Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


PRO14 Round 5: Leinster v Edinburgh

Edinburgh Rugby
Edinburgh are trying to come up with a plan - pic © ALASTAIR ROSS | Novantae Photography

This could be a pretty tough proposition indeed as Edinburgh travel to Dublin to face a Leinster side who had mixed results on the road in South Africa and who will be looking to get right back on to an upward curve in front of their home fans.

Cockerill may be taking a gamble with the team he’s announced, but you never know it could pay off especially if it means he gets to hang on to players like Dougie Fife who might be looking for a way back into the XVs game. That win looks unlikely though.

Fife features in a nearly new back division with only Sam Hidalgo-Clyne having had meaningful experience this season. Phil Burleigh (now Scottish qualified) and James Johnstone make up a new but potentially ball-playing centre pair, while Jason Tovey starts against Jonny Sexton with Duncan Weir rested – or dropped.

Up front, the side is captained by Fraser McKenzie and The Last Loosehead Standing™ Darryl Marfo packs down with young Murray McCallum his backup. Cockerill didn’t fancy giving Ryan Grant a deal and he’s just signed for Glasgow (again). His depleted Edinburgh unit will be taking on Tadgh Furlong and Jack McGrath by the way. Wullie Nel gets a rest and Kevin Bryce joins his brother in the side as the replacement tighthead.

One area of comfort is the back row where Edinburgh can still turn out competitive units, with Ritchie and Hamish “Pinball” Watson the flankers alongside Cornell du Preez.

However they are up against an experienced Leinster pack including an all international front row who, let’s face it, will be confident of a good home win.

They may not have had much in the way of game time this lot, but let’s hope this Edinburgh team can prove a point and come away with a result.

Leinster: J Carbery, F McFadden, R O’Loughlin N Reid, D Kearney, J Sexton (capt), L McGrath; J McGrath, S Cronin, T Furlong, D Toner, S Fardy, R Ruddock, J Murphy, S O’Brien.
Replacements: B Bryne, E Byrne, A Porter, R Molony, M Deegan, J Gibson-Park, R Byrne, J Larmour.

Edinburgh: G Bryce, T Brown, J Johnstone, P Burleigh, D Fife, J Tovey, S Hidalgo-Clyne, D Marfo, S McInally, S Berghan, F McKenzie (capt), G Gilchrist, J Ritchie, H Watson, C du Preez.
Replacements: N Cochrane, M McCallum, K Bryce, A Bresler, J Hardie, N Fowles, B Kinghorn, R Fruean.

Referee: I Davies (WRU)

9 Responses

  1. Smart call by Cockerill. He’ll know after this game who will be in his long term plans. The guys who front up will get contracts renewed.

  2. Ooft, last week looked like a tough gig, but on paper this looks nigh on impossible. Not wishing to sound negative, but it would be quite an a achievement for the boys to just stay in this.

  3. Pack will be scrummed to oblivion I fear, constant penalties and a yellow card or two. Wasn’t expecting much from the Scarlets or this game to be fair (Treviso was a hammer blow), but a serious humping could really hit morale.

  4. Off topic, apologies Ed.

    Quite a few exiles playing over the weekend in England. Looks like Denton is playing at 6 for Worcester. What’s the view on him – in contention for Autumn?

    Think with Edinburgh’s form and not really any stand outs it would be good to know, if anyone has seen much of him and the others and how they are doing.

    A fit Denton and Strauss certainly add to our back row options. Quite like the sound of a Denton, Strauss , Barclay/Hardie back row, if Denton has morphed into a 6.

    1. Denton has played once this season, last weekend and he is ineffective at best. He isn’t cut out for it. Strauss has been Strauss. Cowan has been good considering where Irish are, I’d have him over Denton all week long. Scott’s going well, the Newcastle lads also going well. Reid is crocked. Mitch Eadie playing well.

  5. Great first 10 mins from Embra. Leinster muscling their way back into it and probably deserve the h/t lead. No signs yet of the scrum folding but it’s creaking slightly. Embra dominance at breakdown could swing this in the second half, and the backs look sharper than their opposite numbers. Not out of this yet by any means.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion