Pro14: Cardiff Blues v EdinburghCardiff Blues (7) 10Tries: Navidi Con: J Evans Pen: J Evans Edinburgh (10) 20Tries: Kinghorn, Dean Cons: Weir 2 Pen: Weir 2
Edinburgh’s Pro14 campaign began with a well-deserved win at Cardiff Blues.
Richard Cockerill’s visitors brought a clinical edge Danny Wilson’s hosts could not match.
Full-back Blair Kinghorn burst over for the opening try for the visitors, fly-half Duncan Weir adding a conversion and penalty before Blues hit back through flanker Josh Navidi.
Weir’s kicking gave Edinburgh the edge before centre Chris Dean’s decisive touchdown.
Blues included new lock signing Damian Welch for his competitive debut while Samoa centre Rey Lee-Lo started despite being given an extended rest in pre-season.
Edinburgh wing Jason Harries and prop Darryl Marfo made their first competitive starts.
Edinburgh finished ninth in the last two Pro12 seasons, but Cockerill’s side had Scotland scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne to thank for the smart play that opened up Blues’ defence for Kinghorn to score.
The 24-year-old sped down the short side from an Edinburgh scrum, delivering the ball for the onrushing Kinghorn to puncture the line and stretch for the whitewash.
That try came against the run of play and underlined the fundamental difference between the teams as Blues failed to profit from their early territorial dominance.
The exception was Blues’ response to Kinghorn’s try as fly-half Jarrod Evans’ cross-kick gave Wales back-row Navidi the chance to cut inside Harries and touch down.
Evans converted and levelled after the break with his first penalty, only for Weir to put Edinburgh back in front with his boot.
The visitors’ lead stretched to two scores when, from Jamie Ritchie’s initial break, Kinghorn’s one-handed off-load in the Blues 22 sent Dean barrelling over for Weir to convert.
Blues coach Danny Wilson told BBC Radio Wales: “It was frustrating and it wasn’t a good night.
“We struggled with their kicking game in the first half and then our contact area game generally was poor, which meant we couldn’t play the style or pace of rugby we wanted to play.
“They deserved to win.”
Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Alex Cuthbert, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Aled Summerhill; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams; Rhys Gill, Matthew Rees (capt), Taufa’ao Filise, Seb Davies, Damian Welch, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Nick Williams.
Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Corey Domachowski, Keiron Assiratti, Macauley Cook, Sion Bennett, Tomos Williams, Steve Shingler, Tom James.
Edinburgh: Blair Kinghorn; Dougie Fife, Chris Dean, Junior Rasolea, Jason Harries; Duncan Weir, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; Darryl Marfo, Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Anton Bresler, Grant Gilchrist, Jamie Ritchie, John Hardie, Magnus Bradbury (capt).
Replacements: Ross Ford, Michele Rizzo, Simon Berghan, Ben Toolis, Cornell du Preez, Nathan Fowles, Jason Tovey, Glenn Bryce.
Referee: George Clancy, IRFU