Roddy Grant: Edinburgh earn stripes since Zebre loss

Roddy Grant in action for Edinburgh Rugby

Roddy Grant in action for Edinburgh Rugby

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Roddy Grant insists that Edinburgh Rugby have come too far in the past three matches to take a backward step in Saturday’s opening 1872 Cup tie with Glasgow at Scotstoun.

It’s been five years since Edinburgh last won four in a row and flanker Grant believes the previous loss, at Zebre, was seminal in that it sparked a lot of soul-searching in the camp.

“We were poor, very poor, against Zebre and there was no getting away from that,” said Grant, who has won man-of-the-match awards in each of Edinburgh’s last two home games.

“But pride is quite a big motivator to get back on track and hopefully the momentum we have built will be good for us this weekend. It won’t count for anything, though, if we slip up in the next game.”

Asked what he is most looking forward to about the local derbies, Grant is emphatic.

“Winning,” he says in dismissing suggestions that it is an opportunity for individuals to plot a way into international reckoning with the Six Nations Championship just around the corner.

“I’ve been at Edinburgh a long time now, long enough to know these are huge games.

“To get another shot at the same opposition less than a week later adds to the occasion.

“It isn’t lost on us that Glasgow are the enemy at the end of the road. But they are also a great team who will challenge us to go up a level.

“Some guys might be aware of the Six Nations coming up, but I don’t look at it like that, maybe because I haven’t yet been involved.

“It’s all about climbing the table and this weekend will be different from recent tasks.

“Once we got momentum against Treviso we thought if we could move them about a bit they’d tire and they did. Glasgow are a different beast who offload a lot.”

A feature of Edinburgh’s runaway 48-0 win over Treviso was the extra width cultivated so as to get wingers Tim Visser and Dougie Fife involved in a way rarely seen this season.

“It is always great when the backs and the forwards provide each other with energy,” said Grant, adding: “It comes through in the body language of the forwards when we see the backs going well and vice versa.

“But these matches against Glasgow will be on a higher level altogether.”