URC: Edinburgh’s season ends on flat note with heavy defeat away to Benetton

Capital side miss out on both this season's league play-offs and next season's Champions Cup

Edinburgh head coach Sean Everitt said the away dressing room was "frustrated and angry" after heavy defeat to Benetton. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Edinburgh head coach Sean Everitt said the away dressing room was "frustrated and angry" after heavy defeat to Benetton. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Benetton 31

Edinburgh 6

ALASDAIR MACKENZIE @ Stadio Monigio

HEAD coach Sean Everitt described the Edinburgh dressing room as a “frustrated and angry” place after a thrashing at the hands of Benetton cost them a URC playoff spot on the final day of the season.

The Scots were outplayed in Treviso and collapsed in the final quarter as they shipped five tries in a 31-6 defeat on a day that had been billed as a “cup final” by Everitt before the match.

A first victory at the Stadio Monigo for seven years would have earned Edinburgh a place in next season’s Champions Cup as well as a play-off quarter-final spot, but they were left with neither as the Lions picked up a losing bonus point against the Stormers to nudge Everitt’s side out of the top eight altogether.


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“There is frustration and anger,” said Everitt. “This is a good test of how close our group is. We’re going to go through some adversity now, we’re going to have to pick ourselves up and come back next season to go again.

“We did well enough to put ourselves in this position, but this game sums up our performances: when we get opportunities, we don’t finish them.”

Edinburgh’s performance was riddled with errors, while the attack failed to fire a shot and the defence disintegrated on a hot afternoon in the north-east of Italy.

Captain Grant Gilchrist spoke candidly before the match about how “we see not making the top eight as a failure,” but Everitt was more positive about the 2023-24 campaign as a whole despite its abrupt end.

“We’ve got to look at the growth the team has made. There has been growth in certain areas, otherwise we wouldn’t have won 11 games,” he said.

“But there are obviously areas that are a concern for me. We need to work hard on our attack to get some flow going.

“To be fair to the players, with me coming late – and that’s not an excuse – you tend to want to put your defence and kicking game in place, so I’ll take some responsibility for that.

“But our attack initially was really good and it’s something we need to work on for next season. We’ve put in some good foundation work and I see that as growth.”

With three sides – Edinburgh, Benetton and the Lions – locked on 49 points ahead of kick-off, the pre-match permutations were enough to cause a headache, but one thing was clear: a place in the playoffs awaited the winner in Italy.

Everitt made four changes to his side after the agonising narrow defeat to Munster a fortnight earlier, with flanker Luke Crosbie making his 100th Edinburgh appearance in place of the benched Hamish Watson.

The back division saw greater changes as scrum-half Ali Price, centre Chris Dean and wing Jake Henry were drafted into a makeshift line-up, with James Lang moved to No 15 in the absence of injured back-three men Wes Goosen, Emiliano Boffelli, Darcy Graham and Harry Paterson.

 

 

The visitors couldn’t have hoped for a more auspicious start, as Benetton flanker Alessandro Izakor was sent to the sin-bin before a minute had passed, but they couldn’t take advantage from the resulting five-metre line-out as they were penalised for sloppily entering the maul from the side.

Handling errors quickly became something of a feature of Edinburgh’s game, and one led to a breakaway try when James Lang fumbled a box kick and the loose ball was gobbled up, Juan Ignacio Brex carrying hard to swallow up the metres before offloading to Ignacio Mendy out wide for the opening score.

Some impressive defence helped Edinburgh survive any further damage in a ferocious start from the hosts in a sizzling atmosphere, and they wrestled back control and went in front through the boot of Ben Healy with two penalties in three minutes.

The lead didn’t last long as Onisi Ratave pounced on Matt Currie’s drop to scoop up the ball and run in his side’s second try from inside his own half, Rhyno Smith’s conversion giving Benetton a 12-6 half-time lead.

With the Lions leading at the break in South Africa, it was clearer than ever that Edinburgh required a big second half response, but instead it was the Italians who came out firing at the restart.

Thomas Gallo’s barnstorming finish was ruled out for a double movement in an early warning, while Edinburgh were clinging on when Brex’s knock-on gave them relief with the hosts mere metres from the try-line.

But as the substitutes rolled on, Edinburgh’s resistance collapsed, Tomas Albornoz weaving a line through the disorientated defence to go under the posts and leave Everitt’s men with a mountain to climb.

There was a comeback story to report, but not the one the travelling fans had hoped for.

Izakor, who had put his side on the back foot so early in the game, was the late-match hero as he powered over the line from close quarters to seal the bonus point before adding a second to his tally to further enliven a jubilant crowd and leave Everitt to reflect on familiar questions about mental fragility over the season.

“We’ll rue some points along the way. Benetton at home is a game we should have won and should have won handsomely. That’s come home to roost,” said the coach.

“But we beat Ulster away from home, we beat the Bulls and Lions at home and there have been some really good performances along the way.

“Those are the improvements we will look at. If you look at the team as a whole, it was never short of effort, but at times our skill errors let us down.”

 

Teams –

Benetton: R Smith, I Mendy, T Menoncello, I Brex (M Zanon 70), O Ratave (J Umaga 73), T Albornoz, A Uren (A Garbisi 63); T Gallo (M Spagnolo 55), G Nicotera (G Lucchesi 36), S Ferrari (G Zilocchi 55), N Cannone (E Iachizzi 55), E Snyman, A Izekor, M Lamaro, T Halafihi (L Cannone 51)

Edinburgh: J Lang, J Henry, M Currie, C Dean (M Bennett 63), D Van der Merwe, B Healy (C Scott 63), A Price (B Vellacott 63); P Schoeman (B Venter 57), E Ashman (D Cherry 57), WP Nel (J Sebastian 57), S Skinner (m Sykes 57), G Gilchrist, J Ritchie, L Crosbie (H Watson 62), V Mata

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)

 

Scorers –

Benetton Treviso: Tries: Mendy, Ratave, Albornoz, Izekor 2; Cons: Smith 3.

Edinburgh: Pens: Healy 2.

Scoring sequence (Benetton first): 5-0; 5-3; 5-6; 10-6; 12-6 (h-t) 17-6; 19-6; 24-6; 26-6; 31-6.

 

Yellow cards –

Benetton: Izekor (1 mins)


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59 Comments

  1. Further thoughts on the Edinburgh situation as its probably the last thread till next season. An interesting article from Mark Palmer in the Times today very much in line with many of the comments on this site about the underperformance but perhaps more gently stated. One area he covers is the player salary budget – suggesting £8m which is well above the English Premiership at £5m + 2 marquee players. I know this was previously covered in this site when the annual accounts came out. This makes the situation even more worrying as its not as if were short of cash but it would appear we are paying our players big salaries. Many of the English clubs have better squads than us for less money. Benetton apparently only have 2/3rds of the money Edinburgh and Glasgow have yet they manage to have an exciting mix of home grown talent and quite a few good overseas players for a lower budget.

    Something is wrong here – we seem to be paying inflated salaries for mostly SQ players who are underperforming and other teams are paying less for more.

  2. This really is a dreadful end to a dreadful season.
    The supporters are now waiting for an apology from the club, for having to endure this , and having to watch “challenge cup” again next season.

    • This stinks of entitlement, why would you of anyone be due an apology.
      Edinburgh won more games this year than last and were in the playoff hunt until the last game. In black and white that’s an improvement.
      Yeh it’s been poor to watch, yes with the squad they have they should be doing better (the same could be said of Benetton and The Sharks), yes at times its looked like to plan and yeh the players haven’t appeared up for it.
      A certain group of Edinburgh fans have never shaken this sense of entitlement that they deserve better. Unfortunately that mindset may be what is holding the players back, they don’t seem to up for the fight.

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  3. I was so “frustrated and angry” I switched the tv off long before the end of the game. The anger and frustration is evident from the comments here too and the solution does appear to be a new coach. Even if Glasgow’s performance at the weekend was also frustrating to watch, the rejuvenation of a lot of the squad with a focussed fitness programme is testament to a more methodical approach from Franco Smith than has been evident at Edinburgh for some time.

    Perhaps there is too much interference from the national coach, as Price’s limitations have been all too clear for a long time, yet the likes of Shiel rarely get a chance to show what they can do. Healy is not the only problem in the backs, but he’s not good enough to build a team around either. Whether or not Thompson offers the key to unlocking back play remains to be seen. More of the same will not do.

    Good luck to anyone trying to sell season tickets for the Hive.

  4. O my … what a frustrating end to a season that promised so much .. yes we won games but the attacking edge was never quite there .. Healy playing 80 mins every week but no plan B and maybe RT can provide that .. attack strategy off (attack coach) and attack on pitch needs complete revamp ..leadership on the pitch key .. might need more than Tuipolotu .. could worse than get Hutchinson up from Northampton where he is out of favour but a class attacking act

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  5. I have been saying it all season that Edinburgh are not given any of the squad a chance and the most entertaining game I saw was Edinburgh A play Southern Knights.

    I do not know who coached the A Team but they played fantastic attacking rugby and kicking was the last option. The set piece was totally dominant with strike moves off scrum and line out and we attacked with real pace and quick hands.

    Why have we not seen more of these players as Shiel was great with a real running threat and Finn Douglas was deadly. In the forwards Muncaster and Dodd were real standouts involved in everything and Rae was very strong in the scrum and very physical at the breakdowns.

    In stead it has been the same old team playing the same old way and they have been so far off it but never any changes by a coach out of depth no doubt he was a cheap option and he got his contract extended wtf is gooing on.

    That was a team full of seasoned internationalists and they played like they had met in the car park and were told to keep it simple just kick and chase. We could not even do that!!!

    Too many players are in a comfort zone including but not limited to Sebastian who appears not fit enough and that was a Scotland pack plus Mata. We do not have a dominant pack and we have a shockingly bad back division and are we expecting this to change with Tuipulotu, brother who has only played 5 pro games but been signed for 125k a year.

    Total embarassment and as Laurel and Hardy would say ” another fine mess we have gotten into”

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    • Can’t recall any silly 50/50 ball kicks in the A game.. super to watch as I recall, with a very young backs line up mainly in the second half, although naturally on here people were moaning about that aswell 🤷‍♂️👍

    • Alan you can’t compare the A games it’s miles away from URC. Sheila especially is an experienced pro, who is a great example if how poor the system is 26, never cut it at pro level should have been moved on and next youngest given a chance. Rae in the same boat a journeyman pro just been given a new contract.
      Big player clearout needed
      I do agree with back 3 injuries its poor we haven’t seen an academy player come in, obviously no confidence from coaches.

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    • Interesting fact that the very deadly Fin douglas , would appear to have been released from Edinburgh based on a post last week
      You couldn’t make it up one of the very few with out and our flair GIVEN THE CHANCE TO PLAY ON THE FRONT FOOT is surplus to requirements
      Reminds you of last year with Tait Smeton and brown being discarded to England and france ,

  6. A few years ago you would look at Edinburgh’s half-back/centre combinations and see, for example, Hart-Bezuidenhout-Strauss-Beard. You’d think, ‘No wonder our attack is terrible, who are these mediocre imports and why are they here?

    Now the same positions are filled mainly by Scotland internationals and the attack seems to somehow be even worse!

    Something needs to change, and right away. Surely the coaching line-up cannot remain as it is?

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  7. According to Edinburgh Rugby,when he was appointed,Sean Everitt was described as an outstanding attack and backline coach, bringing a wealth of experience to Edinburgh Rugby.Guess we’ve yet to see it. With the players available, this, and other performances, are nowhere near the standard required, or acceptable.

  8. Is part of the problem not Townsend’s previous interference at Edinburgh, mucking Kinghorn by having to play at Stand off ? This papered over Edinburgh’s desperate need for a quality stand-off. The Toulouse coaching team clearly have the intelligence to recognise Kinghorn’s abilities and use them in the correct position within the team. Will GT get the message, assuming he survives his own postmortem report on the 6 Nations ? Healy is not entirely guiltless but is he simply following the Coach’s script ? Would another quality coach, say from NZ, make a difference or is it simply a case of trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear ?

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  9. Is part of the problem not Townsend’s previous interference at Edinburgh, mucking Kinghorn by having to play at Stand off ? This papered over Edinburgh’s desperate need for a quality stand-off. The Toulouse coaching team clearly have the intelligence to recognise Kinghorn’s abilities and use them in the correct position within the team. Will GT get the message, assuming he survives his own postmortem report on the 6 Nations ? Healy is not entirely guiltless but is he simply following the Coach’s script ? Would another quality coach, say from NZ, make a difference or is it simply a case of trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear ?

  10. Edinburgh were deservedly taken to the cleaners and yet again they looked like a team considerably less than the sum of their parts. If they had gone to Loftus they’d have got crucified, so probably not a bad thing. No team really wants to play in Europe’s also-rans competition, but that is their destiny once again. Absences in the back three does not explain the countless basic errors that left me tearing my hair out with frustration, while the number of times Ally Price kicked possession away defied belief. Clearly the Italians weren’t going to drop it, but on and on he went. Both the Italian teams are getting much better and both of them took the Scottish teams’ pants down in their own way this weekend. The gap will continue to close, while their U20s look very handy and are certainly a distance better than ours. Sobering thought for the future.

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  11. Asssitant Skills and Attack Coach not up to the job.
    Couldn’t manage the u20s or Edinburgh Academy lads immediately prior to this role yet promoted to this.
    No trust in their young players, this time back 3, who the same coach was responsible for developing in previous years.
    Why do SRU constantly shuffle the same people around various roles, failing in each one as they go?

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    • Couldn’t agree more promoting all BC boys from his previous jobs .. at the expense of youth and potetial just look at the recent sighnings ..
      Box kicking and tactical plans has never changed from Melrose , SK now Edinburgh
      And as for the academy !!!! I won’t even go there

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  12. In general, I think the idea that the backs are Edinburgh’s attacking problem is fundamentally flawed. The idea that it is Healy in particular that is the problem is ridiculous.

    For me, the problem is the other way round. The backs are Edinburgh’s defensive weakness and the forwards are their attacking weakness.

    Edinburgh’s pack with possession is woeful. How many times have we seen anybody other than Mata carry for more than a couple of yards this season? How often have we gone through phases losing momentum with every recycle until there are no forwards on their feet to carry again. How often have they messed up when they are 5 metres or less from their opponent’s line (whether line out or phase play)?

    There is a reason why our 9’s kick so much and it is not about tactics. It is because, far too often, there is no other sensible option. I watch the Glasgow (and other teams’) pack dynamically take the ball into contact, clear out aggressively and put the ball on a plate for the 9 all the time. Edinburgh go into contact passively and the ball presentation is a mess time and again because we are not driving the defence off the ball aggressively.

    As a result, Healy rarely gets the ball when the defence is disorganised or on the back foot. Nobody ever claimed he was a Finn Russell that can create something from nothing but, even with the limited opportunities his pack and 9 have given him, he has shown the ability to pass wide, to draw and offload and to see and execute attacking kick options. Give the guy a break; the things that are largely in his control he has done very well with very few mistakes all season.

    When we have a full strength back three, that game can suit us because we have amazing running threats from deep but without Darcy, Boff, Patterson and, now, Goosen that source of attacking ball has been largely missing since early in the season.

    Good servants as they have been, Gilchrist and Skinner are simply nowhere near the level of their second row peers in other URC teams. In this day and age, locks can’t just be set piece and defensive bulwarks, they have to be attacking dynamos too.

    Mosese may well give Edinburgh a better go-forward option in midfield next season but, unless our forwards get their act together, I fear this will have limited impact.

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    • So Garry let me get this right. The backs are actually pretty good but the forwards are rubbish and if only they provided quicker ball the backs would run riot. I know nothing is ever as simple and the forwards are by no means perfect and your points about ball presentation and speed of delivery are valid. However the forwards have generally provided the platform for most of our wins with Healy kicking the penalties. I would love to see more dynamism from the forwards as well but if you really think the backs are half decent you’re watching a different Edinburgh from me. Its clearly not just Healy but he has been underwhelming outside of his kicking and the rest of the backs just dont look dangerous. Even VdM barely makes any ground and usually runs into people. I though Henry looked the best of our backs yesterday which is at least some encouragement.

      • I didn’t say they were ‘good’ I said they weren’t the main attacking problem. What I am saying is that it is just not as black and white as some are making out.

        I agree about DVDM. I think he is carrying an injury and is only playing because we are so threadbare in the back 3. He has looked very hesitant since the 6Ns.

        Your point about Henry kind of sums things up. He is a talent, for sure, but his defence was atrocious. He was not alone in that regard. Healy and DVDM tackle technique is terrible at times, Chris Dean being torched on the outside, huge holes in the midfield when the play breaks up.

  13. What a surprise. Scottish rugby is a house built on sand . No thought given to the grassroots a classic example of which is the slow death of small village size clubs such as Walkerburn. Last week at their possibly final sevens tournament the emotional support from real rugby fans was stirring and until we can get that back in the higher echelons of the game Scottish rugby is going nowhere.
    In contrast to Walkerburn the Southern Knights bowed out at home in front of the proverbial ‘three men and a dog’! In the Scottish Borders rughy has always been the game of the people and the demise of the old district championship as the next highest level after the national team has sucked the heart and soul from our game.

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    • and therein lies the problem with the state of rugby governance in the smaller countries, which we are seeing played out across the globe. Traditionalist (amateur-era) vs Modernist (professional-era).

      One country has embraced Modernism – Ireland. Other country’s structures still hark back to the days of amateur rugby – Wales, New Zealand and Scotland.

      Which countries have increasing revenue and playing numbers and which are declining? I’ll let you do the research.

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    • Aw come on Colin, Walkerburn demise is nothing to do with SRU funding and everything to do with the fact its a tiny village that doesn’t have population to sustain a player group. That’s not the SRU fault, it’s social demographics and no amount of SRU money fixes that. Also not helped when the team less than 10miles down the road has one of the best youth set ups in the counry.

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  14. What a surprise. Scottish rugby is a house built on sand . No thought given to the grassroots a classic example of which is the slow death of small village size clubs such as Walkerburn. Last week at their possibly final sevens tournament the emotional support from real rugby fans was stirring and until we can get that back in the higher echelons of the game Scottish rugby is going nowhere.
    In contrast to Walkerburn the Southern Knights bowed out at home in front of the proverbial ‘three men and a dog’! In the Scottish Borders rughy has always been the game of the people and the demise of the old district championship as the next highest level after the national team has sucked the heart and soul from our game.

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  15. What a surprise. Scottish rugby is a house built on sand . No thought given to the grassroots a classic example of which is the slow death of small village size clubs such as Walkerburn. Last week at their possibly final sevens tournament the emotional support from real rugby fans was stirring and until we can get that back in the higher echelons of the game Scottish rugby is going nowhere.
    In contrast to Walkerburn the Southern Knights bowed out at home in front of the proverbial ‘three men and a dog’! In the Scottish Borders rughy has always been the game of the people and the demise of the old district championship as the next highest level after the national team has sucked the heart and soul from our game.

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  16. I feel it easy to blame healy.Why, because he’s come from Ireland? I think he plays the way he’s told to and is competent. I think we lack a credible midfield and either they are not taught how to open up defences or are just not up to it. Even with a potentially potent back 3 of darcy, bofelli n vdm unless we get the ball to them we are stuffed. New centres new attack coach thanks.

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    • It’s easy to criticise Healy because he’s dreadful. He might be a nice lad but 10 to him is like a rubik cube to Stevie Wonder and trying to blame players outside him is desperate and insulting

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      • Iain and Rugby fan – there you have it, the conflict that’s been going on in my head this season.
        Is it tactics / unsuitable teammates OR
        Is Healy not as good as we thought.
        As I stated previously I have given Healy leeway but as the main playmaker he must bear some of the culpability of the back cringeworthy clunkiness.
        Yesterday (and for much of the season) it’s been a hard watch, furthermore it appears that box kicks are the default option.
        M.Tuipulotu should help matters somewhat. Currie at 13 too.
        I hope Thompson gets game time in the summer and starts the season as a real option at 10.

        • Rugby Fan. Healy started for Munster in their semi win over Leinster last year and is a big part of why Edinburgh won more games this year than last. He’s no Finn Russell and Edinburgh back arent setting the world on fire that doesn’t mean he’s dreadful. Edinburgh appear to have no attacking plan yet but again that’s not his fault.

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    • Iain – Ridiculous to suggest we are blaming Healy because he’s Irish. I dont care where he comes from – he’s judged on his merits. I have watched every Edinburgh game this season and had hoped he would turn out to be a great signing. As I stated in my earlier posting he looks very awkward as a stand-off and that is nothing to do with the tactics he is asked to play. Tactics are a separate issue which I agree are very limited and need expanded but stand-off is key to all you’re back moves and style you play and I fear he just doesnt have it.

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    • The number of Box kicks, the few times the ball is spun wide, speaks to coaching if the half backs are coached to do this they have no option. Even Healy hardly ever gets the ball the 9’s box kick incessantly. And yes when he does he invariably also kicks it. The Attack coach is Sean Everitt it is one of his chosen roles, the assistant attack coach is Rob Chrystie.

  17. The individual with coaching responsibilities for the attack needs to be named and sacked. Edinburgh fans pay good money but year on year professional players do not perform and are unable to do the basics. Where is the accountability? What if any sanctions will be applied to those who shamed the club by failing to perform to an acceptable level? With 2 British Lions and at least 2 former Scottish captains starting the players need to come out and apologise to the supporters.

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  18. The difference were the backs – everytime Benneton spun it out wide they looked like they might score. Edinburgh never spun it wide… Do we hold the record fore the most box kicks in a season? That has to be coaching. The backs can’t do great stuff if they never get the ball. This summed up the season zero attacking flair forwards did well but not enough.
    Time for a rethink time to give our 9 and 10 the freedom to get the backs moving most of all time for a really good imaginative attack coach. And please can someone help all the Scotland teams learn how to play against a blitz defence. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow this weekend looked woeful.

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  19. Over the last few years I have found watching Edinburgh play to be a strangely dispiriting and depressing spectacle. As a Glasgow fan I don’t expect to be quite as emotionally invested in Edinburgh games as when the Warriors play, but as a Scottish rugby fan who really wants both teams to do well I do expect to have my emotions stirred at times and to be entertained. Unfortunately, what I see is a clunky, disjointed team with no fluidity at all. Edinburgh have a decent squad of players with lots of internationals, they should be better than this, but under various head coaches they have underperformed. A brief flurry of fun under Blair was nice to watch, pity they were so easy to beat! What’s the answer? Change the coach again? I’ve no idea, but please Edinburgh, for the good of Scottish rugby, get your act together and put a decent side onto the park.

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  20. This match was a real insight into what’s all wrong about Scottish professional rugby.
    Embarrassingly Edinburgh were not remotely in the game, and only looked like loosing heavily.
    If there is an attack coach within the Edinburgh coaching team, I’ve got to ask how he earns his annual salary or is he/she brow beaten into turning out this turgid kicking form of rugby that I do not recognise.
    The SRU would do well to go cap in hand to the Italian rugby federation and ask them how in a few short years they’ve turned around there national team, their u20’s and Benetton, alongside a player base similar to Scotland’s.
    I also put Zebre in this question because they took Glasgow to the wire and had absolutely nothing to play for except pride, singularly what Edinburgh players do not have?

    I have no answers but worry for the future, and see no way forward for the pro game, the national team and the u20’s with the current set-up.
    The Welsh pro game imploded over a few years, and I see Scottish rugger sleepwalking toward the same rugby grave.
    Sadly, I wait to be proven correct?

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  21. That performance was terrible at every level & from every aspect, & whilst most teams are upping their performances towards the business end of the season, the Edinburgh players & coaches appear to have switched off & started their vacation period prematurely, even if it’s only psychologically. The performance of the players & coaches (who are responsible for the team selection & tactics) is completely unacceptable, especially as they’re highly paid pros who’s livelihoods should depend upon their performances. If this was France or England then the majority of the squad would be getting replaced over the Summer.
    The people now running the SRU need to get a grip of what’s going on, or not going on, whichever the case may be, & start fixing the problems. Hiring a new SRL CEO & Performance Director would be a logical start, but even this appears to be beyond them as the CEO appointment was meant to have been 4 – 6 weeks ago & still not done. How far should our patience be stretched before more heads, including the new ones, will roll?

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  22. A sad end to the season for Edinburgh. As many of us have said for most of the season Edinburgh lack creativity, spark and any semblance of threat from their back line. Benetton are a good side and they were so much more superior in terms of speed of play, back line threat and just general pace of the game that they play at. We are so cumbersome and spend most of our time using one off runners just piling into defenders but the quick ball that should then create some space never happens. We struggle to play with tempo and never looked like scoring today. I have watched Edinburgh all season and I cant remember the last time we scored a back line try from open play or a length of the field try – probably the VdM try against Glasgow.

    I have supported Healy since he arrived as someone who had a huge boot and could kick penalties. Im afraid that now having seen him for a full season, I fear he has nothing else. He doesn’t look comfortable as a stand-off. he looks awkward and cumbersome when he is running or passing and doesn’t pose a threat. There were a few times today he attempted to get the back line moving but he missed the round the back pass a few times and looks so static. The basic passing and handling skills are poor. This for me is a large part of where the problem lies – between the lack of ruck speed and slow ball from the scrum half and a sluggish stand off you will struggle to play with any tempo or fluency. I see Edinburgh now ended up 10th in the URC so dont tell me that they won more games than some others above them – 10th is 10th and they dont deserve any more.

    Benetton have 2 stand-offs that are better than Healy with Albornoz starting and then Jacob Umaga the ex Wasps player comes on. They are both proper running stand offs that pose a threat. I am not sure where we go next year but having signed Healy as a Scotland back up to Russel I fear more of the same.

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    • Such a disappointing performance. Play off place however lost earlier in the season with lack of bonus points, a soft defeat against Benetton at home and a winnable Munster game lost. Healy struggles to be a creative 10 and the lack of depth in back three totally exposed. Underwhelming signings for next year although I hope Thompson gets a chance to develop. Why we have ended up with Price I have no idea and the lack of classy centres is holding us back. Clear out some of these journeymen and give young blood a chance. What with Saturday kick offs in the first half of the season and a poor end to the season, a season ticket is not on my list of priorities.

    • Such a disappointing performance. Play off place however lost earlier in the season with lack of bonus points, a soft defeat against Benetton at home and a winnable Munster game lost. Healy struggles to be a creative 10 and the lack of depth in back three totally exposed. Underwhelming signings for next year although I hope Thompson gets a chance to develop. Why we have ended up with Price I have no idea and the lack of classy centres is holding us back. Clear out some of these journeymen and give young blood a chance. What with Saturday kick offs in the first half of the season and a poor end to the season, a season ticket is not on my list of priorities.

  23. I wonder how much stakeholder money has been spent on pro rugby over the last decade – and you end up with this. Yes, Glasgow are still in with a shout, but performances over the past few weeks does not bode well.

    Pro rugby struggling, pathway system struggling, fewer but stronger strategy leading to severe under-investment in Club game. Where now for rugby in Scotland?

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  24. Bored with the same old, season after season, excuses. No real A team. No sevens programme for our young players. Best not to mention the under 20s or the Academy programme. Next season will be the same, possibly even worse, unless our young players are given a chance. Not that the SRU will do anything sensible that resembles long term thinking or investment.

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    3
  25. Oh my god, what an awful performance !

    Despite the whole season on the line, absolutely no penetration from backs or forwards. Just endless box kicks. The only times we got the ball wide it ended with a mistake.

    I’m usually a defender of the team and coaches, but surely something has to change for next year. VERY disappointing.

    25
  26. This result sums up Scottish professional & international rugby, when the chips are down we are found wanting.
    I must question the coaches, and if there is is an attack coach, is he being brow beaten into offering up this turgid and kicking form of rugby, because I don’t recognise it. Just as well Edinburgh are not progressing further otherwise it would be even more embarrassing for all concerned if they did.
    Italian rugby is on the up with Scottish rugger regressing at a rate of knots.
    I don’t have the answer, but the people within the SRU may wish to go cap in hand & ask how Italian rugger in a few short years have at u20, senior international level and teams such as Benneton managed such a turn around? Include Teviso in that, nothing to play for last night but made Glasgow look ordinary?
    😔 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏉

  27. There seems to be a lack of fire, desire, fight, agro…prevalent in Scottish professional rugby – with some exceptions in Glasgows performances. Scotland needs a Telfer, a Baxter, a shut-the-door-and-lets-sort-this-out-now coach.

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    • I was (& I have) giving/given Edinburgh every chance & the whole season.
      Today was absolutely ridiculous, lack of focus, lack of any back game plan, Price box kicking at most plays (hoping for an error)….. there was one out on the full kick ½ way through the 1st half from Healy that was….. well…. undescribable, it must’ve went 10 yards out.
      The lack of any game plan, the 10s of basic errors & (ultimately) being put to the sword by (at best) the 8th best team in the league given there were 13 14 internationals in the team beggars belief.
      Everett should be on his way back to SA right now.

      20
      1
  28. This was an embarrassment. No defence, no attack – nothing, Scottish sides always fail to turn up in vital games but this was abject. This coaching group are well past their sell by date and the players should take a long hard look at themselves- none are winners nor do they have the attitude to become winners. I am fed up of learnings and progress- I want performance. Anyhow I wont have to put up with this next year as I and my mates have not renewed our season tickets.

  29. This was a complete and utter embarrassment. Failure right across the park, no defence, no attack, nothing to get excited about with this coaching group and set of players. Every Scottish side fails to turn up in vital games but this was worse -sheer humiliation. I am so sick of hearing about learnings and progress -I want performance!
    Any way my friends and I wont get so worked up next year as we have given up our season tickets

  30. He’s correct that certain fundamentals have improved from last year, but this is the first time he’s acknowledged the complete and utter lack of anything whatsoever in attack. It is a serious concern… is there even an attack coach on the staff?

    He deserves a chance to make changes on that front next year, but they will be starting completely from scratch as there’s nothing to build on!

    The performance today was abysmal and capped off a season that was really turgid to watch. It feels amazing to say that they somehow won 11 games, it feels like it was far fewer.

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    • This, my friends, is the legacy of the Fat Controller, as Dodson heads off into the sunset with a very healthy pension fund under his belt!

      8
      5
      • Dobson didnt’t coach Edinburgh. He was hired as a money man, not a rugby coach.

        What did Dodson ever do for Scottish rugby? Well OK, he more than doubled its income, it was about £30m when he started, its more than doubled.

        And I suppose he introduced the Pro Academies, which have turned out to be a good investment in young home-grown and SQ players.

        And yeah, faced with woefully underfunded Pro teams, he doubled their budget so they can at least compete on a fairly level playing field.

        And he overcame the SRU’s long-running inertia about providing home bases for the Pro teams, with the development of Scotstoun and then the creation of the Hive, which was a bold and decisive move.

        And then he galvanised women’s rugby, switching it from being an underfunded backwater into a growing and valuable element of Scottish rugby.

        Sure, his bonus deal was off the charts. but that was solely down to the terms the SRU board set out at the outset. He exceeded his SRU-set targets by miles and they had to cough up.

        And so on.

        The problem he and past and no doubt future CEOs face is a lot of girning from a number of amateur club aye beens, who think that the SRU should finance them, rather than the Pro teams. The fact that things have moved on in the professional era has no resonance with these fellows.

        Any CEO of Scottish rugby needs to be lured with a lucrative offer, because they are going to find it is like swimming through treacle.

        2
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        • Just noticed your comment – where have you been. This site did a good analysis on the SRU’s finances and the £10m loss last year – worth a read. You make Dodson sound like a hero. Income may have doubled which was largely down to ticket price inflation but costs more than doubled hence the £10m loss. Making a loss like that in a business with a very predictable revenue stream is appalling financial management.

          • Yes Ross, I have read TOL’s critique of the SRU’s perilous finances.

            I would be a little cautious about turning our recent or any future SRU CEO into a popular hate figure for the masses – the CEO is just the servant of the SRU board, who ultimately decide the direction of travel and the financial commitments. Was it Dodson or the Board, responding to the Development guys, who decided to create 5 district setups, requiring an extra 30 staff – and how did they envisage paying for it?

            Was it Dodson or the Board who decided to invest big in the ladies game – and again, where did they think the extra money was going to come from?

            There are many similar issues, like the Hive, where one has to ask the same questions about finance.

            It is of course possible that Dodson steamrollered the Board on these and other costly ventures. But unlikely.

            I didn’t mean to bang on about it, in what is an important thread about Embra’s woeful performance on Saturday. I just feel uncomfortable when people seek to switch the blame from the coaches who are ultimately responsible for the lacklustre performance, to a former CEO who had little to do with the team selection, tactics or performance. The buck stops with Everitt and his coaching team, I’m saying pin the tail on the right donkey.

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