They again managed to win the second half (7-3) in torrential rain in the Scottish capital but had left it too late after an indifferent first half in which they were unable to dominate the collisions.
It might have been different but for a critical TMO referral in the 76th minute. Bulls left wing Madosh Tambwe levered himself forward and reached out to slam the ball down on the line for what would have been an equalizing score – if replacement flyhalf Morne Steyn had kicked the touchline conversion.
However, after an extended review Tambwe was ruled to have made a double movement and for al the Bulls’ late urgency, they could not find their way back into the home side’s 22.
They had left it too late. They spent much of the first half defending in their own territory – unable to build any sustained pressure of their own.
They defended manfully however, and their superior lineout got them out of red zone trouble on more than one occasion with locks Janko Swanepoel and Ruan Nortje poaching or disrupting Edinburgh’s throw-ins.
In the end, the home team gave up going to the corner and former Emirates Lions flyhalf Jaco van de Walt knocked over three penalty goals in eight minutes (offside, side entry and a penalty reversal against Bismarck du Plessis for shoving Edinburgh prop Pierre Schoeman after Du Plessis had won a turnover penalty for a tackled player not releasing).
They added to an eighth minute try for another South African born player – Edinburgh fullback Henry Immelman – who won the race for a touchdown in the in-goal from a 15-metre grubber.
The second half remained scoreless until the 70th minute but Edinburgh’s scrum dominance – via their quartet of South African props – did not yield them any points and it was Marcell Coetzee who finally reached the goal line after a succession of pick-and-goes.
Edinburgh opened the lead to seven points three minutes later through the boot of centre Mark Bennett to set up the drama of the final moments. The Bulls had to be satisfied with a losing bonus point however.
Edinburgh 17 (14) – Try: Henry Immelman. Penalty goals: Jaco van der Walt (3), Mark Bennett.
Vodacom Bulls 10 (3) – Try: Marcell Coetzee. Conversion: Morne Steyn. Penalty goal: Chris Smith.
Photo: BlueBullsRugby on Twitter