Edinburgh v Krasny Yar
Edinburgh produced a record-breaking display to maintain their 100 per cent record in this season’s European Challenge Cup.
With 78 points, 12 tries and 11 different scorers, Richard Cockerill’s outfit were not only dominant in attack, but ruthless in defence – allowing the visitors not even a sniff at the try-line.
It was Edinburgh’s highest ever winning margin – a small piece of history – but, perhaps, more importantly the emphatic victory maintains the squad’s momentum heading into next weekend’s all-important 1872 Cup.
Edinburgh’s Assistant Coach, Roddy Grant – a man who knows all too well about the significance of next week’s festive derby – was understandably delighted with how his squad performed against this evening’s Russian visitors and said: “Tonight’s game was a different sort of pressure, but probably the most pleasing thing was to not concede a single point.
“From a coaching point of view, having a selection headache is an awesome thing and it’s great that there’s clearly confidence within the squad. It’s a real luxury that we can really chat about all our positions across the board
I’m sure it will be a tasty week of training for everyone. In terms of selection, everyone will want to be in the 23 heading into next week’s 1872 Cup. There’s no question that we’re going to be up for it.
Whist this evening’s rout was by a record achieving margin, it also secured Edinburgh’s fourth bonus-point victory in-a-row in the competition – maintaining their position atop Pool 4. And, now with 238 points in total to their name, the club have scored the most points across both the European Challenge and Champions Cup.
Edinburgh were in the driving seat from the get-go as the much-changed side went ahead with only 2 minutes on the clock. Home debutant Duhan van der Merwe was the man who finished off a neat handling move down the touchline.
Edinburgh were made to wait for their second try as the visitors dug their defensive trenches, but when Chris Dean romped in from close-yardage, it sparked a barrage of scores.
With Edinburgh working down the wide channels, the ball was eventually fed to Lewis Carmichael, who had the simple task of touching down in the corner. Next, it was the turn of Jamie Ritchie.
Much like his alma mater, Strathallan – who had breezed to victory in the Schools Cup final at BT Murrayfield a week earlier – the back-row would make the most of his evening on the national turf as he scored Edinburgh’s fourth and bonus-point securing try - all within the opening 20 minutes of play.
Further tries from Blair Kinghorn – who slotted in seamlessly at stand-off following the late withdrawal of Jaco van der Walt due to a bug – and Sean Kennedy only extended the hosts lead. Whilst a tasty dummy and dive over the line from hooker Neil Cochrane added the gloss to a sensational first half of play. At the break, Edinburgh led 47-0.
Richard Cockerill would ring the changes at the break, bringing on Cameron Fenton, Luke Crosbie and Junior Rasolea, however, the substitutions had little effect on Edinburgh’s attacking impetus as Darcy Graham touched down with only a minute on the clock.
The Scotland 7s star was being fed the ball in space and so often sparked Edinburgh’s backline with his mazy style of offence. As Damien Hoyland finished off a well-judged grubber kick from replacement Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Richard Cockerill’s side had their ninth try of the evening.
With the match all but sown up, Edinburgh continued to play a swashbuckling brand of rugby. Although the grit of Crosbie and Carmichael up-front gave the hosts excellent front foot ball, it was the finishing abilities of the back-line which added the polish to the score line.
As replacements Junior Rasolea and Cameron Fenton supplied simple finishes, the score read 71-0 and the hosts were in record-breaking territory. However, not satisfied until the final whistle, wing van der Merwe – the scorer of Edinburgh’s first try – supplied the final nail in the visitor’s coffin has cantered over in the corner for his second of the night.