Edinburgh 31-23 Bulls: Hosts secure bonus-point win against depleted visitors

Ali Price playing for Edinburgh against Bulls
Ali Price (centre) debuted for Edinburgh four days after joining on loan from Glasgow Warriors

URC: Edinburgh v Bulls

Edinburgh (11) 31

Tries: Ashman 2, Van der Merwe, Mata Con: Healy Pens: Healy 3

Bulls (13) 23

Try: Williams, E Louw Con: Goosen, Van der Walt Pens: Goosen 2, Van der Walt

Edinburgh made their numerical advantage count against Bulls to secure a first bonus-point win in this season's United Rugby Championship.

Bulls had led 13-11 at the interval after Devon Williams and the hosts' Ewan Ashman exchanged tries.

But Marcell Coetzee's red card and Cameron Hanekom's sin-binning gave Edinburgh the initiative.

Ashman, Duhan van der Merwe and Viliame Mata went over, as did Bulls' Elrigh Louw as the hosts won 31-23.

Edinburgh, who are a point behind new leaders Ulster, finished with 14 players after Mata was sent to the bin. Bulls, who remain on 15 points, went back down to 13 late on following Sergeal Petersen's yellow card.

Johan Goosen was unsuccessful with an early Bulls penalty and Ben Healy was then off target with his drop-kick attempt.

But Williams put the first points on the board after Blair Kinghorn only partially cut out a grubber kick towards Sergeal Petersen. Goosen converted.

Another Goosen penalty, from near halfway, was wide and Healy reduced Edinburgh's deficit with two penalties in quick succession.

Two successful Goosen penalties followed before Edinburgh rolled a maul to force the Ashman try. Healy's conversion attempt was wide.

The game started to shift early in the second period when Coetzee saw red after his shoulder had caught Pierre Schoeman's chin.

And the Bulls found themselves down to 13 players as Cameron Hanekom was sent to the sin bin for bringing down a maul.

It became a triple whammy for the visitors as the next maul resulted in Ashman's second try. Healy was wide once more with the boot.

Edinburgh continued to press and Blair Kinghorn released Van der Merwe to touch down in the left corner. This time, Healy's conversion attempt came back off the upright.

Scotland scrum-half Ali Price, signed on loan from Glasgow Warriors on Monday, came off the bench for his Edinburgh debut and Mata scored under the posts to give Healy a simple conversion.

However, Bulls were not done yet. Louw's touch and go caught the hosts off guard as he burst through to ground and former Edinburgh player Jaco van der Walt converted.

Mata was punished for his high tackle on Stedman Gans with around eight minutes left and Van der Walt kicked Bulls to within five points.

Petersen intentional knock on gave Edinburgh a penalty, from which Healy added a penalty off the post.

Edinburgh flanker Connor Boyle told Viaplay: "It's always sore playing South African teams - my shoulder is hanging on at the moment. They always play on the gain line. For us, it was stop them first and then carry in attack. We managed to do that well, fronted up in defence in the first half and got some tries in the second half.

"I don't know if we're clicking yet - we made that pretty hard for ourselves at the end. I don't think about the bonus point when I'm on the pitch - I've got people around me to do that for me. It's nice to see, but it's just about building momentum from here and seeing how far we can go."

Edinburgh: Kinghorn, Goosen, Bennett, Lang, Van Der Merwe, Healy, Vellacott, Schoeman, Ashman, Nel, Young, Gilchrist, Ritchie, Boyle, Mata.

Replacements: Dean for Goosen (69), Price for Vellacott (54), Venter for Schoeman (54), Cherry for Ashman (61), Sebastian for Nel (61). Not Used: Sykes, Dodd, Scott. Sin Bin: Mata (72).

Bulls: Williams, De Klerk, Gans, Kriel, Petersen, Goosen, Papier, Steenekamp, J Grobbelaar, W Louw, Vermaak, Nortje, Coetzee, E Louw, Hanekom.

Replacements: Van Der Walt for Goosen (38), Matanzima for Steenekamp (59), Wessels for J. Grobbelaar (59), M. Smith for W. Louw (49), Ludwig for Vermaak (50), Brink for E. Louw (67), Carr for Hanekom (64). Not Used: Johannes. Sin Bin: Petersen (79). Sent Off: Coetzee (41).