Ben Muncaster and Conor Boyle are stepping up for Edinburgh but Dave Cherry adds experience to the mix in pack missing 14

Mike Blair noted that Edinburgh were without 14 international forwards for their game against Connacht on Friday night so the way the makeshift pack played in the 56-8 victory was particularly pleasing for the home coach.

Edinburgh's David Cherry led the side out against Connacht to mark his 50th appearance for the club.  (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Edinburgh's David Cherry led the side out against Connacht to mark his 50th appearance for the club. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

Ben Muncaster’s performance had Blair purring and he was also impressed by fellow flanker Conor Boyle, two young men who have stepped up in the absence of established pros such as Jamie Ritchie and Hamish Watson.

But it wasn’t all about the youth. David Cherry has been around the block a bit and used all his nous to help Edinburgh weather an early storm before stamping their authority on the game.

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After a run of three tough away defeats in the United Rugby Championship this was a much needed home win which produced eight tries and maintained the club’s unbeaten record in competitive games at the DAM Health Stadium.

Cherry, on the occasion of his 50th appearance, led out the team and weighed in with a second-half try after a textbook lineout drive. The hooker was delighted with the way the team defended during the tricky opening.

“We did ask for a fast start, but we didn’t quite get that - we had to dig out for 20 minutes,” said Cherry. “But we came together and put in a good performance.

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“We got the upper hand at the maul and the scrum - I think that paid dividends. We kind of sucked the life out of their forward pack and we got space out wide off the maul.”

Dave Cherry scores Edinburgh's third try during the 56-8 win over Connacht at the DAM Health Stadium. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

The 31-year-old enjoyed a late flowering Scotland stint last season, making his debut in the Calcutta Cup win at Twickenham and going on to play in all five Six Nations matches.

He was recalled to the squad ahead of last month’s match in Wales but released back to his club.

“I was in for a week and I was back out,” he explained. “You ultimately want to play for your country, but I’ve learned with age that you need to just get on with things and not let things get you down. I always have the cliche in the back of my head of controlling the controllables. It’s out of my hands and I just want to perform for Edinburgh.”

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