The Runner Sports

Richard Cockerill Makes Great Debut With Edinburgh


It was a nice cool late summer evening in Cardiff arms park, perfect conditions for the start of the rugby season. The beautiful evening in Wales set up Richard Cockerill’s Edinburgh to make their debut. While the season is a big list of unknowns, Edinburgh fans were looking for a big start with a win.

Blair Kinghorn had a powerful day

With 99 meters made and a try, Blair Kinghorn had the best-attacking performance of the day. All through the match, Kinghorn was a threat and one step away from breaking loose. Even during Chris Dean’s try, Kinghorn made the assist. The entire Edinburgh team showed an improved vigor over previous seasons in this match alone. Even with the strong attack, the scrum was not worth writing home about. The Cardiff front row made a point to target WP Nel throughout the match, following his return from injury. With this added pressure on Nel, Edinburgh

Even with the strong attack, the scrum was not worth writing home about. The Cardiff front row made a point to target WP Nel throughout the match, following his return from injury. With this added pressure on Nel, Edinburgh conceded a multitude of penalties, especially late in the match.

The Edinburgh defense held Cardiff off

Although finishing barely above Cardiff in tackling percentage, Edinburgh’s work rate was much higher. Although no single player really stood out with tackles (highest to James Ritchie at 14), all locks and back row finished with nine or more tackles, making for a solid performance. The defense was at its most potent late in the match, when Cardiff needed them to weaken. Although the scrum was weak late in the match, the defense prevented Cardiff from taking advantage.

The defensive improvement showed with Cardiff’s territory in the second half (46%) compared to the first half (67%). The defense really tightened down when it was needed and brought home the win for Edinburgh.

Too early to tell, but indications are good

The first match of the season cannot define what the end result for a team will be. Even with that, Edinburgh has definitely worked to improve during the off-season. Last season, Edinburgh only had one away win all year, the season ending match against Glasgow. This is the first win for Edinburgh against Cardiff since 2014. Last season Edinburgh had six matches they lost by seven points or less. In their debut, they took the lead early and never gave it up. The fact that Cardiff did not have the lead for even a single minute at home shows Edinburgh’s improvement.

 

Edinburgh-20

Cardiff-10

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David Bradham

Active duty Navy, have a true passion for Rugby.
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