Pro12: Edinburgh 19-22 Connacht

Edinburgh's Viliame Mata (left) tackles Connacht's Eoin McKeon
Connacht's Eoin McKeon scored the opening try but Edinburgh rallied with three of their own
Pro12: Edinburgh v Connacht
Edinburgh (0) 19
Tries: Penalty, Watson, Bryce Cons: Weir 2
Connacht (16) 22
Tries: McKeon Con: Crosbie Pens: Crosbie 5

Edinburgh slipped to an eighth straight defeat, and seventh in a row in the Pro12, as Connacht resisted the hosts' late comeback at Myreside.

Fly-half Steve Crosbie, making his first start, kicked three first-half penalties and converted Eoin McKeon's try to put the visitors 16-0 ahead.

Two more from Crosbie made it 22-0 but a penalty try and a score from Hamish Watson gave Edinburgh belated hope.

Glenn Bryce added a third with six minutes left but the visitors held on.

The champions remain seventh in the Pro12, well outside the play-off places, while defeat was a seventh at home in the league for Edinburgh, and a fourth in a row since moving to Myreside in the new year.

Those last four losses have been by a combined total of nine points, and after exiting the European Challenge Cup in the quarter-finals last week, the end of the season cannot come quickly enough for the capital side.

They enjoyed the majority of possession and territory in the opening quarter, but errors undermined them at critical moments.

One multi-phase attack ended with prop Simon Berghan penalised for holding on in the tackle; another broke down when Duncan Weir knocked on a Nathan Fowles pass.

The Scotland fly-half had already missed a penalty attempt, but Connacht counterpart Crosbie made no mistake with two chances to put the visitors 6-0 up.

Last year's champions started to show glimpses of their potent attack, Tiernan O'Halloran releasing the dangerous Niyi Adeolokun with a superb flicked pass, and they scored on their first visit to Edinburgh's 22.

The hosts' defence was breached far too easily as flanker McKeon powered on to Kieran Marmion's short pass, Crosbie converting for a 13-0 lead.

Weir pulled a second simple penalty attempt wide to further dampen Edinburgh spirits, Crosbie maintaining his 100% record with a third penalty to put the visitors in command by the interval.

Hamish Watson dives over to score Edinburgh's second try
The outstanding Hamish Watson dived over to give Edinburgh late hope

The pattern continued on the resumption, Edinburgh fashioning an opening down the right when Damien Hoyland released Rory Scholes, only to concede another breakdown penalty.

Crosbie made it 19-0 with another kick and Connacht should have had a second try but for a dropped pass in the right corner.

Weir was fortunate to escape a yellow card for a high tackle around the neck of replacement prop Finlay Bealham, but Crosbie dispensed punishment with another three points before being replaced by Jack Carty.

Edinburgh belatedly roused themselves, scoring two tries in the space of four minutes to give themselves hope, despite initially botching a three-on-one overlap after a blind-side break.

O'Halloran was adjudged to have deliberately strayed offside in intercepting a scoring pass, referee Daniel Jones awarding a penalty try and dispatching the full-back to the sin-bin.

The impressive Watson then spun out of two tackles to burrow over, Weir converting both scores to reduce the gap to eight points.

Six minutes from time, full-back Bryce dotted down his first try for the club. But Weir's conversion attempt drifted wide, and another trademark late rally fell short.

Post-match reaction:

Edinburgh head coach Duncan Hodge told BBC Scotland: "It might sound a bit bizarre, but there were so many positives in there - the way we attacked in the second half, some of the attack in the first half, a lot of great defensive sets.

"But we gave away 11 or 12 penalties. It was 16-0 at half-time and they were in our half four times.

"It is maddening. The players are working so hard and that was an unbelievable effort in the second half. Everyone is frustrated but we just have to keep going."

Man-of-the-match Hamish Watson told BBC Alba: "It is pretty frustrating - it is the same old story for us. We got ourselves in a dreadful position but the boys did amazingly well in that second half to fight back.

"We are not far off at all. We knew we had tries in us and we showed that. We could have won that game tonight.

"I know it is getting boring saying that, but we have got such good players and we can attack well when we look after the ball. It bodes well for next season but it wasn't quite enough tonight."

Edinburgh: G Bryce; D Holyand, C Dean, P Burleigh, R Scholes; D Weir, N Fowles; M McCallum, R Ford (capt), S Berghan; F McKenzie, B Toolis; V Mata, H Watson, V Fihaki.

Replacements: S McInally (for Ford, 53), D Appiah (for McCallum, 64), K Bryce (for Berghan, 71), G Gilchrist (for McKenzie, 60), J Ritchie (for Mata, 68), S Hidalgo-Clyne (for Fowles, 66), J Rasolea (for Burleigh, 60). Not used: T Brown,

Connacht: T O'Halloran; N Adeolokun, E Griffin, B Aki, D Poolman; S Crosbie, K Marmion; D Buckley, T McCartney, D Robertson-McCoy; Q Roux, A Browne; E McKeon, J Heenan, J Muldoon (capt).

Replacements: S Delahunt (for McCartney, 52), JP Cooney (for Buckley, 68), F Bealham (for Robertson-McCoy, 46), J Cannon (for Roux, 64), S O'Brien (for Muldoon, 63), C Blade (for Marmion, 61), J Carty (for Crosbie, 62), J Rowland (for Adeolokun, 77).

Yellow card: O'Halloran (64)

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