United Rugby Championship: Edinburgh set to continue with attacking approach against Stormers

Date published: June 1 2022 - David Skippers

Although a balanced approach to their United Rugby Championship quarter-final against the Stormers in Cape Town will be important, Edinburgh are unlikely to abandon their attacking roots.

That was the word from their head coach, Mike Blair, who said there are various ways for his team to play the match on Saturday.

“What people have picked up on is that Edinburgh are playing more than they have in the last four years,” he told the Scotsman.

“Edinburgh have had success over the past couple of years but from an attacking point of view it was not a priority. It was built around a strong defence and a good kicking game.

“What we have tried to do is expand on that a little bit. I don’t think we are kamikaze, or Barbarians rugby but we have confidence that when we see opportunity and space we try and take it. We are still very aware that balance in the game is very important, especially so in this game.”

League result insignificant

Both sides are committed to playing attacking rugby and were involved in a thrilling 20-20 draw in their previous match  – a Round Three encounter in Edinburgh last October – but Blair believes that result will not be of significance in their quarter-final.

“A lot of rugby has been played since then,” said Blair. “There will have been some decent turnover in team selections, as well. But there will be a little bit of familiarity, I guess, in terms of what the two teams are trying to do.”

Veteran hooker Stuart McInally could return to action against the Stormers after being sidelined with a calf injury sustained in Edinburgh’s home loss against Ulster on April 30.

Blair said: “Stuart made the trip. We are just seeing how he gets through the next couple of days. He has been looking OK at the moment so we will make a decision on that later in the week.

“There is a real balance to it. Dave [Cherry] and Adam [McBurney] have done really well when they have been in the jersey as well. Stuart is an international quality player who has played really well for us. We will make the right decision at the time.”

READ MORE: Glasgow Warriors’ Pete Murchie optimistic ahead of Leinster quarter-final