Blair Kinghorn has promised that Edinburgh Rugby will come out of the blocks firing against Ulster on Friday night to make amends for last week’s shock loss to Zebre.
Ahead of the visit of the Italians to BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh had looked a new team under acting head coach Duncan Hodge, running in tries for fun during wins over Treviso, Timisoara Saracens and Harlequins.
However, they came back to earth with a bump in the 19-14 Guinness PRO12 loss to Zebre – and they are now eager to bounce back against the Irish outfit.
Heading into the home league match, Edinburgh sit eighth in the PRO12 table with Ulster fifth.
Full-back Kinghorn, 19, said: “I think everyone was bitterly disappointed about the result from Friday night, but it is just the way rugby is sometimes.
“We have already put it to the back of our minds and you can see from the three weeks before that loss the good rugby we can play so we are focusing on that.
“Every team has a couple of bad results a year when the ball doesn’t bounce your way and the passes don’t go to hand, but we are not panicking. I think we just need to get back out there and show what we can do.
“We are raring to get going again against Ulster and the fans in attendance can be sure that we will put in a much better performance this time – we will come out firing.”
Given the poor showing by his men against Zebre, you could have forgiven Hodge if he had given the squad a stern talking to after the match and also on Monday as they watched the video nasty as a group at training.
Former Scotland stand-off Hodge is not that kind of character, though, and Kinghorn believes the way the acting head coach has dealt with the situation has helped the players recover quickly and regain confidence.
“Duncan is a very chilled guy who keeps his nerve,” Kinghorn explained.
“We all know what we did wrong out there on Friday so we haven’t been focusing too much on the negatives from that display in training.
“Rather we have been looking at the positive aspects of our other displays in October and, as a backline, certainly we are enjoying our rugby just now.
“There is a lot of flair available to us behind the scrum now. We don’t just want to be pulled along by the forward pack and I think we have a lot of talent that is starting to gel well together.
“People have seen the backline working well recently, like in the Harlequins game, and we want to get back to those sorts of levels quickly.
“We like to play heads-up rugby and we have been scoring more tries from counter attacks and running into space a lot more rather than taking the ball into contact.”
Ulster come into the contest on the back of a 15-14 home defeat to old rivals Munster, a late Rory Scannell drop goal sealing things for the visitors at the Kingspan Stadium last Friday.
And, with Ireland travelling to Chicago to take on New Zealand this weekend, they will be without a number of key men for this match. Those away include national team captain Rory Best.
Kinghorn still expects a tough 80 minutes, though, and said: “Obviously, having a few players in America may affect them, but all pro teams now have really deep squads and we know how good they are and what they will bring at us.
“They have the likes of Ruan Pienaar, who is an experienced and talented player and he knows how to control a game of rugby. He knows when to kick and how to conduct himself around the park, so to beat them we will have to be at our best.”