Edinburgh Rugby star Cornell du Preez insists a win in today’s home Guinness Pro 12 clash against the Dragons can pay back the Capital club’s fans for a mediocre start to the season.
Five matches in and the Murrayfield have posted only one win and a draw to sit third bottom of the 12 team table.
South African back row Du Preez, who has appeared in every outing so far, said: “It’s up to us to get a good performance. We said as a team during the week, ‘We are in this now and it’s up to us to get out for whole management, the whole team, Edinburgh and the supporters’.”
Although head coach Alan Solomons once again dismissed claims he is under pressure when announcing a team that shows four changes from that beaten 30-0 by Ulster, including a recall for fit-again winger Dougie Fife, there is no question time is running out for the South African.
Du Preez knows Solomons well from time at the Port Elizabeth-based Southern Kings franchise and again insisted responsibility lies with the players.
“Obviously Alan is a very cool-headed person [but] pressure is on us to perform. That’s how it is,” said Du Preez. “I like to be under pressure. It brings the best out of people in sport.
“This is probably one of the biggest games for us this season just to prove a point, to show we are not there to make up numbers and that we can be competitive and get into top six. It’s still a long season [and we’re] still very positive.”
Du Preez also acknowledged that Edinburgh have been getting too many yellow cards, including one for skipper Mike Coman at Ulster when two tries were conceded during his absence.
“The second half of the Scarlets game [when a 3-17 deficit was reeled in] showed if we stick to our system it works. Our discipline needs to be key, though, because we have struggled getting a few yellow cards.”
Edinburgh: Tonks, Fife, Beard, Strauss, Visser, Heathcote, Kennedy, Dickinson, Ford, Andress, Bresler, Gilchrist, Coman (c), Watson, Du Preez. Subs: Hilterbrand, Dell, Nel, Atkins, Leonardi, Hidalgo-Clyne, Burleigh, Cuthbert.
Newport Gwent Dragons: Byrne (c), Pewtner, Prydie, Smith, Amos, Tovey, J Evans; Stankovich, Dee, Way, Coombs, Landman, L Evans, Cudd, Powell. Subs: Rhys Thomas, Gustafson, Fairbrother, Gough, Thomas, Rees, O’Brien, Brew.