Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


PRO14 Round 3: Edinburgh v Treviso

Richard Cockerill, Edinburgh Head Coach
Edinburgh Head Coach Richard Cockerill - pic © Al Ross/Novantae Photography

2 from 2 at the start of the season?

It certainly looks like things are improving at Edinburgh and Richard Cockerill goes into his second home game looking for another win against an opposition he would hope to beat, in the shape of Benetton Treviso.

If the team is not yet starting to look settled, the first choice squad is, with some rotation going on but a core of players who have started at least 2 out of the 3 games.

Chris Dean has recovered from the knock he took last week against the Dragons with Nathan Fowles the only change to the starting backline.

Up front, the hunt for a settled loosehead prop continues with Michele Rizzo given the nod having impressed some but not all on his debut. Edinburgh have this week signed hooker/prop Cammy Fenton on a 1 year deal as the search for reliable cover – in the absence of three first choice looseheads – goes on.

3 from 3 then?

It certainly looks possible, if they concentrate. Treviso coach Kieran Crowley is missing a swathe of first choice players with some 18 unavailable including Alessandro Zanni, Marty Banks and one time Edinburgh and Highlanders man Nasi Manu.

Edinburgh, who are largely at full strength from shirts 2-15, need to make sure this isn’t a banana skin that makes them wobbly on their feet going into the harder rounds and the early stages of Europe which are not that far off.

So we’ll take it if it is on offer come 80 minutes though, as far tougher games await.

Edinburgh: Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland, Chris Dean, Robbie Fruean, Jason Harries, Duncan Weir, Nathan Fowles; Michele Rizzo, Ross Ford, Simon Berghan, Anton Bresler, Ben Toolis, Magnus Bradbury (capt), John Hardie, Cornell du Preez.
Replacements: Neil Cochrane, Darryl Marfo, WP Nel, Fraser McKenzie, Hamish Watson, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Jason Tovey, Junior Rasolea.

Treviso: Jayden Hayward, Angelo Esposito, Alberto Sgarbi, Tommaso Allan, Tommaso Benvenuti, Ian McKinley, Edoardo Gori; Alberto de Marchi, Engjel Makelara, Tiziano Pasquali, Marco Lazzaroni, Federico Ruzza, Francesco Minto, Braam Steyn, Dean Budd.
Replacements: Federico Zani, Cherif Traore, Simone Pietro Ferrari, Marco Fuser, Marco Barbini, Giorgio Bronzini, Luca Sperandio, Marco Zanon.

Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU)

31 Responses

  1. Oddly, as far as I can see, neither the Glasgow (on S4C) nor the Edinburgh (not on at all) games are available on TV in Scotland this weekend? Does anyone know any different?

    1. Well, no surprise the Edinburgh game wasn’t on. Would you have wanted to watch it this evening?! Clearly the TV channels knew better!

  2. Nope, the S4C coverage of the Glasgow game is it this weekend. Hard to believe, but the Scrum V lot think that the Ospreys or Scarlets are better rugby viewing – saying that, Cardiff have been dire, so it makes sense.

    Italian TV isn’t covering the Edinburgh game either, so there is nothing for the BBC to piggyback on.

    1. The Edinburgh game is at Myreside – BBC shouldn’t need to piggyback off anything. I’m surprised that they’re not even streaming it. No TMO, either.

  3. Treviso showed last week against Ulster that they are no mugs, and were able to compete for the full 80 minutes. I’m sure RC will be drumming it into them, but complacency is not an option, and it will take a committed performance to get the 3rd straight win.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Fruean with a bit more game time under his belt. Up front I’m a bit concerned to see CdP starting. He hasn’t impressed so far this season. I hope this week marks a turn around in fortunes for him.

  4. Putting the economics of live broadcasting aside, if no host broadcaster for a game means that there is no TMO then thats a ridiculous state of affairs and completely undermines the credability of the competition. I find it laughable that the Pro14 themselves haven’t committed to having some sort of video covergae, so that as TeamCam says, games that are deemed ‘undesirable’ for broadcasters, can at the very least be live streamed and players and match officials will be on a level playing field with the other games that weekend in terms of access to TMO.

    With very rare exception (e.g. Dragons vs Connacht this weekend), the common factor in the non televised games are the Italian Teams, which tells you everything you need to know about how highly the broadcast partners of the Pro14 value matches against the Italians. The days of Italian participation in the Pro14 must be coming to a close

    1. Absolutely agree Andy. The ease with which the Scotland U20 games have been televised recently, and the quality at which they are made available, should provide a template for making these games available. With the rise of live streaming through Facebook and Youtube, there really is no excuse anymore.

      Oddly, I actually really enjoy the Italian games – and I tend to pick these to watch with non-club rugby fan mates. I’m all for a tight and tense match, but there’s nothing like an 8 try shellacking over a few beers to draw in a new fan or two!

      1. You’ll be disappointed then!
        On the contrary, I don’t enjoy these games as it irritates intensely when Edinburgh fail either to win convincingly with bonus point or indeed to win at all – as was the case tonight.

  5. Wondering if maybe SRU / Edinburgh have decided not to show it in the hope of boosting the crowd.
    Still like other have said surely a live stream could have been provided.
    Is there no Italian coverage? (would that come under Eurosport?)

    1. Apparently not, the Italian broadcasters have refused to stump up the cash for rights to the games it would seem.

    2. “the agreement will see Eurosport and Eurosport Player show all home games and selected away games featuring Italian teams in the Guinness PRO14” so my guess is this time, no…

      It is on the radio though.

  6. Anyone know what viewing figures the BBC feel they need to justify coverage on Alba? You’d think every game would meet this. Is there any communication between SRU, BBC, clubs, fan groups about games being televised?

  7. So far it looks like Edinburgh’s renaissance was less “re-birth” and more “afterbirth”. Disappointing, yet unsurprising. Hopefully they’ll pull it together, but it’s not sounding likely.

    1. Very poor result especially after going up 14-0 . Maybe should have got a penalty try at the end but overall sounds like all the old mistakes returned .

      1. And this is why cockerill said this is going to be a long project … hopefully he learns which players are not delivering and give them the boot. unacceptable to lose at home and especially to an italian side regardless of wether they are improving or not. really pissed their is no coverage of all games at this stage also, sru should be pushing to get every game a scottish team is in televised.

      2. Still very disappointing, though. I don’t envy Cockers his task. Sisyphean? The thing is, I wouldn’t be surprised if Glasgow lose tomorrow, too…

  8. Have to agree. No TV coverage of either side is abysmal. Minimum should be one, ideally both. Managed to watch Ulster take it to the Scarlets on my iPad, not everyone has that luxury.

    Pro 14 management should be ashamed that they cannot get TV coverage for all games.

  9. Just back from the match, my word that was absolutely woeful.

    The error count was beyond farcical, knock ons, forward passes, restarts. The pass kinghorn atttempted on his own line was crazy, lord knows what he was thinking. Defence was far too passive and looks as if teams have already realised that if you throw it wide against Edinburgh you will find gaps, it was like a hot knife through butter at times.

    Thought Jamie Ritchie was missed this week. Think the first turnover I can Remember was after about 50 mins, we never got involved at the breakdown.

    Positives were du preez who played much better and the scrum was very good as well. Pretty unlucky not to get a penalty try at the end I thought but it would not have been deserved it we had got it.

    1. Good to see comment from someone who was there to watch it. A very dispiriting result against a team we’d expect to beat even though as someone said they’re no mugs. Most disappointing aspect is the defence, sharp and strong against Cardiff, sounds like it’s regressed.
      Agree with others it’s a shocker this was not broadcast on tv or streamed on the web. This is top flight European club rugby – despite what some Anglo-French-centric rugby fans think – and as such it should be shown in some form.
      I’m hoping this was just a bit of a blip in RC’s journey to transform Edinburgh, and expecting the coaching team and squad to respond positively to this setback.

      1. In fairness to Treviso, they are no mugs. Don’t get me wrong if we are progressing as a side we should be taking care of them at home but we won’t be the last side they beat this year on that evidence, given they are missing a whole team basically it was a great effort from them. However, we had total dominance at the scrum and were pushing them back at a rate of knots in the first half. I actually though the scrum was weaker for the addition of WP and marfo even though we were still dominant at it. Given the amount of penalties we won from the scrum it’s completely unimaginable we only scored 17 points In the match, that is a sin really. We butchered so many opportunities.

        Other postives were Berghan who I thought was good in the scrum and the open. Thought hoyland did his best to get in the game as much as possible but was a little isolated out wide.

        Going back to the breakdown, it was apparent we did not slow their ball down at all which is why I thought we missed ritchie as a good a tackler Hardie is, he doesn’t seem to generate that many turnovers. Bradbury was completely anonymous for me I’m afraid, and has been for the last 3 games. Watson didn’t have as much impact from the bench as you would have liked, in fact the bench in general had little impact which is disappointing given the injuries Benetton had and you would think a relatively weak bench.

        Final thought, time to give someone else a chance on the left wing, harries had a poor game for me, too many errors and you get the impression he couldn’t score in a brothel at the moment.

      1. I think you have to give him a few more games to try and find some form given he has put his faith in him as captain. However, firmly believe if your not playing well enough you should not be in the side regardless. If him and CdP can’t step up to the plate this year it’s hard to see where the grunt and heavy ball carrying is going to come from. A worry at this stage I’d say.

      2. I thought Bradbury was excellent against Cardiff – really asserted himself as a key carrier and looked desperate to prove himself – but melted away a bit against Dragons. Didn’t see the Treviso game.

        Personally, I would have made Ritchie captain at the start of the season instead of him. Bradbury has played very well in the last year and has the potential to be a great player but his demeanour just doesn’t strike me as what Edinburgh need as captain. He just seems too quiet and nice. Ritchie on the other hand looks like he has just the right amount of niggle and grit, especially for a team coached by Cockerill. Plus he has the added bonus of captaining Scotland at almost every junior level.

        I’d give Bradbury a few more games to prove himself since obviously Cockerill knows a lot more about this than us but complacency for starting spots has been an issue for this Edinburgh team in the past and if they aren’t playing well enough, players should be dropped.

      3. Yeah it was interesting when I suggested a Barclay/Hardie/Ashe back row for the autumn on Twitter how many felt Bradbury should play 8. I’ve high hopes for him but I don’t think he’s been consistent enough yet. Ashe has had similar problems with consistency but his largely centre around fitness and hopefully that’s in the past for him. We could certainly use some options at 8, as discussed ad nauseam.

  10. Hopefully that ends the calls for certain Edinburgh players to be handed Scotland caps this autumn. Kinghorn is a long way from being someone you can rely on to play international full back and Bradbury’s main claim seems to come down to the fact that he looks like a rugby player rather than actually playing like one.

    It’s early days for both guys but if Scotland are to continue to improve every cap must earned. The days of being a regular starter for a pro side equating to a Scotland cap are over.

  11. Hi, although a very disappointing result, congratulations to Treviso(Benetton).just wondering if maybe this performance and the previous game against Ulster last week with both having (never give up) attitude, might have something to do with a certain Mr O’Shea’s influence on Italian rugby, I hope so as a strong Italian rugby presence will benefit the Pro14 for all the clubs. maybe Richard Cockerill slightly underestimated the opposition today(Friday), lessons to be learnt here all round,hope Glasgow put in a good professional performance today and come away with the points.

    1. I doubt Cockerill underestimated them but the Edinburgh players certainly did. Cockerill accused them of thinking they’d breeze through the game after going 14-0 up. Well they’re back down to earth now, as are we. We’ll see how much impact the new coach has had in how the squad responds to this in the next two v tough games.

  12. Definitely a wake up call. I honestly think Benetton are improving. However still a disappointing result. Hope Glasgow win tonight. It will be tough but fancy them to do it

  13. For the more informed – What is Jason Baggott like?

    It’s mental that Glasgow have Russell, Horne, Jackson, Thompson

    I haven’t changed my view that Weir & Tovey simply aren’t good enough…..

    1. Dont forget Hastings. I think Jackson has been sent to Glasgow as a 15 but still I agree with you, he is of more value to Scottish rugby at 10 and playing 10. Weir is fine at domestic level but some players just find their peak and his is domestic. He is not cut out for international. Russell is our only 10 who is, Horne probably his understudy at Scotland. Hastings could be but having seen a lot of him at Bath I’d say if he carried a different surname we would not be discussing him the way we do. Heathcote is a starting 10 at Warriors at the moment so he must be another option. We have a lot of decent professional standard 10’s but only 1 international standard 10.

  14. A real problem was the lack of clear thinking in the last ten minutes. As Treviso conceded penalty after penalty all we did was kick to corner or take another scrum. The maul had not worked all night so what was the thinking doing it a third time? It was clear that although the ref was going to ping Treviso he was not going to give a penalty try. (also I think that’s just a very negative way to play rugby) In the meantime the clock ticked on and on and they never called for the kicking tee. If they had done so with 7 minutes to go it would have been all square and they could have won with another penalty.
    Or they could have let the backs (who were 7 against 5 by the end) actually have the ball out of one the scrums?

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