Scarlets v Edinburgh: capital trio ruled out of key Challenge Cup clash

Darcy Graham is a doubt for Friday night's Pool 3 decider at Scarlets

Robin Hislop will be out for some time with a knee injury, according to Edinburgh coach Sean Everitt.
Robin Hislop will be out for some time with a knee injury, according to Edinburgh coach Sean Everitt. Image: © Craig Watson.

ROBIN HISLOP is set to face a long spell on the sidelines as a result of the injury he sustained playing for Edinburgh against Gloucester on Saturday, according to head coach Sean Everitt. The loosehead prop had not long come off the bench when he had to go off again after damaging a knee. Centre Mark Bennett and winger Wes Goosen will also miss Friday night’s decisive Pool 3 game at Scarlets, but they look set to return more quickly.

“Robin Hislop’s knee injury definitely looks like a long-term one, but we haven’t had the results back from his MRI yet,” Everitt said earlier today [Monday]. “Wes and Mark had their MRIs this morning: they won’t be available [on Friday], but we still don’t know the extent of their injuries.”

Darcy Graham is a doubt with a minor problem, but his fellow-winger Duhan van der Merwe will be back after being allowed to miss out last week in order to attend his twin sister’s wedding in South Africa. “Darcy got a quad niggle early in the game – I saw him go down,” Everitt added.

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“He struggled a bit through the 80 minutes, and he’s also a guy that’s under examination at the moment. We’ll have a clear outcome of that tonight. It’s just short-term. 

Harry Paterson will be involved on Friday. Whether he starts or is on the bench depends on the outcome with Darcy.”

Paterson was a replacement on Saturday and was pressed into action after only five minutes because of the injury to Goosen. He can play at full-back or on the wing, but is likely to play in the latter position, with Emiliano Boffelli again taking the No 15 jersey.

The bonus point Edinburgh picked up in their 21-20  defeat by Gloucester means that their destiny remains in their own hands. If they beat Scarlets with a bonus point they will  be guaranteed a top-four finish in the pool, and therefore a place in the last 16 of the competition. That would be enough for them to finish ahead of Black Lion, who are a point behind them in fifth place at present, and Scarlets, who are bottom of the pool and out of the running.

“This team needs to win on Friday,” Everitt added. “We know that we’re good enough, and it’s about us concentrating on our performance and not worrying about the outcome.”  

Edinburgh would have gone into this final weekend of pool action with a greater margin of safety if they had held on to beat Gloucester after going 20-14 up with just over ten minutes to play. “Saturday brought back memories of the Benetton game, when we did everything to win except on the scoreboard,” Everitt reflected. “I think it’s those soft moments that are hurting us. For me it’s just a little bit frustrating.

“When we attacked, we attacked well. That for me is the frustrating thing – this team has got so much more to offer.”

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About Stuart Bathgate 1436 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.