Edinburgh beat Leinster 28-11, while there were also Pro14 victories for Munster, the Ospreys, Cardiff Blues, Connacht, Glasgow Warriors and Ulster.
Needing a win to stay in the playoffs hunt, Edinburgh came up against the toughest possible opposition in the shape of reigning champions and competition front-runners Leinster. But the hosts produced a dominant display to shut down Leinster and stay in the title race.
Leinster were on the front foot from the get-go, opening up an early 8-0 lead thanks to a penalty and a try from veteran hooker Sean Cronin. But Edinburgh’s South African imports, WP Nel and Jaco van Walt, combined via a converted try to get the hosts within a point in a tension-filled clash.
A second penalty kick extended Leinster’s advantage, but the momentum swung Edinburgh’s way in the dying moments of the first half. With Leinster on the ropes close to their line, their forwards infringed and the referee awarded a penalty try to Edinburgh, leaving the game on a knife’s edge at 14-11.
The second half belonged completely to Edinburgh. Forwards Ross Ford and Bill Mata bagged tries to wrap up a bonus-point win for the hosts. But while much praise will go to their attack, it’s Edinburgh’s defence that won them the game. They managed to keep the most lethal side in the competition scoreless throughout the second half to seal just their second league win in five games.
In other matches, Munster came back from 12-5 down to defeat Zebre 31-12, fullback Dan Evans scored four tries to inspire the Ospreys to a thrilling 29-20 win over the much-improved Dragons, the Cardiff Blues beat the Scarlets 41-17 in their Welsh derby and Matt Healy’s try double guided Connacht to a 29-14 win against Treviso.
Round 18 results:
Edinburgh 28 Leinster 11
Munster 31 Zebre 12
Ospreys 29 Scarlets 20
Connacht 29 Treviso 14
Cardiff Blues 41 Scarlets 17
Glasgow Warriors 35 Cheetahs 17
Ulster 33 Kings 19