Cruse in control against Castres
Hooker Tom Cruse wasn’t expecting to play almost 80 minutes in Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup win against Castres, but when Stuart McInally was forced off for HIA after just three minutes the former Wasps front-row stepped up to the plate with a monumental shift at the coal face.
“That wasn’t quite what I was expecting when I woke up this morning,” laughed Cruse.
“It was a great game to be involved in. Sometimes when you least expect it, it is the best thing to just throw yourself in and just get involved in. I am happy with that.”
Cruse played a pivotal role in the victory, hitting his lineouts while providing a calm and assured option in the loose where he carried with determined accuracy all afternoon.
“We had some key moments in defence. One just before half time. If we concede the game might have been quite different. We were left frustrated at times.
“We felt we could have managed the game a little bit better. We let them back into the game with our decision making but the character we showed throughout the game was good and we dealt with the momentum swings pretty well.”
Cruse has made the move north after leaving his Wasps contract when the Midlands side entered administration.
The hooker has been a great addition to the capital squad so far and counts himself as one of the ‘lucky ones’ having picked up a deal as soon as leaving his Wasps contract.
“It is very different here but sometimes that is a good thing. Different perspective, different coaches, different voices. I am really enjoying it, keeping my head down just now and luckily getting some game time as well.
“It was really tough [leaving Wasps]. I sometimes catch myself getting that feeling when it is like, ‘am i going back or not?’ It is the reality and that now I am in this circle at this club I would not want to be anywhere else. It has been amazing so far.
“I am very much one of the lucky ones. I have mates back home who haven’t got clubs and it is very difficult but the guys from Wasps are a tight knit group and we still stay in contact with each other. That is what rugby is all about, isn’t it?
“Rugby is the same wherever you go but the subtleties are different . Mike coaches really well and he is detailed in his approach.
“It is a different conversion, way of looking at things and it is a nice change, and one i am enjoying and I am looking to get better and being around new coaches will help that.”
Cruse is now in the mix to face Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun in what would be his first taste of 1872 Cup derby action.
Edinburgh travel to face the Warriors in the opening leg this Friday night (23 December, kick-off 7.35pm), before hosting Glasgow in the return leg at BT Murrayfield on Friday 30 December.
“After five points at home against Castres in the Champions Cup the Glasgow game still got a mention in the circle afterwards. I hear they are amazing games to play in and hopefully I can be involved over the next couple of weeks.”