Groom: "I’m excited to see how we respond."
When Nic Groom was named vice-captain of the club only months after his arrival in the Scottish capital, it was clear that the both the coaching staff and his teammates saw him as a natural leader – on and off the pitch.
With the scrum-half missing a chunk of time through injury, that leadership and guidance in the No. 9 jersey that Groom so often brings was at time missing, therefore supporters would have been glad to see the South African back fit and firing in Saturday’s defeat to Munster.
Groom looked sharp throughout the contest – a huge positive to take out the last gasp defeat – and felt he and his teammates need to continue to build confidence and take forward what they can out of the opening rounds.
“It was a tough one compared to Ospreys. I didn’t play in the game, but that was a completely different challenge with the weather.
“We had our chances against Munster and we had some good plans - unfortunately we just didn’t execute some of them and we came up short.”
“We definitely had a chance to win the game. It just seems like a bit of a trend - we run into intercept trouble in some key moments.
“I think that’s the hardest part. We need to dig out what we can and take that forward into the next few weeks.”
So often a philosophical thinker, Groom will no doubt take the positives into Edinburgh’s next home fixture – vs Connacht on 26 October – but he believes he and his teammates must take the challenge head on and begin to build confidence within the group.
“Is it a confidence thing? I think confidence does play a huge role: it’s a massive thing in sport,” explained Groom.
“The challenge for us now is to really pull together and start to build something within ourselves as a group, because we’re going to have to lean on each other for the confidence.
“At the moment, we can’t look to past results, we’re not going to get in there: we’re only going to get it through working harder and through demanding more from our team-mates, which we will definitely do.”
Edinburgh will have plenty of time to prepare for Connacht with a two-week run in to the round three encounter at BT Murrayfield.
And Groom believes a bit of time off is exactly what he and his teammates need as they work towards a period that Groom believes could be a ‘massive opportunity’ for Edinburgh.
With a number of stars set to be on international duty, there will be game time and opportunity for younger and squad players to make their mark in the coming months.
“We’re looking at a few uninterrupted weeks in the near future. I think as part of that we use this time wisely; we balance the time off with rest and the chance to get better and work on certain things. I think it will do us good.”
“It’s definitely a massive opportunity for us as a group. We’re definitely going to be challenged: we’re going to have guys playing games who haven’t played for a long time.
“For me personally, that’s something I’m excited about. I’m excited to see how we respond as a group, I’m excited to see some guys who have really worked their tails off week after week who are ready to go, and I myself am going to use whatever experience and expertise I have and I’m going to work extra hard to make sure that if given the opportunity I’ll do my best to lead.
“I think it’s a great chance for us to start building some identity again. We’ve got a break now, we’re going to have a new-look squad, a bit of a clean slate in some ways. I see it as a massive opportunity for this club.”