Edinburgh Rugby takeaways: That's entertainment, cap can still fit for Magnus Bradbury and festive derbies should be Christmas crackers

He didn’t seem overly impressed but Mike Blair’s Edinburgh have moved into second place in the United Rugby Championship with the 24-10 home win over Benetton. It was their fourth victory on the bounce and leaves them in good fettle for the 1872 Cup double header over the festive period.

If you want entertainment, go to the DAM Health Stadium

It was slightly odd to hear Mike Blair bemoaning Edinburgh’s failure to sparkle after they had just run in four tries to notch up a bonus point victory over Benetton and remain hot on the heels of Leinster at the top end of the United Rugby Championship. The coach’s commitment to entertainment is laudable but it’s hard to imagine his predecessor, Richard Cockerill, being so vexed by such a result. The former England hooker once said, “If you want entertainment, go to the theatre.” In Cockerill’s defence, he never got to see his side play on Edinburgh’s new compact stadium with its fast, plastic pitch. The new arena lends itself to a vibrant brand of rugby and the hope is that Edinburgh can keep using it to their advantage next year.

Cap can still fit for club centurion Magnus Bradbury

Edinburgh and Benetton players line up for a minute's applause in memory of Siobhan Cattigan, the Scotland Women's international whose death at 26 was announced this week. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

In making his 100th appearance for Edinburgh, Magnus Bradbury joins an elite band of back-row club centurions. The man of the match against Benetton can now keep company with the likes of Simon Taylor, Ally Hogg and Roddy Grant. Bradbury was presented with a commemorative cap to mark the occasion on the pitch after the match and the whole Edinburgh squad was there to pay tribute. The back-row forward has dropped off the international radar in recent seasons but memories of his role in the 38-38 draw with England at Twickenham in 2019 remain fresh. If he can maintain his form over the next few weeks a Scotland recall is within his grasp.

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1872 Cup clashes are ones to savour

Glasgow Warriors got their hands on the 1872 Cup last May for the first time in four years but, on current form, it is Edinburgh who will go into this season’s renewal as favourites. Unlike in recent seasons, the contest will be decided over two games (rather than three) with the first match at Scotstoun on December 27 and the return at BT Murrayfield on January 2. Glasgow were quicker and smarter last time around and benefited from playing two of the three matches at home. They won’t have that advantage this time around but Edinburgh will have to readjust to playing at Murrayfield after flourishing on the artificial turf at their new ground. Expect big crowds and two ultra-competitive contests.

Edinburgh's Darcy Graham always tries to entertain and scored the opening try against Benetton. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

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Magnus Bradbury is presented with a cap to mark his 100th Edinburgh appearance by club co-captain Grant Gilchrist after the win over Benetton. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
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