Edinburgh v Southern Kings: Top Points Cockerill’s Side Need To Work On

Edinburgh Rugby scored a bonus point 61-13 win over Southern Kings at BT Murrayfield last night. However, the game was far from plain sailing. There was a red card for Kings’ Pieter Scholtz after just 13 minutes for a dangerous tackle on John Barclay. Kings then had to reduce themselves to 13 men and go for uncontested scrums when injury woes struck their front row. And finally, lock Aston Fortuin was shown a yellow card.  

Despite at times playing against only 12 men, Cockerill’s side did not make things easy for themselves, and showed that this Edinburgh side still have some problematic areas of their game to work on if they are to advance anywhere in the Pro14. 

Before noting the aspects needing improved, it must also be acknowledged that the win last night saw Jaco Van Der Walt make his 50th appearance for Edinburgh, James Johnstone make his first start of the season and Mike Willemse go up against his former side.  

Richard Cockerill and his Edinburgh squad know that they have work still to do. (Photo: Edinburgh Rugby twitter)

ENRG Sport co-editor Erin McRitchie, has chosen the following as the areas of their game that need Edinburgh’s attention:

  • Kings seemed confident in the opening minutes of the encounter, as they especially were kicking well to compete – if Edinburgh are to impose themselves as a dominant force in a match then they need to ensure that they try to defuse their opponent’s upper hand early on.
  • When confronting opposition carrying ball into contact, Edinburgh’s first tacklers need to look to make more of an impact with their initial contact – it would make life easier on both the second tacklers and the breakdown, if they were to be able to bring the ball carrier to ground more than simply slowing him down.
  • Edinburgh have been hindered in recent weeks by their susceptibility to giving away cheap penalties – this needs to be improved upon as, things like early engagement at the scrum or knock-ons in the building phases, will seriously hurt them in the bigger match-ups.
  • It is well documented that when they are thrust towards the fire of having a team attacking right on their line, Edinburgh’s defence is diligent in their repelling of the threat, however, they need to work on a defence which is tight throughout the 80 minutes, rather than one which only intensifies when it has it’s back to the wall.
  • Duhan Van Der Merwe’s try in the match shows that Edinburgh can spot the gaps, can break lines, and can give the right passes to the right players – they need to retain this identification of the profitable plays throughout the majority of the match.
  • Meanwhile, Matt Scott’s try shows this Edinburgh side also know how to communicate the inside and outside passes in the attack and know which support runs should be covered – once again, they need to not doubt themselves in this aspect of their game.
  • Richard Cockerill’s strong, sensible bench selection ensured his side were able to remain in the match, this could be a determining factor in the later-season fixtures – for example Luke Crosbie put in some serious graft when he replaced a heavily cut Nick Haining, whilst Charlie Shiel brought a real injection of pace with him onto the field when he took over from Henry Pyrgos.

 

Teams:

Edinburgh: B Kinghorn; E Sau, J Johnstone, M Scott, D Van Der Merwe; J Van Der Walt, H Pyrgos; J Bhatti, M Willemse, WP Nel, L Carmichael, G Gilchrist, M Bradbury, J Barclay, N Haining. Subs: D Cherry, P Schoeman, S Berghan, B Toolis, L Crosbie, C Shiel, S Hickey, M Bennett.

Southern Kings: C Winnaar; Y Penxe, S Sithole, H Mnisi, E Cronje; JT Jackson, S Ungerer; S Ferreira, J du Toit, P Scholtz, J Sexton, A Fortuin, R Lerm, T Bholi, E Louw. Subs: A van Rooyen, X Vos, D Terblanche, JC Astle, B De Wee, T Maree, B Pretorius, A Loubser.

Referee: Joy Neville.

Scorers:

Edinburgh: Tries: Willemse, Van Der Merwe, Scott, Johnstone, penalty try, Sau, Cherry, Shiel, Bennett. Cons: Van Der Walt 7.

Southern Kings: Tries: Cronje, Thomas-Jackson. Pens: Thomas-Jackson.

Scoring sequence (Edinburgh first): (0-0), (0-5), (5-5), (7-5), (7-8), (12-8), (17-8), (19-8), (19-13) HT (24-13), (26-13), (33-13), (38-13), (40-13), (45-13), (47-13), (52-13), (54-13), (59-13), (61-13) FT.

Yellow card: Aston Fortuin (Southern Kings).

Red card: Pieter Scholtz (Southern Kings).

Man of the Match: James Johnstone.

Attendance: 4,873.

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