Edinburgh coach Mike Blair explains why he wants to get Darcy Graham on the ball more after frustrating draw with Stormers

Mike Blair admitted to a touch of frustration about the way his Edinburgh side couldn’t capitalise on their whirlwind start against the Stormers.

Player of the match Jaco van der Walt kicked 10 points and created both Edinburgh's tries against the Stormers. Picture: Bruce White / SNS

The home side were two tries to the good after just six minutes of the match at the DAM Health Stadium but the South African visitors recovered to earn a merited 20-20 draw.

All the points were scored in a thrilling first-half, with Darcy Graham and Ben Vellacott crossing for Edinburgh and Warrick Gelant and Paul de Wet grabbing the Stormers’ tries.

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Blair said he would have liked to have utilised his fast men more throughout the match, particularly Graham whose try was his 20th for the club, bringing up a century of points.

“What we need to try and do is maintain that [pace] throughout the game,” said the Edinburgh coach. “Find ways of getting them on the ball, particularly Darcy. And Damien Hoyland when he came on as well, Ramiro Moyano too, need to get their hands on the ball a bit more. They are our strike runners and they are the guys who are going to cause defences issues.”

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The result means Edinburgh have a win, a defeat and a draw from their opening three games in the United Rugby Championship. Last week’s last-gasp loss to Benetton was a tough one to take and Blair felt better after this match.

“It’s not as frustrating as last week but there were elements of frustration in there,” he said. “We did some brilliant stuff in the first half but this Stormers defence is excellent. It takes time to break them down and I thought we did that really effectively in the first half.

“The second half, I don’t know if both teams got nervous or defences got on top but each team seemed to shut up shop a little bit.”

Blair had words of praise for his stand-off Jaco van der Walt, a deserved winner of the player of the match award and the creator of both Edinburgh tries.

“He was excellent. He has played with a lot of confidence over the last couple of games and I am delighted at the way he has come into the season.”

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