Everitt: We made it tight for ourselves
Despite claiming a 31-23 victory against Vodacom Bulls – and securing a bonus-point that saw Edinburgh Rugby make it four wins in five to start the new campaign – Senior Coach Sean Everitt felt his side were their own worse enemies at times as the South African side battled back to make it a nervy final 10 minutes at Hive Stadium.
With the Vodacom Bulls down to 14 men for most of the second-half – after captain Marcell Coetzee was shown red for a dangerous tackle on Pierre Schoeman – Edinburgh were able to seize control of the contest with Duhan van der Merwe and Bill Mata running in tries three and four for the capital club.
The visitors fought back in valiant fashion however and when Elrigh Louw crossed the whitewash late on, Edinburgh had to battle for all five points, with a lineout steal from Grant Gilchrist and one-handed turnover from Boan Venter both proving decisive moments in the home win.
Asked whether he felt his side were lucky to hold on for the win, Everitt felt that it was perhaps time that fortune favoured the capital club.
“Luck has to turn at some stage – last year it was going the other way,” explained Everitt.
“We made it tight for ourselves. In the first half we struggled. We lost the breakdown battle – they bullied us there.
“(At half-time) I showed them a video clip of when we got on top of them between minute 35 and 40 when we strung a few phases together and came back into the game. And they responded really well at half-time, and we got those three quick tries in succession.
Everitt continued, “Unfortunately ill-discipline cost us – we put ourselves under pressure and it was quite worrying when they scored their last try.
“It’s always a massive blow when you’ve got to play with 14 men. I thought they fought back really well. You’ve got to give credit to their fight, but at the same time we were probably a little bit naive.”
Alongside witnessing a third home win of the season, Edinburg fans had further reason to cheer as Scotland international and British & Irish Lion, Ali Price, made his Edinburgh Rugby debut after joining on a season-long loan from Glasgow Warriors.
The scrum-half received a fine reception from the Edinburgh faithful, with Price playing 25 minutes in the bonus-point victory.
Everitt continued: “Ali Price came on and he certainly speeded up the game. His kicking was pinpoint and there was an improvement in that department when he came on. I am just happy he got on and got a win in his first game.
“It’s great to have three nines like that because we can give them a break as it is a hell of a workload. So I am just happy we have three quality nines that can challenge each other.
“They can’t play the whole season so when you can rest one, there is a quality guy stepping up and that is what wins you competitions.”