Edinburgh v Kings

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Post by RDW on Fri 03 Jan 2020, 12:20 pm

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​Stand-off Jaco van der Walt returns to the starting XV to make his 50th appearance for the capital club as Edinburgh Rugby make 11 changes for tomorrow night’s Guinness PRO14 Conference B clash against Southern Kings at BT Murrayfield (Saturday 4 January, kick-off 7.45pm) – live on Premier Sports.

A rotated backline sees Van der Walt partnered with Henry Pyrgos at half-back, with an all-new centre pairing of Matt Scott and James Johnstone selected in midfield. Fijian international Eroni Sau returns on the wing.

In the forward pack, loosehead prop Jamie Bhatti gets the nod alongside hooker Mike Willemse in the front-row, as Scotland international lock Lewis Carmichael starts to make his eighth appearance of the season.

A revamped back-row combination sees John Barclay return from injury to feature at openside flanker, with Magnus Bradbury and Nick Haining named at blindside flanker and No. 8 respectively.


Ahead of the match, Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said: “We were obviously delighted with the derby win last weekend, but as we’ve spoken about all week in training, it means nothing if we don’t turn up and perform against Southern Kings tomorrow night.

“We are proud of our unbeaten home record at BT Murrayfield and we want to keep it that way. We are playing with confidence and determination, and hopefully that continues as we face a really tough and much improved Kings side.

“We’ve made a number of changes to the team, but it is still an experienced squad who are more than capable of putting in a winning performance.

“We’re excited to be back in front of our home support at BT Murrayfield and we very much want to start 2020 off with a win.”

The inclusion of Sau on the wing is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged back-three as Blair Kinghorn and Duhan van der Merwe are one again selected in the starting line-up.

Scotland star Scott – who enjoyed an impressive 24-minute appearance from the bench in last weekend’s 1872 Cup derby win – links-up with Johnstone in midfield, as scrum-half Pyrgos – who skippers the side – is paired with Van der Walt at half-back.

Hooker Willemse – who faces his former side – packs down alongside Scotland internationalists Bhatti and WP Nel in the front-row, with locks Carmichael and Grant Gilchrist paired in the second-row.

A back-row trio of Bradbury, Barclay and Haining complete the pack.



Edinburgh Rugby team to face Southern Kings at BT Murrayfield in the Guinness PRO14
Saturday 4 January, kick-off 7.45pm – live on Premier Sports


15. Blair Kinghorn (85)



14. Eroni Sau (6)

13. James Johnstone (46)

12. Matt Scott (90)

11. Duhan van der Merwe (51)



10. Jaco van der Walt (49)

9. Henry Pyrgos (32) CAPTAIN



1. Jamie Bhatti (9)

2. Mike Willemse (12)

3. WP Nel (136)

4. Lewis Carmichael (40)

5. Grant Gilchrist (144)

6. Magnus Bradbury (73)

7. John Barclay (8)

8. Nick Haining (6)



Replacements: 16. Dave Cherry (18) 17. Pierre Schoeman (34) 18. Simon Berghan (74) 19. Ben Toolis (117) 20. Luke Crosbie (33) 21. Charlie Shiel (12) 22. Simon Hickey (29) 23. Mark Bennett (31)

Unavailable: Fraser McKenzie, Chris Dean, Viliame Mata, Jamie Ritchie, Stuart McInally

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:26 pm

Much better. Keep ball in hand and stretch them.

Nice from Barclay. Redemption for dropping that sitter.

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:27 pm

Hamilton agreeing with me - why take their 13 off!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:29 pm

Really stupid by Scott. Last thing we needed was a silly pen. We will do well to avoid a yellow at this rate.

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:29 pm

Lazy from Matt Scott. Cockers is going to be raging.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:31 pm

Well that's another elbow to the head. Do we think that's a red as well?

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:32 pm

This is a difficult one - Haining was in a bad position

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:32 pm

Head on head - no pen.

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Post by BigGee on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:32 pm

Looks like head on head to me

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:33 pm

Haining has been in the wars - don't think we'll see him back!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:33 pm

Actually that's head on head. It may have saved us a yellow though, as we must be getting close to last warning on breakdown pens.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:34 pm

Cockers will explode at half time!!

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:34 pm

Yep, Edinburgh will be getting a shafting at halftime!

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Post by BigGee on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:35 pm

There is no way that should have been scored when a man down!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:37 pm

Sau has been solid today.

I'd like Shiel on at half time. There is hay to be made around the fringes.

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:43 pm

We're just not the kind of team that can blow poor opposition away - we never make life easy for ourselves!

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:43 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:Sau has been solid today.

I'd like Shiel on at half time. There is hay to be made around the fringes.

And Pyrgos has been so so so slow

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Post by BigGee on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:43 pm

There is definitely still a mindset issue with Edinburgh, a bit like Scotland used to be, in that they struggle to win winnable matches. If they just played the phases here and made no mistakes they would walk this, but they are still not at that stage of their development yet.

Ruthlessness is not a concept that exists in Morningside, so it would seem. Leinster are very much private school Dublin based, but they had 4 tries v Connacht after 20 mins!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:50 pm

RDW wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:Sau has been solid today.

I'd like Shiel on at half time. There is hay to be made around the fringes.

And Pyrgos has been so so so slow

His defensive work has been uncharacteristically poor also. He isn't sweeping effectively. He's exactly what we don't need in this scenario.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:53 pm

BigGee wrote:Ruthlessness is not a concept that exists in Morningside, so it would seem.

You clearly haven't attended the Morningside Waitrose cheese counter on the Saturday before Christmas....

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:53 pm

Good move from Kinghorn going for territory

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:56 pm

Thanks goodness! Kinghorn has been effective.

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:56 pm

Go through the phases then attack out wide - simples

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Post by BigGee on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:57 pm

Its easy when you just play the space and the numbers

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:59 pm

VDW was literally being pinned down deliberately - poor decision

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 8:59 pm

Another horribly slow and pointless box from Pyrgos, although VDW was clearly and obviously being held in there.

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:00 pm

And another - given after she just said ball was available!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:00 pm

The ref is having a breakdown shocker. The ball was clearly available and she's being played by the Kings 9.

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Post by BigGee on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:00 pm

Yellow card coming for Edinburgh!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:02 pm

Right. Now let's capitalise.

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Post by BigGee on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:03 pm

Get of jail card played there!

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:03 pm

Willemse has been our best player - he's been a great signing

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Post by BigGee on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:04 pm

Great carry from Crosbie

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:04 pm

Another poor Pyrgos decision picking up there. Slowed momentum.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:05 pm

RDW wrote:Willemse has been our best player - he's been a great signing

Agreed. He's very useful.

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:05 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:Another poor Pyrgos decision picking up there. Slowed momentum.

It was a good decision but he's no George Horne - he was too slow to make anything from it!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:05 pm

BigGee wrote:Great carry from Crosbie

He's been quality all season. He really ought to have started this game.

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:08 pm

Did I hear the ref say they have to drop to 13 because they don't have a replacement front row?

Seems a harsh rule.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:09 pm

RDW wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:Another poor Pyrgos decision picking up there. Slowed momentum.

It was a good decision but he's no George Horne - he was too slow to make anything from it!

I just don't get why he's still on. The game is won. BP in the bag. Shiel needs game time. No brainer.

Annoying that scrum is uncontested as we bring on Shoe. It would have been better to keep Bhatti on now that he doesn't have to scrum!

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:11 pm

Poor from Kinghorn - he should have given it

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:11 pm

Butchered by Kinghorn. Horrible.

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Post by BigGee on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:11 pm

Kinghorn spooned it then, he should have passed!

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Post by RDW on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:15 pm

This is one of our worst performances in a long time.

Leinster would have been on 80 points by this stage!

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Post by BigGee on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:15 pm

Got to take your hat off to the Kings, they have kept at it.

Surely better times are coming if thy keep this kind of effort up.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:16 pm

Edinburgh struggling with Kings' maul tactics.

Seriously, how are we making this look so hard. Glasgow, who are not as good as us, put 50 points on these guys.....

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:16 pm

Impressed at how difficult edinburgh are making a 2 man advantage look. Embarrassing!
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:17 pm

I do like Scott on the gallop. Now, let's get Shiel on!!

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Post by BigGee on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:17 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:Edinburgh struggling with Kings' maul tactics.

Seriously, how are we making this look so hard. Glasgow, who are not as good as us, put 50 points on these guys.....

That was the pre Benetton Glasgow as well!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:18 pm

Another poor option from Pyrgos. They have cover there, why kick it away??

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:19 pm

Keep the ball in hand and we will score. Simple stuff. Thought Berghan was going to drop that!

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Post by bsando on Sat 04 Jan 2020, 9:19 pm

finally! Haha

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