Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

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Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 26 Mar 2018, 8:19 am

Edinburgh Rugby v Cardiff Blues
Saturday 31st March 2018, KO 17:45
BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Referee: Mathieu Raynal

Sky Sports

Tournament record

34 Played 29
23 Wins 21
11 Losses 8
0 Draws 0
29 Average Pts Per Game 30
78-0 Biggest Win 104 - 12
24-72 Heaviest Defeat 3 - 38
0 Champions 1


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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 26 Mar 2018, 8:32 am

Should be a cracker this with both teams on good form. Edinburgh have put away each of the Irish teams lately and the Blues will be on a high after a big win over Ulster at the weekend.

Cockers will have some selection headaches, particularly in the forwards, which is certainly a good thing! Marfo returned last week but didn't look match fit, so Lay or Sutherland should probably start. McInally will return and need a big game from him.  In the backrow Bradbury and Mata have earned the start but it will be interesting to see if he brings Hamish Watson back, as Hardie was excellent last week. That then spills onto the bench where CDP had been giving good impact lately.

In the backs VDW has been a bit flakey of late, and Weir has actually been on very good form, so this will probably be Cockers' biggest decision. Weir should start if it is purely on form, but Cockers has stuck by VDW pretty much every game since he signed. I'd go for Weir.

My team:

1 Lay
2 McInally (C)
3 Berghan
4 Toolis
5 Gilchrist (he needs to up his game from last week though)
6 Bradbury
7 Watson
8 Mata

9 SHC (please not Fowles)
10 Weir
11 VDM (he's been on great form lately)
12 Dean
13 Bennett
14 Fife
15 Kinghorn

Subs - Marfo, Cochrane, Nel, McKenzie, Hardie, Kennedy, VDW. JJ

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by tigertattie on Mon 26 Mar 2018, 9:47 am

I'm not gonna call this till the team is announced.

If SHC is at 9 then I'd say with home advantage that it's 60/40 in favour of Edinburgh to win.

If Foul Fowels is at 9 then even with home advantage it's 70/30 in favour of the taffs.
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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 26 Mar 2018, 9:58 am

I'm not sure Fowles represents such a swing in odds, but we're certainly much better with SHC on the pitch. Fowles is gash but we have managed to do well and win in spite of that lately!

SHC is also a much better goal kicker than VDW, and in cup games you need a good kicker.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 26 Mar 2018, 10:15 am

I'd probably stick with starting VDW in this game, as it's working for us currently. Sure we needed Weir to come off the bench to get the win against Connacht, but generally speaking VDW has gotten us this far in the season and deserves it.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by EST on Mon 26 Mar 2018, 10:23 am

I think your team is about right RDW, although I would be tempted to drop Marfo altogether. He wasn't very good on the weekend, and was at fault for the first Connacht try. Am I alone in thinking that the Marfo bubble might be about to burst?

A word on Chris Dean, he has come on a huge amount this season - i really didn't think he was capable of improving this much - he's probably been Edinburgh's best player this season.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 26 Mar 2018, 10:30 am

EST wrote:I think your team is about right RDW, although I would be tempted to drop Marfo altogether.  He wasn't very good on the weekend, and was at fault for the first Connacht try.  Am I alone in thinking that the Marfo bubble might be about to burst?

A word on Chris Dean, he has come on a huge amount this season - i really didn't think he was capable of improving this much - he's probably been Edinburgh's best player this season.

i agree, I think an argument could be made for him going on the summer tour with Scotland. He's been superb this season. As things stand wouldn't be challenging for the centre berths for Scotland if everyone was fit, but as we've seen, this rarely happens, so could be a decent bench option. Especially as he can cover 12 & 13.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 26 Mar 2018, 10:42 am

On Marfo, it was his first game back after a long time out injured and he was hooked at half time - he probably wasn't fit. I think it is too early to be writing him off yet! A lot of it will depend on how he's recovered from his back injury, which could be debilitating for a prop in particularly.

I'm a big fan of Dean and he has come on a lot, and has been a regularly player despite historical knee injuries that kept him out for periods of time. He runs great lines and is a good defender, and has added a kicking game to his repetoir this season. We've got a lot of options in the centre for Scotland but he would have earned the callup if he got it.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by EST on Mon 26 Mar 2018, 10:52 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:On Marfo, it was his first game back after a long time out injured and he was hooked at half time - he probably wasn't fit. I think it is too early to be writing him off yet! A lot of it will depend on how he's recovered from his back injury, which could be debilitating for a prop in particularly.

I'm a big fan of Dean and he has come on a lot, and has been a regularly player despite historical knee injuries that kept him out for periods of time. He runs great lines and is a good defender, and has added a kicking game to his repetoir this season. We've got a lot of options in the centre for Scotland but he would have earned the callup if he got it.

I may be being slightly harsh on Marfo, but I think he has earned perhaps too much credit for a limited number of performances. His Autumn series was very good, and he rightly deserved credit, but I would question why he hadn't been performing at that level previously in his career - he needs to back up those performances until the end of the season now, to show he was deserving of his 2yr contract.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 26 Mar 2018, 2:05 pm

Maybe a touch harsh EST - some people just get their opportunities and are lucky. It could well be that because Leicester already had a well established pack Marfo didn't get the chance he deserved. Much like Roddy Grant for Scotland not getting his chance because we already had a fair few backrowers (though you could argue he was more unfortunate than most).

Marfo's been at Edinburgh for less than a season for pity's sake, half of which he's been injured - give the lad a chance.
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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 8:37 am

I'm wondering now whether Cockers will mix things up a bit for this one - not quite pick a 2nd string team but there's a lot of big games coming up and he'll definitely be prioritising the playoffs. Saying that, unlike previous seasons none of our players have been flogged week in week out, but it is good to keep players fresh as we've basically got 5 (maybe 6 or 7) cup finals to come each week.

If we beat the Blues there will be 5 games in a row until the playoffs so he'll need to do some rotating at some point, especially the Scotland players who can't play more than 5 in a row.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by EST on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 9:23 am

NeilyBroon wrote:Maybe a touch harsh EST - some people just get their opportunities and are lucky. It could well be that because Leicester already had a well established pack Marfo didn't get the chance he deserved. Much like Roddy Grant for Scotland not getting his chance because we already had a fair few backrowers (though you could argue he was more unfortunate than most).

Marfo's been at Edinburgh for less than a season for pity's sake, half of which he's been injured - give the lad a chance.

Yeah, it is perhaps a touch harsh - i'm just not convinced he is any better than Sutherland or Lay, both of whom he was brought back in for on the weekend.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by Brendan on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 9:50 am

Surely the winner of this has a great chance of winning it. While the play offs will be nice for Edinburgh they aren't likely to get past the first match.

If a Pro14 team wins who is qualified for the Champs cup (both of these look like they will) does that mean that both 4th places (excluding cheetahs) would qualify or does the place go to the conference

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by tigertattie on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 10:00 am

I'd not say the winner of this is the most likely to win the whole thing! Stade will be playing for this now that there is Silverware on the cards and Gloucester will be right up for it too!
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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 10:06 am

If Edinburgh win we'll be away to Pau or Stade, which will be a tough game - they'll likely be interested since they have a chance of a final.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by VinceWLB on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 10:31 am

Brendan wrote:Surely the winner of this has a great chance of winning it.  While the play offs will be nice for Edinburgh they aren't likely to get past the first match.

If a Pro14 team wins who is qualified for the Champs cup (both of these look like they will) does that mean that both 4th places (excluding cheetahs) would qualify or does the place go to the conference

I actually think Edinburgh have a decent chance of overtaking Scarlets, this would mean a home tie against Cheetahs, winnable. Then it would be an "away" semi against Glasgow, also winnable!

I know which competition i will favor..

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by tigertattie on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 10:44 am

VinceWLB wrote:
Brendan wrote:Surely the winner of this has a great chance of winning it.  While the play offs will be nice for Edinburgh they aren't likely to get past the first match.

If a Pro14 team wins who is qualified for the Champs cup (both of these look like they will) does that mean that both 4th places (excluding cheetahs) would qualify or does the place go to the conference

I actually think Edinburgh have a decent chance of overtaking Scarlets, this would mean a home tie against Cheetahs, winnable. Then it would be an "away" semi against Glasgow, also winnable!

I know which competition i will favor..

Hmmmm, can we overtake Scarlets? It's possible certainly. Would be an utterly dream start to his tenure if WRC could get us a 2nd place finish in the conference and a shot at getting a semi (Ooooooo matron)
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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by Brendan on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 10:54 am

While there are teams in it that are good but this Edinburgh team are on a great run of form and are different beast to last year. They should be disappointed when they lose. Only Stade should worry them. Glaws are hot and cold so are great.

Really looking forward to the match should be good viewing.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 11:31 am

tigertattie wrote:
VinceWLB wrote:
Brendan wrote:Surely the winner of this has a great chance of winning it.  While the play offs will be nice for Edinburgh they aren't likely to get past the first match.

If a Pro14 team wins who is qualified for the Champs cup (both of these look like they will) does that mean that both 4th places (excluding cheetahs) would qualify or does the place go to the conference

I actually think Edinburgh have a decent chance of overtaking Scarlets, this would mean a home tie against Cheetahs, winnable. Then it would be an "away" semi against Glasgow, also winnable!

I know which competition i will favor..

Hmmmm, can we overtake Scarlets? It's possible certainly. Would be an utterly dream start to his tenure if WRC could get us a 2nd place finish in the conference and a shot at getting a semi (Ooooooo matron)

Scarlets are only 2 points ahead so if we win our last 3 games (a difficult task I know) we should overtake them. We'd also be helped by Glasgow beating them which would mean we could afford to lose a game too.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 12:11 pm

Strong Edinburgh team

Edinburgh captain Fraser McKenzie will make his 100th appearance for the club in tomorrow night’s European Challenge Cup Quarter-Final against Cardiff Blues at BT Murrayfield (Saturday 31 March, kick-off 5.45pm).

The return of the experienced second-row is one of four changes to the side that recorded a dramatic sixth consecutive Guinness PRO14 victory away to Connacht last weekend.

In the build-up to tomorrow's crucial clash, Head Coach Richard Cockerill issued a rallying cry for supporters to get behind their team, as the capital club looks to progress into the last four of the European competition for the first time since 2015.

He said: "We've got a fantastic chance to make a deep run in Europe. I’d like people to come and support their city and their team, because the boys are working very hard to make things work on and off the field.


I’d love the supporters to show how much Edinburgh’s club means to them.


"The boys will put everything on the field and I’d love people to feel they can come and support their team. We can then build this club into something it could really be."

An unchanged back-line sees Blair Kinghorn get the nod at fullback, whilst Duhan van der Merwe and Dougie Fife – both try scorers in the 29-22 win over Connacht last weekend - are once again named on the wings.

Chris Dean and Mark Bennett start their third consecutive match together in midfield, whilst Nathan Fowles and Jaco van der Walt keep their respective spots at half-back.

In the front-row, WP Nel and Jordan Lay will pack down alongside Scotland hooker Stuart McInally, who returns to the Edinburgh starting XV for the first time following a stellar NatWest 6 Nations campaign.

McKenzie – who becomes Edinburgh’s 31st club centurion – partners Grant Gilchrist in the second-row, whilst last weekend’s Man of the Match Magnus Bradbury is joined in the back-row by John Hardie and Bill Mata.

"We've been watching Cardiff over the last few weeks, obviously knowing that we were going to be playing them," Cockerill continued. "They've been on good form - nearly as good form as us.


They are a dangerous side who’ve played very well. We will need to be very good team to win a European Quarter-Final, because you’d expect to come up against a good side.


"There is one thing that Edinburgh can’t do and that is take things for granted. But, we are in a good position and have given ourselves a great chance to progress in Europe."



Edinburgh team to face Cardiff Blues in the European Challenge Cup Quarter-Final at BT Murrayfield on Saturday 31 March (kick-off 5.45pm) – live on Sky Sports Action.


15. Blair Kinghorn (60)

14. Dougie Fife (102)
13. Mark Bennett (7)
12. Chris Dean (62)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (13)

10. Jaco van der Walt (13)
9. Nathan Fowles (55)

1. Jordan Lay (7)
2. Stuart McInally (115)
3. WP Nel (112)
4. Fraser McKenzie (99) CAPTAIN
5. Grant Gilchrist (115)
6. Magnus Bradbury (48)
7. John Hardie (29)
8. Bill Mata (33)

Replacements: 16. Neil Cochrane (71); 17. Rory Sutherland (61); 18. Simon Berghan (44); 19. Lewis Carmichael (28); 20. Cornell du Preez (100); 21. Sean Kennedy (58); 22. Duncan Weir (30); 23. Phil Burleigh (70)

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 6:25 pm

Cardiff Blues: G Anscombe; B Scully, R Lee-Lo, W Halaholo, O Lane, J Evans, T Williams, G Jenkins (capt), K Dacey, D Lewis, G Earle, J Turnbull, J Navidi, E Jenkins, N Williams.

Replacements: K Myhill, R Gill, A Peikrishvili, S Davies, M Cook, L Williams, G Smith, M Morgan

One of the strongest lineups I’ve seen from them this season, apart from the obsession with putting a flanker at lock, Seb Davies would have been a better option.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 5:49 pm

Fowles!!!! Awful pass from Nel too.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by No9 on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 5:51 pm

They really should stop these damn fireworks, before the game.

It happens so often, you can’t see the game because of the b!oody smoke.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 5:54 pm

Yeah it's a bit of an embarrassment.

This red is blowing his whistle a lot.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 5:59 pm

Nick Williams likes a penalty doesn't he!

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:01 pm

Very stop start game - the ref blowing up most breakdowns

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:10 pm

FFS Fowles you complete tool

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:11 pm

FFS Fowles that's embarrassing

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:11 pm

I really hope SHC is fit next week!

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:13 pm

What was he even trying to do? He had no idea where the ball was!

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by VinceWLB on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:15 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:What was he even trying to do? He had no idea where the ball was!

He really looks out of place, does he.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by No9 on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:15 pm

Will take that try... but that has to be as close to an own goal as you can get in rugby...

Why did he turn his back on the ball...

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:15 pm

He's just empty upstairs unfortunately, I doubt even he knew what he was up to

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:16 pm

No9 wrote:Will take that try... but that has to be as close to an own goal as you can get in rugby...

Why did he turn his back on the ball...

Because he's the worst 9 in the Pro 14!

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by David-Douglas on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:16 pm

Edinburgh just not on it tonight.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by eirebilly on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:18 pm

Poor defence there from Edinburgh but fair play to the Blues.
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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:19 pm

Oh FFS this is embarrassing

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:19 pm

Blues are playing well. A certain Mr Cockerill isn't going to be best pleased right now

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by David-Douglas on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:19 pm

Poor by Kinghorn.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by VinceWLB on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:20 pm

Fowles looks like a lost chicken!

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by No9 on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:21 pm

Was going to say you may be being a little hard on the No9....but not sure you have been...

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by David-Douglas on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:22 pm

Fowles living up to his name.


Last edited by David-Douglas on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:22 pm

We're all over the place - cockers needs to tear them a new one by half time. It could all be over by then at this rate!

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by eirebilly on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:23 pm

Why cant Edinburgh find touch? Just inviting the Blues to attack will end in tears...
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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:23 pm

Can’t watch it... but how are Cardiff doing up front? Edinburgh are quite strong under Cockerill and I was a little sceptical of playing a flanker at lock.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:23 pm

No9 wrote:Was going to say you may be being a little hard on the No9....but not sure you have been...

He's been like this all season, yet we've not renewed Sam Hidalgo-Clyne's contract who has been excellent this season.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:24 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Can’t watch it... but how are Cardiff doing up front? Edinburgh are quite strong under Cockerill and I was a little sceptical of playing a flanker at lock.

Been fairly even up front but Blues causing carnage with chips over the top - Fowles and Kinghorn made mega mistakes that led to both tries.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by eirebilly on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:25 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Can’t watch it... but how are Cardiff doing up front? Edinburgh are quite strong under Cockerill and I was a little sceptical of playing a flanker at lock.

Navidi is having another stormer, I count 2 turnovers from him already. The pack is doing ok.
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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by No9 on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:26 pm

Thought Blues had blown that, but well done Navid to win that back.

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Re: Edinburgh V Blues - Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:26 pm

Blues are playing well but this is comfortably our worst performance of the season.

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