Mike Blair issues warning over Bath as he reacts to Edinburgh’s big win against Pau

Mike Blair expects a far stiffer test in the next round of the Challenge Cup after Edinburgh’s thrashing of Pau on Friday night set them up with a home tie in the last 16.

Blair’s team defeated their French visitors 54-5 to win Pool C and the likelihood is they will face Bath next weekend at the DAM Health Stadium.

The west country side, who have dropped out of the Heineken Champions Cup, are currently propping up the English Premiership but Blair believes Neil Hatley’s team are better than their results suggest.

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“We believe it will be Bath and it will be a really exciting prospect for us to have a Premiership team up here,” said Blair. “I don't think their results reflect the rugby they are playing. They are an excellent attacking team with a strong set piece.”

Edinburgh's Ramiro Moyano runs through to score a second half try in the 54-5 win over Pau. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
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Edinburgh’s last-16 opponents will not be confirmed until Saturday night but the only way it can’t be Bath is if Toulon fail to gain a point from their Pool A match against Biarritz.

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Such a scenario would see Edinburgh bumped up from third to second in the Challenge Cup rankings and they would then play at home against the third-placed team with the worst record in the pool stage, probably Benetton or Perpignan who meet on Saturday.

For Blair, it was a satisfying conclusion to a group phase in which Edinburgh have won three of their four games, the only defeat being by a single point to London Irish in Brentford.

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Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair is looking forward to a possible last 16 tie against Bath. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

The campaign began with a highly impressive away win at Saracens and included two home thrashings of French sides, with Brive going down 66-3 in January.

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Edinburgh have now scored 176 points in their last three home games, against Brive, Connacht and Pau, but Blair was careful to not get too carried away.

“We have built a bit of momentum here but Brive didn't bring a full strength team and Pau had a few guys coming back but they were not full strength. We were missing a few guys too. Connacht was pleasing but Bath will be a proper test for us.”

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