Willemse calls on Edinburgh to bounce back

Willemse calls on Edinburgh to bounce back

Hooker Mike Willemse refused to blame the poor conditions for his side’s tight loss to Conference B rivals Benetton, admitting that Edinburgh ‘need to produce the goods, regardless of the weather.’

The capital side fell 18-16 to the Treviso club in a match that saw the lead swap hands on several occasions, but it was the Italians who held on in the dying minutes for the narrowest of victories.

“It really went down to the wire,” said Willemse. “Whoever got the right calls was going to win it and on a better day, it might have been different. But full credit to Benetton, they really came out flying and in the end, deserved their win.

“You can’t really blame the weather. You play in different countries, different terrain and weather all the time, so you’ve got to be up for those different situations.

“It might have played a part, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to produce the goods regardless of the weather or the conditions.”

It certainly wasn’t an occasion for rugby purists, with the ball in play time circling around 45 minutes. At one point, the capital pack had 42 phases of possession on the Benetton try-line, with the forwards dominating the match in general.

“Forwards, like myself – we work hard for these types of games and it’s the sort of ones your train for. It’s always nice to get stuck in during those types of games – especially as forwards – and we do enjoy them, but it is obviously not nice to come out on the losing side.

“We’ll go back to the drawing board and next time we get ourselves into this type of situation, in a game like this, we’ll certainly be sure that we come out on top.”

Edinburgh now gear for up for just a six-day turnaround as Dragons visit BT Murrayfield this Friday night (8 November, kick-off 7.35pm).

And Willemse has called on the capital club to bounce back with Edinburgh looking to maintain their 100 per cent home record on the season so far.

“I’m loving Edinburgh so much,” continued the hooker. “There is a really good culture in the team. We work really hard every week and we’re desperate to succeed.

“There’s definitely an upward curve in terms of the club as a whole. It’s brilliant to be part of and I see a really good future here that I’m excited to be involved with.

“Hopefully we find ourselves in the play-off set up come the end of the season. We’ll be hurting after this loss, but we know moving forward what we’re capable of and we’ll look to bounce back when we face Dragons in front of our home support next Friday night.”

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