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Edinburgh Boost Play-Off Hopes With Stunning Win

Dutch winger Tim Visser etched his name into the Magners League record books, scoring the fastest try hat-trick in the competition’s history as Edinburgh claimed a stunning 33-17 victory over the Ospreys at Murrayfield.

First half replacement Visser touched down after 47, 49 and 52 minutes to become the first ever Edinburgh player to score three tries in a Magners League fixture and duly claim the league’s fastest hat-trick record – beating former Cardiff player Rhys Williams’ previous best from 2007.

Rob Moffat’s men stormed to a bonus point, scoring four tries during a devastating third quarter to go 33-0 up.

The Ospreys, who topped the table going into round 13, roused themselves with tries from Nikki Walker, Jerry Collins and Sonny Parker, but there was denying that Edinburgh were the better side on the day.

The Ospreys came into this game off the back of four straight league wins and they were comfortable 31-10 winners over Edinburgh when the sides met in Swansea in October.

But there was a total turnaround here and speaking after the game, Ospreys coach Sean Holley was bitterly disappointed with the collective performance of his players.

"This afternoon we saw probably the worst 60 minutes of rugby we have played as Ospreys. It was a very disjointed performance, some players were rusty but there are no excuses and we cannot take anything away from Edinburgh," he said.

"We had no territory in the first half, and although we defended well, the scoreboard meant that we chased the game a bit too early and gifted Edinburgh with some easy tries from turnovers in their half. All credit to the opposition for finishing them well.

"This result shows how tight the league is but we must perform better if we are to even contemplate a play-off place.

"We expect better from ourselves here at the Ospreys and we feel we have let ourselves down. We will regroup ahead of our next match and make the necessary improvements."

Edinburgh boss Rob Moffat dubbed it ‘a real team effort’ and said that, with the race for the play-offs being so tight, it was ‘very, very important that we got a good performance and a win today.’

After Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar missed a second minute penalty, the Scottish side suffered a blow when winger Simon Webster sustained a rib injury and was replaced by Visser.

Edinburgh had the better of possession and territory early on but were undone as much by their own errors as the Ospreys defence.

The breakthrough eventually came in the 34th minute after a five-metre scrum gave Edinburgh an attacking platform.

Centre Nick De Luca found full-back Ben Cairns in the line and he passed to Visser to draw two defenders before returning the ball to Cairns for the score, which was converted by number 10 David Blair.

The Ospreys passed up a clear-cut chance to score in the last minute of the first half when full-back Gareth Owen could not find his support, so Edinburgh turned around at the interval with a 7-0 buffer.

But the third quarter quickly turned into the Tim Visser show as Edinburgh left the Ospreys shellshocked with a tremendous scoring burst. 

Cairns set up Edinburgh’s second try, seven minutes into the second half, with a break from deep before Visser hared in from the left to score.

The second saw Visser get possession on his ten-metre line on the right wing from where he ran and then kicked long to the line to follow up and dot down.

For the third he was fed by hooker Andrew Kelly and ran in under the posts, and replacement Phil Godman added the extras to make it 26-0.

Worse followed for the Ospreys, coming up to the hour mark, as they sliced through for their fifth try of an increasingly one-sided encounter.

On the opposite wing, Mark Robertson showed he could stretch his legs too, running in an excellent score from his own half. Godman again converted.

There was no way back for the Ospreys but they did salvage some pride with three tries, the first of which came when Scottish international Walker muscled his way over in the 63rd minute, with television match official Hugh Watkins confirming the grounding.

There was a lengthy delay as Edinburgh replacement lock Craig Hamilton received treatment for a head injury, sustained during a collision at a ruck, and he was stretched off to warm applause.

When play resumed, Ospreys captain Collins managed to touch down from close range after replacement Barry Davies had done well to gather his own kick and prop Ryan Bevington provided the support.

Owen, Collins and Walker were all held up close to the Edinburgh line, before Andrew Bishop offloaded to his centre partner Parker to cross for an unconverted score, three minutes from time.

The Ospreys had a try-scoring bonus point in their sights at that stage, but in a real end-to-end tussle, Edinburgh stood firm to secure an impressive 16-point triumph.

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