Edinburgh Look to Build Momentum as Door Opens for Fife
As Edinburgh look to capitalise on playing their next two games at BT Murrayfield, Dougie Fife discusses the need for cohesion between the backs and forwards, the challenge which Benetton Treviso pose, and the possibility of Scotland selection.
Fife in action for the capital side (Photo: Edinburgh Rugby twitter)
After a tough opening set of fixtures Richard Cockerill’s team is hoping to get their season rolling with two home fixtures in a row. Currently sitting bottom of Conference B after winning one from their opening four fixtures, Edinburgh look set to build momentum, with Benetton then Cheetahs visiting BT Murrayfield.
Speaking to the media earlier this week, Dougie Fife said the team will be looking to make the most of the opportunity ahead.
“We’ve had quite a harsh start and a tough run. We have played well and we are pretty gutted not to have won two of those away games. Certainly one we should have won and it is frustrating. But now we are back at home, we are playing well and we know that if we play like we did at the weekend then this could be a good run of games that we can get wins from.”
With two away defeats against the Ospreys and Ulster to open their campaign, Edinburgh finally got an opportunity to have a run out at home with a victory over Connacht, but last week they suffered the heaviest defeat in a while – a 31-7 defeat against league champions Leinster.
It was a game dominated by the forward packs of both teams, and one where Edinburgh’s attacking opportunities were limited. A notable example being a 30+ phase five metre line thumping resulting in Jamie Richie knocking on the ball. Dougie Fife heaped praise on the forwards, saying the back line should step up their game.
“It was a forward orientated match, we have to balance that with back play. From the analysis, we saw that our forwards are doing a lot of good work, but we have to back that up, take pressure off them, strike and when it is on, pull the trigger. We could walk in at times, but we have to work more as a unit.”
With the team in search of a win, Fife himself would not mind a couple of eye catching performances to come his way. With the injury of Glasgow Warrior Stuart Hogg, the fullback position in the Scotland national team is up for grabs.
Edinburgh teammate Blair Kinghorn may also be looking at the autumn as his opportunity to secure his position in the Scotland line up, but Fife could find himself also in the back line in November against Fiji.
“Obviously Hoggy is a big loss for the Scotland squad, he played brilliantly at the start of this season. So there is a space up for grabs and I don’t know who will fill it, but it does open a door for people.”
Friday’s clash versus Italian outfit Benetton will not be an easy challenge for the capital side, with the Italians holding one of the best away records last season – including a hard-earned win against Edinburgh at Myreside.
It is a loss that haunts Edinburgh, and one that reminded fans that Cockerill could, yes, shake up the system, but not solve laziness in the team. Asked about the team’s feelings towards the loss Fife said,
“I wasn’t involved, but it is definitely one that stings with the boys, we have back to it a bit in the past though we have not looked at it this season.”
“When it came that close to the end of the year, that we were in that play-off position, that was one game that maybe got away from us. And we had points we could have picked up. We had a pretty big meeting after that game and I think it spurred us on towards the end of that season.”