Blair: We controlled things really well

Blair: We controlled things really well

Head Coach Mike Blair praised the efforts of his side last night as Edinburgh Rugby scored nine tries to secure a bonus-point 53-8 win against Scottish x Italian Shield rivals Benetton.

Leading 12-3 at the break, the hosts raised the intensity in the second-half, scoring six tries in a 29 minute period of domination to put the Italian club to the sword.

“We controlled territory in that first half as well as you can into the wind,” said Blair.

“Then when we got points after half time it gave us some impetus and we were able to stay on top of Benetton after that.

“They made a few changes from last week but they had quality players and an international front row, so they still had a strong team and still needed putting away but our energy and intent was better tonight.

“It is a decent 12,14 point wind and when we gave away the first three points in the first few minutes I thought we had given them an extra three points to start with.

“Then after we controlled things really well and we controlled our kicking game, although I wanted a bit more out of that.”

With a number of players putting their hand up for the Player of the Match award – which would eventually go to Nick Haining – there was a brilliant mix of skill, grunt and effort on show from the entire squad.

Making his returning to the club, winger Duhan van der Merwe grabbed a memorable brace in all action performance that had DAM Health Stadium on its feet.

Blair continued: “Duhan got a bit of ball and was shrugging guys off in the first half but not getting anywhere.

“He was boxed into a hole at times but once he got a little bit of space he showed what he can do.”

The bonus-point win stops a three-game slide for Edinburgh who has lost a trio of fixtures to South African opposition.

Mike Blair’s side move up to 9th position in the overall BKT URC standings with an away trip to Zebre Parma up next.

“We had a quality side out and the expectation on us is to do well,” continued Blair.

“We focus on the privilege of playing, the enjoyment of playing in front of our fans and show them what we can do and not worry that we have to win.

“I want us to enjoy being out here, enjoy each other’s company and working hard for each other and winning games.

“Part of the enjoyment is going into the dressing room feeling we have been ruthless and not taken the foot off the throat. I was pleased with that.”

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