Mike Blair wowed by atmosphere at new stadium as Edinburgh fans bring the noise

Mike Blair paid tribute to Edinburgh’s supporters for raising the decibel levels as they played their part in the 26-22 win over Scarlets.

Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair is all smiles at full time as he congratulates Connor Boyle on the win over Scarlets. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS

It was a landmark occasion for the head coach who was taking charge of the side in a competitive match for the first time. It was also their first match in the new United Rugby Championship and their first league game in the new DAM Health Stadium.

There were only 5,330 fans inside the 7,800-capacity ground but they made plenty of noise as Edinburgh edged the Welsh side by four tries to three to open the season with a bonus-point victory.

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“That was a brilliant atmosphere,” said Blair. “If this had been on the big pitch at BT Murrayfield Stadium it would have been lost and we would not have had that atmosphere.

Mike Blair praised the Edinburgh fans for the atmosphere they generated inside the DAM Health Stadium. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

“It was harder for Scarlets trying to get back into the game when you have our crowd in the background cheering the knock-ons, cheering the turnovers or cheering our good play. It was great to have such a fantastic crowd and that volume.”

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The home players thrived on the atmosphere, with flankers Jamie Ritchie and Conor Boyle urging the fans to raise the noise levels in the final minutes as Edinburgh sought to retain their narrow lead.

Blair admitted he had gone through wringer but was delighted to make a winning start.

“There are so many emotions,” he said. “There was some brilliant stuff in it and stuff we will be able to learn from for next week. I loved the attitude and the players like Jamie Richie and Conor Boyle trying to lift the crowd and bring them in. That was very important as we rose to that.

“We have got a bonus point win against a top class Scarlets side but there is lots of stuff we can do better.

“The wind did die in the second half but it was gusty in the first half and the wind will definitely have an influence on our games so we need to be smart with it. We could have been smarter by pushing the ball through in the wide channels and making them exit a little bit more which we did not do particularly well but we do have that in the tank.”

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