Edinburgh's Darcy Graham: Rugby for me is such a simple game - I don’t try and overcomplicate it

The convolutions and complexities of modern rugby may make it look far removed from its origins two centuries ago, but for some practitioners at least it remains a simple game. Take Darcy Graham.

Darcy Graham won player of the month for Edinburgh Rugby with some fine try-scoring exploits.
Darcy Graham won player of the month for Edinburgh Rugby with some fine try-scoring exploits.

The winger – who was announced on Wednesday as Edinburgh’s player of the month for September – has gone to the top of the URC try-scoring charts not by employing any obscure stratagems, but by doing what the sport was based on from its beginning: getting hold of the ball and running with it. Not everyone can do that quite so well as the 25-year-old from Hawick, of course, and what marks him out as special is his ability to combine breathtaking speed with elusive changes of direction.

He got off to a flying start with a double in the team’s opening game of the campaign at home to the Dragons, and went one better with a hat-trick in the next match against the Bulls. After failing to add to his tally against the Stormers, Graham made amends last week when he touched down against the Lions.

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That prolific scoring record is all the more impressive given that Edinburgh have lost three of those four games, winning only against the Dragons. But suggest to the international himself that he is enjoying a particularly good run of form at present, and he will insist that at least some of it is down to good fortune.

“It’s been not too bad,” Graham said of his start to the season. “I’m enjoying playing, getting my hands on the ball nice and early at the start of the season and building that confidence.

“I think since the start of the season a lot has come my way. I’ve got a lot of easy tries. I’ve been a bit lucky – it’s just the way it goes sometimes and I’m on a good run just now.

Rugby for me is such a simple game. I don’t try and overcomplicate it: I just get the ball and run.

“I run then think. Just heads up, try and see space, then go for it. Just get the ball and use my feet, beat them bigger defenders. That’s the boys I’m going out to look for - the bigger boys.”

Graham will be out to beat the big boys of Benetton at the DAM Health Stadium on Saturday as Edinburgh bid to return to winning ways after three consecutive defeats, and he does not think the team are too far away from the sort of form that will guarantee victory. “It’s frustrating, but everybody is frustrated. We’ve not been playing terrible. We’ve been playing good rugby: it’s just individual, small errors that have left us down and other teams have capitalised on that by scoring easy tries.

“We just need to be a bit more squeaky clean and play in the right areas. It’s not like a massive fix-up for us – like I say it’s just small, individual errors.”

Edinburgh sponsors Scottish Building Society always give £500 to the player of the month’s chosen charity, and Graham has chosen the Scottish Ambulance Service because of how well they looked after his brother Clark following a serious car crash nearly two years ago.

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“They did a very good job that night – they were on the scene very quickly,” he explained. “He’s doing really well. It’s absolutely amazing. It’s just nice to pay back to them.”