SCRUM Web Columnist ‘The Embra Express’ looks back on a tough season for Edinburgh Rugby:
‘Why do we always come here? I guess I’ll never know. It’s like some kind of torture to have to watch this show.’
Statler and Waldorf from The Muppets, of course. There are more than a few among the Embra Ultras who feel the same way as this season totters towards its merciful end.
It’s probably fair to say that there will have been few eyebrows raised when the Gunners emerged from their recent trip to Treviso at the wrong end of a 21-6 defeat. That was the Embramen’s ninth loss on the trot in all competitions.
It did not even have the consolation of what has become this season’s classic Embra modus operandi, namely conceding a stupendously big early lead before throwing off the shackles, playing adventurous rugby only to fall just short.
The tactic at last came off against the visiting Newporters last Friday evening, though, in the final home match of the campaign.
The Gunners started well enough but failed to put points on the board. Newport then scored two super tries and entered the final 10 minutes with a commanding 20-3 lead. As I observed on www.edinburghgunners.org.uk this one seemed done and dusted.
But a Tovey-inspired home side put ‘The King’ Blairhorn, Hoyland and Gilchrist over for three late tries that gave them a 24-20 victory which will hopefully see them finish ninth this term. Lowly it might be, but it could have been worse.
The result gives one some, admittedly faint, hope for this weekend’s absurdly scheduled second leg of the 1872 Scottish Cup.
Glasgow struggled a little fighting on two fronts this season. While they will be disappointed not to have made the PRO12 play-offs for the first time in five years, they have got the monkey off their back in Europe.
They deservedly made the quarter finals before succumbing to reigning champions Saracens, who, with Clermont, make up a tasty looking final combo for Murrayfield on the 13th.
They are only going to get better next season as Dave Rennie arrives from the Chiefs. The men from Waikato play wonderful, winning rugby. Securing Rennie was a masterstroke by the SRU and will pay off big time.
Unfortunately – from an Edinburgh point of view – one would expect the Warriors to be keen to give Gregor Townsend a bit of a send-off at Scotstoun.
It’s difficult to see anything other than a comfortable Glasgow win. With the pressure off both sides, the Warriors’ strike runners should have a bit of a field day.
But it would be interesting to see what happened if the Gunners played with the panache and ambition of the last 10 minutes against the Dragons from the off. If they can get out to a good start and build an early lead, one hopes they will express themselves and banish at least some of the frustrations of this season.
Such has been the way of this mercurial Edinburgh campaign, I wouldn’t be surprised if they somehow managed to nick this one against the odds.
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