Press Pass: Zebre Parma next up

Press Pass: Zebre Parma next up

Get the latest from Skills and Assistant Attack Coach Gareth Baber as he spoke with press in the build up to Friday night's URC Round 16 clash against Zebre Parma at DAM Health Stadium.

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On the Bath win

“We beat a side that could have caused us problems. In the first half, we didn’t feel we were as accurate as we needed to be in our game, and as we move deeper into the season, we know that is something which is going to have to be better at in the first half of games.

“There was a couple of opportunities missed from Bath’s perspective which could have had us under more pressure at half-time.

“But I think the big takeaway for us was how we organised ourselves at halftime and gave a focus to what we needed to do to overcome the threats Bath were posing us, and then how we got into our game to score some tries which put the pressure on them.

“So, it was a bit of a mixed bag but to score as many points as we did against an opposition team, which was stacked full of international rugby players, bodes well for the team.”

“The pace we created in the game, and the space we created to ensure that we got those scores, and the effort that was behind that, was particularly powerful. We’re going to need that sort of accuracy and tempo over the next three or four games.”

On not taking Zebre Parma lightly

“Absolutely not, certainly at this stage of the season. Whichever team you’re putting on the field your wanting them to understand how we get performances and how we can match the standards we need to get wins, and how you can fight your way through games when you are perhaps not playing at that level the whole time.

“Zebre can create pressure in the game against us and we need to keep focus on what it is that gets us these result and ultimately manage games to ensure we are in the ascendancy. It’s something we came through at the weekend and it’s something that I’m sure we’ll be challenged on again when Zebre come over here.

“There are elements of their game that we know we've got to understand and be aware of but equally it’s a big part of our development to ensure that when we get opportunities to look after the bits that we can gain performance from then we’re smart with how we do that and we have the right people on the field to deliver that.

“It’s the next game, the next challenge and we won’t take it lightly. You only have to ask Wales about getting a backlash from an Italian team. We very much see this as the next challenge and we’re going to have to be at our best to ensure we do get the victory.

“When you reflect on what’s happened over the last three or four weeks it’s probably coincided with the weather being better. Some of elements of the game we want to play and the way we enjoy playing and the way that we know that will get us performances has come together. That’s been a target of Mike’s and the coaching staff’s for long before I came here."

On Edinburgh’s attack and growing points tally

“I think that the work that’s been done over the season is bearing its fruit now. Every coach wants that to happen and the boys are enjoying playing that rugby and ultimately that’s how we train as well. It doesn’t just happen because we go onto a field and there’s an opposition there. Again, it’s about getting that right and upholding standards in training and understanding what we need to do day by day to get better.

“There is a humility about the group which is good to see. We want to develop. We know we’re not where we could possibly be one day. I think if we keep challenging ourselves and keep chasing how good we could be. We know professional sport will knock you on occasions as well and part of that is understanding how you build resilience and how you become better as a team so you get those opportunities to put into practice all the skills you work on so you can get those tries scored, and we’ve got some boys playing some really good rugby at the moment but as we know we know that’s only as good as the last performance and ultimately you’ve got the next challenge and that’s to see if you can do it again.”

On Blair Kinghorn's form

“I’m immensely impressed by him as an individual. He certainly has a casual manner about him but ultimately that’s not how he operates.

"His intelligence - his IQ and his EQ - in the game itself is particularly powerful and his ability to create opportunities for himself and others around him, which is essentially what you want your stand-off to be doing, his development in terms of the quality of his kicking game as a threat, and the work he has done with Gregor and Mike have developed his confidence in that positions, and he’s getting a crack at being in there for a period of time now.

“At the weekend against Bath, against good opposition, some good international players, he was right at the front of what we were doing and manipulating defences to ensure our strike runners were getting the width to ensure we were getting the performance we needed.

“I’m enjoying working with him, I’m enjoying what he brings into the environment and the perspective he has on his own performance and where he wants to go. I know he comes in for criticism as well but he is able to rationalise that and understand what it means for him to be able to get better as a player.”

On Emiliano Boffelli

“It is my first time working with him and he’s obviously had an impact here at Edinburgh. He goes about his business as professionally as I have seen anybody, he is diligent with the elements his game are about and he offers a point of difference, particularly with his goal kicking standards. He missed a couple at the weekend but I think he was 23 out of 23 up to that point.

“And you also know what he brings with his finishing and his aerial skills as well have been of note.

“So, he’s a very good man. It is obviously a challenge for him to come to a country where English isn’t his first language, but the boys very much respond to him and he responds to them, so it is nice to see him play some excellent rugby for us.

“As you see, he’s a very credible signing in relation to what he has put in for us this season, and we’re going to particularly need that come the back end of the season as well.”

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