PREVIEW | Fife: "We look at every home match as a chance to win."

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but for club centurion, Dougie Fife – who is now in his seventh season with the club – the eight-times capped Scotland international admits that he’s still learning the ropes, especially when wearing the number 15 jersey.

In Blair Kinghorn’s absence, Fife showcased his versatility at full-back against Leinster last weekend and there’s no doubt the winger will be expected to fill the void come November’s Autumn Tests. 

“I really do enjoy playing full-back,” explained Fife.  “Blair is obviously brilliant at the position and is deserved first choice, but when I get a shot I do love it.

“You get more ball your way and you get a better chance to counter attack and kick tactically. I’m picking it up game by game, and I feel like I can fit that role well when Blair is not around.”

Having started every game this season so far, Fife has been as reliable as ever on Edinburgh’s flanks. However, despite his consistency, the winger believes there is more to come from both he and his teammates.

The capital side let a series of chances go missing against Leinster, but Fife is adamant that Edinburgh’s attack is on the right track with two crucial home encounters on the horizon.

“We sat down and reviewed the Leinster game and from myself and the back line there was a major feeling of frustration. We created opportunities against one of the form teams in Europe and unfortunately didn’t take them.

The good thing at the moment is that we’re creating chances, and we’ve certainly got the skill to finish them, but it’s just small margins that we need to turn around in the coming weeks.

“When we get into the opposition twenty-two, the forwards are doing a lot of good work, but as backs we can take pressure off them and strike a bit better. When it’s on we need to pull the trigger because there were times last week when we could have walked in.”

Despite Edinburgh’s record this season so far, there is still a feeling of optimism amongst the camp. And that confidence will be needed in spades as the capital side face-off against this season’s surprise package, Benetton, at BT Murrayfield this weekend.

The Italian outfit have recorded two victories already this season, including an impressive last-minute win against Cardiff Blues at the Stadio Monigo earlier this month. 

“Benetton are a quality team. They’ve grown massively in confidence over the last few years and have shown how dangerous they can be. It’s going to be a really tough clash.

“We look at every home match as a chance to win, whoever the opponent is. Benetton have shown already this season how much quality they possess, but tonight is definitely a chance for us to put out another quality home performance.

“We know that if we continue to play how we’ve played these last few games, then there is a good run of games here for us to compete and try take as many points as possible.

And Fife is resolute that Edinburgh want to make up for last season’s defeat to the Italians, which he admits ‘definitely still sits with the squad.’

“We talked about [the Benetton defeat] a lot last season. When it came to the end of the year and we needed just a single result to qualify for the Final Series, that was always the game you looked at with a ‘what if’ type of feeling.

“The Benetton match probably was a turning point in our season. We were playing good rugby up until that point and then that was a massive step back. That wasn’t the standard we set.”