Edinburgh came away from Cardiff with a 24-7 victory but they didn’t get the bonus point they would have wanted in the tight battle for the top eight.

A place in the play-offs is key for Sean Everitt’s side but they had to fight to the last whistle just to get the four points that keeps them in the top eight for now.

It took until 26 minutes before Edinburgh eventually took the lead despite seeing almost all of the ball and the majority of the territory.

It was Pierre Schoeman who got over the line after a number of phases of attack following a Duhan van der Merwe run and it eventually found its way to the prop and he forced his way over the line before Ben Healy added the extras.

It was a disappointing first half from both sides who struggled to get going and the second half started poorly for Edinburgh as Van der Merwe was yellow carded for a high tackle and immediately afterwards, Rhys Carre got Cardiff their only try of the match.

The extras were added and Cardiff were level and Edinburgh’s inability to take their chances in the first half now looked to be a worry.

Ali Price looked threatening and made a great break but he couldn’t find either of Ben Healy or Emiliano Boffelli who were running through and he was robbed of the ball by Tinus de Beer who then won a penalty to allow Cardiff to clear.

A comedy of errors then allowed Cardiff’s Jacob Beetham to race forward but he was chased down and forced out of touch by the returning van der Merwe after his sin binning.

Edinburgh did manage to get themselves in front again with just under 20 minutes to go when Ewan Ashman forced himself over the line on the back of a lineout maul with Healy again adding the extras.

Healy gave Edinburgh a bit of breathing space with a penalty with 10 minutes to go before Boan Venter added a third try to see the game out.

Patience needed for Edinburgh

Edinburgh had to patient to get the victory they wanted but they will still be frustrated by the fact they didn’t get a bonus point. Everitt had wanted them to be a lot more clinical after last week’s first half but it just didn’t work out for them on the night.

They dominated possession and territory but they struggled to break down Cardiff who were dogged throughout. Eventually they got the breathing space between them to win the game but it did take a lot of patient work and the fact all three tries were scored by the front row proves that.

Wins are great but improvement needed

Edinburgh got the win they needed to try keep their bid to finish in the top eight and reach the play-offs on but they’ll need to improve massively for the final three games of the season. They have a home tie against Zebre where they will target five points but their final two games come against Munster and Benetton and the step up in quality will need to see Edinburgh improve their game too.

How clinical they are has already been mentioned but their overall game just wasn’t quite at the level it needs to be at Arms Park.

They move back into the top eight and a play-off place after this victory and on that basis they will be happy but Everitt will know what needs to change for the final few weeks of the campaign.

URC title is a long way off

Ben Healy spoke earlier this week about his belief that Edinburgh have what it takes to win the URC. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of self confidence but on the evidence of this game, they’re still a long way off from competing with the best teams in the league for silverware.

They aren’t clinical enough when they need to be and it’s been the story of their season with just two bonus point wins over the course of the URC so far. They need to step it up a level or two if they want to be thought of in the same breath as teams such as Leinster and Glasgow moving forward.

Mata shows his class

Bill Mata was a replacement today and although Luke Crosbie is a very good player, there was a step up in quality from Edinburgh when the Fijian entered the pitch in the second half. He was able to carry the ball a lot more and push his team forward and it’s another example of just how big a miss he’s going to be next season when he heads for Bristol Bears.

Magnus Bradbury’s return will soften the blow in the summer but Edinburgh fans will always look fondly back at the time they got to watch Mata in their shirt.

Welsh clean sweep

The victory over Cardiff meant Edinburgh got a clean sweep against Welsh opposition this season. They had already beaten Scarlets twice as well as Dragons and Ospreys but now they’ve defeated all four Welsh opponents in one season for the firs time.

It might not have been a vintage performance but it’s a moment for the history books when the final whistle went and they got the win they needed to secure that dominance over Welsh rivals.

Cardiff: Cam Winnett; Harri Millard (Jacob Beetham, 45), Mason Grady, Ben Thomas, Theo Cabango; Tinus de Beer, Gonzalo Bertranou (Ellis Bevan, 62), Rhys Carre (Corey Domachowski, 54), Liam Belcher, Keiron Assiratti (Ciaran Parker, 62), Ben Donnell, Teddy Williams (Rory Thornton, 62), Alex Mann, Ellis Jenkins (Thomas Young, 20) (Thomas Young, 71), Mackenzie Martin (James Botham, 56) 

Tries: Carre (44)

Conversions: De Beer (44)

Edinburgh: Wes Goosen; Emiliano Boffelli, Matt Currie (Mark Bennett, 59), James Lang (Chris Dean, 76), Duhan van der Merwe; Ben Healy, Ali Price (Ben Vellacott, 66), Pierre Schoeman (Boan Venter, 63), Ewan Ashman (Dave Cherry, 63), WP Nel (Javan Sebastian, 63), Sam Skinner (Marshall Sykes, 60), Grant Gilchrist, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Luke Crosbie (Viliame Mata, 51) 

Tries: Schoeman (26), Ashman (62), Venter (77)

Conversions: Healy (26, 62, 77)

Penalties: Healy (72)

Referee: Frank Murphy