match arrived mid-way through the first half.
Lock Toolis got his head down and powered forward from a metre out following several phases of play near the Cheetahs line.
Edinburgh were firmly in control but that all changed in an instant when the Cheetahs turned over the ball deep in their own half. Maxwane charged down the left, showing blistering speed to get beyond Graham and taking the ball to just five metres out.
He was just about prevented from scoring, but he popped a pass off to Nico Lee to touch down and score.
But Edinburgh stretched their lead minutes before the half-time whistle following a scrum 20 metres out. They switched the ball right, where they managed to create an overload and Graham sprinted through to score.
The Cheetahs hit back after the break with the dangerous Maxwane getting through on the left. After William Small-Smith was stopped 20 metres out down the right, they switched the play, created an overlap and the wing had a simple finish.
That shook Edinburgh and the visitors took advantage, punching holes in their defence each time they ran forward – getting over the gainline with every phase.
Full-back Louis Fouche made the big break and was stopped just five metres short but a couple of phases later, Tiaan Schoeman found Maxwane on his inside shoulder and the wing stepped inside an Edinburgh defender to touch down.
A successful conversion from Schoeman moved the visitors one point ahead, but it was short-lived – as Hickie booted a third penalty of the night from 30 metres.
That settled the hosts and they pulled clear with 15 minutes to go as Mata peeled off the back of a scrum and planted the ball down.
And the hosts secured the bonus point when Ritchie scored with just two minutes left.
|Ben Toolis, Darcy Graham, Bill Mata, Jamie Ritchie||Nico Lee, Sibhale Maxwane (2)|
|Simon Hickey (4)||None|
|Simon Hickey (3)||Tian Schoeman (3)|