Edinburgh 24-23 Scarlets

By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland at Murrayfield
Ben Toolis scores a try for Edinburgh against Scarlets
Ben Toolis touched down to put Edinburgh in front
Edinburgh (16) 24
Tries: Burleigh, Toolis Con: Kinghorn Pens: Kinghorn 4
Scarlets (23) 23
Tries: Parkes, Davies, Evans Con: Thomas Pens: Thomas 2

A Ben Toolis try 11 minutes from time helped Edinburgh secure a critical Pro12 victory against Scarlets.

Alan Solomons' side had lost their last three games and their pursuit of a play-off place was in grave jeopardy.

Hadleigh Parkes, James Davies and Steffan Evans crossed in the first half to give the visitors a 23-19 lead.

The hosts, who got a first-half try through Phil Burleigh, smartened up their act, keeping the Welsh side scoreless in the second period.

Read Sunday's other Pro12 reports
Cardiff Blues 23-13 Ulster
Benetton Treviso 13-16 Munster
Zebre 10-27 Leinster

Scarlets will have cause for huge regret. They had a penalty in the 73rd minute that would have put them back in front, but fly-half Aled Thomas spurned an easy chance.

Thomas missed two other straightforward kicks in the opening period. Those moments ended up costing the Welsh province dear.

The first half was a blizzard of scoring. Blair Kinghorn and Thomas traded penalties before Burleigh landed the first significant blow of the day when he scampered through a weak Scarlets defence to score under the posts, Burleigh converting.

From that point on, the visitors took hold of the half. Thomas reduced the deficit with a second penalty and it was then that Scarlets began to cut loose.

A Scarlets scrum during their Pro12 match against Edinburgh
Scarlets had the edge in the first half at Murrayfield

It was just before the midway point of the half when Cornell du Preez threw a reckless offload that was scooped up by Parkes, who sped away to score. Thomas, inexplicably, missed the conversion.

Kinghorn kept Edinburgh alive with another penalty, displaying the kind of accuracy that Thomas lacked. The Scarlets fly-half missed again from the placed ball, but Wayne Pivac's side were in rude health regardless.

They were playing with pace and accuracy, Regan King making things happen in the midfield. When openside Davies went over for his team's second try it was just reward for their dominance. The fact that it was Du Preez who missed a pretty routine tackle on him just added to the misery of the Edinburgh captain.

Thomas's conversion attempt, from the left touchline, hopped off the crossbar and stayed out, but Scarlets motored on and scored again before the half was up.

This time it was Evans who went over, King's classy touches in the build-up too much for a strangely passive Edinburgh defence. Thomas added the extras and Scarlets had a handsome, and deserved, 10-point lead.

That advantage was cut to seven when Kinghorn put over a penalty just before the break. Edinburgh were deeply fortunate to be just a converted try behind at that point.

The gap came down again when Kinghorn's accuracy with the boot told once more, another three-pointer from the full-back inching Edinburgh closer.

The home side plugged the gaps in their defence and hit the front when Magnus Bradbury carried hard to the Scarlets line for Toolis to drive over a few phases later. Kinghorn hit an upright with the conversion.

It was now a one-point game but what an opportunity the Scarlets had to change all of that.

Thomas's penalty should have gone over, but it didn't. It was an ugly strike - a sickening blow for the visitors but a thing of beauty for a mightily relieved Edinburgh.

Edinburgh: Kinghorn, Hoyland, Allen, Beard, Brown, Burleigh, Kennedy, Dell, Cochrane, Andress, Bresler, B. Toolis, Ritchie, Watson, Du Preez.

Replacements: Dean for Allen (60), Berghan for Andress (41), A. Toolis for Bresler (65). Not Used: Turner, Shiells, Bradbury, Fowles, Fife.

Scarlets: Collins, Owen, King, Parkes, S. Evans, Thomas, A. Davies, John, Myhill, Edwards, Earle, Bulbring, M. Paulino, J. Davies, Allen.

Replacements: R. Williams for A. Davies (55), D. Evans for John (60), Boyle for Earle (79). Not Used: Elias, R. Jones, Pitman, D. Jones, Tagicakibau.

Ref: Dudley Phillips (Ireland).