Edinburgh V Connacht

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Edinburgh V Connacht

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu 13 Sep 2018, 12:07 pm

First topic message reminder :

Head Coach Richard Cockerill has issued a rallying call to the Edinburgh public, to come out in force to support their team in the first home game of the Guinness PRO14 season against Connacht at BT Murrayfield tomorrow night (Friday 14 September, kick-off 7.35pm).

“It would be great to have a big crowd and get in front of our own supporters, so we’ve got to match their passion with a fine performance – that’s going to be really important for us.”

Cockerill has made three changes to the side that faced Ulster in Belfast last weekend, with flanker Hamish Watson, wing Duhan van der Merwe and centre James Johnstone all coming into the starting XV.

Scotland star Watson – who was unavailable for selection last weekend due to the birth of his first child – is named in the back-row with fellow international Luke Hamilton who switches to to No.8 in the place of the injured, Bill Mata.

Mark Bennett drops out of contention due to injury and is replaced by Johnstone in midfield, whilst Van der Merwe returns to action after missing out on the trip to Belfast last weekend.

The South African winger is named in the place of Tom Brown, who fails to recover after picking up a knock against Ulster.

On his selection, Cockerill, said: “I know we’ve had two losses from two games, but we’re in a good place and that doesn’t tell the whole story.There’s a great spirit amongst the camp.

We just need to make sure that we put in the same performance against Connacht as we did against Ulster, and we’ll be fine.

“Connacht have had a pretty good start. They just lost to Glasgow, but could have won that at the death and then they had a pretty big win against Zebre last weekend.

“They’re playing some really good stuff. Andy Friend seems to have had a really big impact on them and they’re playing with the ball in hand.”

In the back-three, Blair Kinghorn starts at fullback alongside Scotland international winger Dougie Fife and the once again fit, Van der Merwe.

Matt Scott – who makes his first Edinburgh appearance at BT Murrayfield since May 2016 – is joined in the midfield by Johnstone, whilst Henry Pyrgos and Simon Hickey both make their home debuts after being named at half-back.

An unchanged front-row sees captain Stuart McInally pack down alongside WP Nel and Pierre Schoeman, with Ben Toolis and Grant Gilchrist continuing their partnership in the boiler room.

The aforementioned Watson returns to action at openside flanker, as Hamilton and Jamie Ritchie complete the back-row.

Elsewhere, 23-year-old back-row Magnus Bradbury is once again fit and named amongst the replacements, whilst summer recruit Juan Pablo Socino is also included on the bench, and if called upon will make his competitive debut for the club.

Secure your tickets for tomorrow's clash at BT Murrayfield here. Don't forget that U16's go free with an Adult Silver Ticket purchaser!



Edinburgh team to face Connacht at BT Murrayfield in the Guinness PRO14 on Friday 14 September (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports.



15. Blair Kinghorn (66)



14. Dougie Fife (109)

13. James Johnstone (20)

12. Matt Scott (76)

11. Duhan van der Merwe (19)



10. Simon Hickey (2)

9. Henry Pyrgos (2)



1. Pierre Schoeman (2)

2. Stuart McInally (122) CAPTAIN

3. WP Nel (117)

4. Ben Toolis (90)

5. Grant Gilchrist (122)

6. Jamie Ritchie (50)

7. Hamish Watson (83)

8. Luke Hamilton (2)



Replacements: 16. Ross Ford (181); 17. Allan Dell (46); 18. Simon Berghan (50); 19. Fraser McKenzie (102). 20. Magnus Bradbury (53); 21 Sean Kennedy (62); 22. Jaco van der Walt (18); 23. Juan Pablo Socino*

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Re: Edinburgh V Connacht

Post by jimbopip on Sat 15 Sep 2018, 10:00 am

I just watched the match. The Luvvies can be happy that they never looked like losing.

THE GOOD

Ritchie, Bradbury and Kinghorn are going to be great players if they keep developing. Henners' pass for the first try was superb.

THE BAD

With all that possession the backs created the square root of bugger all. The scrum never really troubled the Craggies. Certainly not in the way Glasgow's did two weeks ago.

THE MEH

Running into the Green Wall time after time after time. Oh then kicking possession away, again and again.To be fair their line speed and aggression was top notch, but Glasgow put four tries on them in Galway.


This Luvvies team remind me very much of the Sean Lineen Glasgow; fantastic back row and scintillating counter attacking 15 but otherwise very stodgy.

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Re: Edinburgh V Connacht

Post by bsando on Sat 15 Sep 2018, 2:49 pm

Just on an article I read today, RC has been fairly critical of the referees so far this year. As someone who refeees tag rugby every week I'd just like to say it's not easy being a ref. You get a lot of stick from players and you have to try and keep a cool head as you do your job. So I was immediately sceptical of his outburst. However, refs should always be looking to improve so I do hope his comments have been taken on board. I think he has some legitimate points, but there is probably a better way to make his opinion heard than voicing it to the press. Consistency is what every ref should be aiming for so you don't have a scenario where one team is getting the rub of the green.

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Re: Edinburgh V Connacht

Post by The Oracle on Sat 15 Sep 2018, 3:58 pm

Cockerill doing a Lord Dowlais!
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Re: Edinburgh V Connacht

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat 15 Sep 2018, 10:15 pm

Just caught up on the second half - it wasn't actually as bad as I was expecting but I'm sure it would have been a much more stressful watch without knowing that final score! There's no doubting though that we were totally in control on 60 minutes and should have been pushing for a BP, but instead found ourselves scrapping to hold off a resurgent Connacht who previously looked dead and buried. This was largely due to a lack of control and in particular some messed up lineouts.

Some really good individual performances from Ritchie, kinghorn and Watson in particular, and VDW showed enough to suggest the starting 10 shirt isn't necessarily with Hickey. Lots of frustration in terms of our game control (again) and just not nailing the basics. Plenty to work on!

Very strange from Cockerill to leave Mcinally and pyrgos on for 80 - pyrgos looked knackered after 60 minutes and we had one of the most experienced hookers ever waiting on the bench to replace Mcinally.

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Re: Edinburgh V Connacht

Post by BigGee on Sun 16 Sep 2018, 6:22 pm

Just watched the whole game and I do have some sympathy with Cockers viewpoint.

Connacht were infringing with impunity and a stronger ref would have binned one of their players for the repeated penalties, which would likely have stopped them doing it.

For the second try when the ref went to the TMO he said if no try he was going back for a penalty. Surely by that stage, if it was a penalty then it should have been a PT and a man off.

Teams like Connacht will play to the ref and get try and get away with whatever they can. You can't blame them for trying, it is up to the ref to deal with it. A better ref would have dealt with that game very differently and it would have been a better game for that.

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Re: Edinburgh V Connacht

Post by BigGee on Sun 16 Sep 2018, 6:24 pm

Still Edinburgh will probably be much better for getting a W.

They will go to Dublin with no pressure on them now and hopefully they can relax and play their own game. Unlike some other teams in the league I can't see Cockers putting out a B team and just giving them the match.

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Re: Edinburgh V Connacht

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sun 16 Sep 2018, 6:45 pm

I actually hope we do Biggee, or at least use more of the squad - he's pretty much picked the same players for the first 5 games and it's a long season. Plus after Leinster we've got two tough but winnable home games leading into the brutal Euro double header - if he freshens things up next game it means he can play our strongest team for that bank of 4.

And the thing is it's not like we'd be putting out our under 20s - our entire replacement front row are experienced internationals and Fraser McKenzie is an experienced pro. Charmichael is due back this weekend too.

In the backs we've got to see who can back up pyrgos and both Hickey and VDW will do a good job. The likes of Chris Dean should be able to seamlessly slot into the centre too giving Matt Scott a rest.

So although we'd lose momentum in rotating 8-10 players it wouldn't be much of a step down in quality. He desperately needs to give fringe players a chance too to drive up competition in the squad.

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Re: Edinburgh V Connacht

Post by BigGee on Sun 16 Sep 2018, 7:03 pm

I have no issues with a bit of gentle rotation over the next few games. The Scotland squad players will have to be compulsory rested in any case. As you say, there are plenty other players in the Edinburgh squad worthy of a place in the team. I would have issue though in doing an Ospreys and changing 14 players then losing by 50 odd points. I am however confident Cockers would not do that. He has an attitude that every game is winnable, unlike the Ospreys coach!

I hope DR does the same with Glasgow in the up coming games against Zebre and Dragons. He has also largely stuck with the same players over the first block of games, though having to take a limited squad to SA may have forced his hand a bit on that one.

Both sides are going to need their squad players come the AIs and so it would be much better if they were integrated into the team before then. It is not an easy skill to introduce new players into the match squad without weakening the team unnecessarily. That is a problem that a coach gets paid a lot of money to solve though!

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Re: Edinburgh V Connacht

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