Edinburgh v Isuzu Southern Kings
Edinburgh maintained their 100% record at BT Murrayfield this season after scoring six-tries to secure a thumping win over South African outfit Southern Kings.
The win – which was built on a strong defensive performance from the pack and scintillating counter-attack play from Edinburgh’s back-three – moves Richard Cockerill’s side into second place in conference B, level on points with Benetton.
After jumping out to a quickfire 19-0 lead with only 11 minutes on the clock, the capital side had the bonus-point in the bag on the stroke of half-time as prop Rory Sutherland rumbled over from short yardage.
And the scoring was to continue in the second-half as Simon Berghan – who grabbed his first every try for the club – and replacement Cameron Fenton extended Edinburgh’s lead.
Speaking following the match, Attack Coach, Duncan Hodge, felt that Edinburgh were worthy of the five points secured and praised the performances of the team’s up-and-coming players.
“Had you given us that score line before the game, we would have bitten your hand off,” said Hodge. “It was good to score some tries and with so many changes in the team, it was a great performance. We’re very happy tonight.”
With eleven changes made to the side that secured the win against Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun last weekend to retain the 1872 Cup, you would be excused in expecting a rusty performance from the capital side.
However, with plenty of young players peppered in amongst the starting XV, including home debutant George Taylor and full debutant Charlie Shiel, Edinburgh provided the BT Murrayfield with some scintillating rugby throughout the 80 minutes.
“There was a lot of pressure on the guys tonight. We made eleven changes heading into tonight’s match. There were some young guys out there who hadn’t played much rugby for us, so there was pressure there to perform.
“Both Benetton and Scarlets won today, so we needed to keep up with them. Guys like Fraser McKenzie and Jamie Ritchie did brilliantly to lead the boys tonight through what was a difficult match.”
With Edinburgh jumping into second place above Benetton, albeit on points difference, there is now plenty of hope as the capital side move into the business end of the season.
However, Hodge was quick to point out that there will be plenty of ups and downs with so much PRO14 rugby still to be played in 2019.
“It’s great to move into second place, but there’s still a lot of rugby to be played. It’s really tight at the top, but it’s great that were in the mix. We now move into Europe with everything to play for as well.
“It’s great to keep that momentum going, especially after back-to-back wins over Newcastle Falcons and Glasgow Warriors. It was just about consistency this week and making sure we performed – which I think we did. The focus tonight was to be clinical and composed and boys did a great job of doing that tonight.”
Edinburgh now prepare to return to Heineken Champions Cup action as Richard Cockerill takes his side to face RC Toulon at the Stade Felix-Mayol next Saturday 12 January (kick-off 5.30pm) – live on BT Sport