Press Pass: Everitt ahead of Benetton
Get the latest from Senior Coach Sean Everitt as he spoke with media in the build-up to Friday night’s BKT United Rugby Championship match against Benetton Rugby at Hive Stadium (24 November, kick-off 7.35pm).
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On whether four wins from five have exceeded his expectations
“Not really with the group that we have and the preparation that they had prior to my arrival.
“There were a couple of things that we needed to sort out and I’m sure you’ll have noticed that game management was one of them and the guys are managing the game a hell of a lot better than they did.
“And I think it shows that they want to learn and they want to get better – they’ve certainly shown that although the results have been tight at the end. Hopefully that will help us later on in the competition when you get to knockout stages – if we make it there.
“But there has been a lot of learning. I just heard Jamie chatting earlier: he said it’s a lot easier to learn when you’re winning than when you’re losing, and I think that’s the most important thing, that they get into the habit of winning.”
On the current standings of the Championship
“Hopefully it doesn’t change. I’ve said it before – the disappointment of the World Cup would have added motivation to the players that are playing in the two franchises, no doubt.
“That often happens: if a team does well in the World Cup, often those players come back with a bit of complacency. These guys have come home and they really want to feel part of a family and they want to taste a bit of success after the failure in the World Cup.
“And they’re doing a tremendous job. Each and every one of the internationals that have come back have been worth their weight in gold.
“So, it’s really pleasing that they have that attitude towards Edinburgh, and that matches what the club needs to be about.”
On Darcy Graham’s return to play
“At this stage it’s doubtful for Ulster. We’re not sure. If it’s not Ulster, it’ll definitely be Clermont [8 Dec].”
On Glasgow’s run of form
“They’ve done really well. They’ve got a way of getting the ball over the try-line. They did that on Saturday night: quick throw-ins, quick taps, turnovers, tackle busts – they’re good at that.
“They’re playing well at the moment, we’ve got to give them that. And they’ve got a strong maul so they’re always going to be a threat to Edinburgh. They’re a threat in the competition and they did well to get to the European final last year.”
On his relationship with Franco Smith
“Franco and I go back a long way. He was at the Cheetahs many years ago. I remember him as a player and coaching against him when he played against one of the local clubs in Durban.
“We have chatted a couple of times since I’ve been here. He’s doing a good job at Glasgow and, as you can see, he had a major impact when he came.
“He was involved as a consultant with the Springboks at one stage and he was a front-runner for the coaching position there, so he’s a well-respected coach and done incredibly well.”
On selection at scrum-half between Vellacott and Price
“And Charlie Shiel played well. It is tricky. It’s about balancing it and making sure you’re giving everyone time in the saddle because you can’t come in cold when you’re needed.
“Fortunately, we’ve got three nines who can fill the role here and start at any stage.
“When we get to the two Glasgow games we’ll probably show our hand on what our form side will be, what our championship side will look like.
“But it’s good to be able to swap around and rotate like we have. So Ali will get a start sooner rather than later.”
On Hamish Watson’s return to play
“Hamish is back on the training field this week. He’ll be involved in the team training later on, on Thursday, then he’ll prepare well with us on Friday morning with the non-23, and then he’ll be in full training next week and up for selection against Ulster.”