Edinburgh ready to unleash Duhan van der Merwe after bruising run of defeats
The bruising sequence of results has left them in the bottom half of the table after four rounds and has also taken a physical toll.
The winger was in fine form once again and scored his sixth try of the season but he hobbled off near the end after trying to thwart the Lions raid which led to their match-winning penalty.
After starting the first four games for Edinburgh in the URC it’s probably a good time to rest the Hawick man who is sure to be a key player for Scotland in the forthcoming autumn internationals.
Van der Merwe, signed from financially stricken Worcester Warriors on Wednesday, would be the perfect replacement and Mike Blair is confident the big man will be available for the home game with Benetton on Saturday.
“Hopefully,” said the Edinburgh coach. “He’s just getting his visa stuff sorted and we expect to see him at training on Monday and then we’ll make selection on the back of that.”
With Emiliano Boffelli also back in the team after international commitments it was questioned whether Edinburgh actually needed another back-three option but Blair was adamant.
“You can see how quickly injuries can happen,” the coach said. “Darcy’s a bit beaten up in there, Henry Immelman’s a bit beaten up as well.
“There will be opportunities for guys and Duhan’s a great player. We’ve also got Wes Goosen coming back, hopefully in the next few weeks, so there’s good competition in there.”
Goosen, signed in the summer from New Zealand side the Hurricanes, injured his calf in pre-season.
Graham and Immelman weren’t the only two casualties from Friday night. Stuart McInally departed early clutching his ribs and was followed off by Luan de Bruin and Hamish Watson with head knocks.
Glen Young, the Edinburgh lock, needed treatment to a cut near his eye. He was able to return but knew he’d been in a game.
“We’ve played South African teams three weeks in a row and they are big physical boys,” he said. “It’s been a good test for us to see where we are at physically but we’ve taken a few knocks, it was tough going.”
“I think we lost the game ourselves. We had a lot of good moments but ultimately we weren't good enough in our 22 at defending our own line. We let in some cheap tries and if you do that against teams like the Lions you are always going to struggle.
“We pride ourselves on our energy never being questioned but ultimately it comes down to being clinical. That’s what Mike said after the game - we’ve got to have our foot on the throat for 80 minutes but we didn’t.
“Ultimately it’s not good enough. We need to address those little soft moments where we’re letting their boys into the game. I think for 70 minutes we were there or thereabouts but there were just a few soft moments which we can’t let happen.”
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