Edinburgh Rugby rookie Jack Gilding has admitted he was in the “wrong place at the wrong time” after a yellow card marred his first Rabo Direct Pro 12 league start in last weekend’s 17-34 defeat at champions Munster.
Gilding, 23, had waited patiently through six substitute appearances stretching back to the opening game of 2010-11 for a start, only to be sin-binned for a technical offence at a scrum with Edinburgh hanging in at 10-13 adrift after 51 minutes.
“It was really frustrating,” said the former Stourbridge, Moseley and Worcester Warriors prop forward who qualifies for Scotland through a grandparent from Greenock.
“Looking back at the dvd it was harsh but it was coming against the team. Munster had a lot of pressure on us and we had been warned by the ref that the next offence was going to bring a yellow card.
“I happened to be in the wrong place at this time and it was the first occasion at this level I’ve been sin-binned although it had happened to me in an age-group match.”
Happily, Gilding also has happier memories including when his sharp reactions in latching on, goalkeeper-fashion, to a kick ahead from near point-blank range helped create the first of three Edinburgh tries. Modestly playing down that contribution, he said: “I was lucky with the kick that it happened to go straight into my bread basket. After that I looked for the fastest man around me which was Netani (Talei). He couldn’t get to the try line either and eventually found somebody (Phil Godman) a bit faster.
“For 50 minutes we were in the game in Munster. They missed a few penalties and we missed a few chances as well. But we were at the races until a few decisions went against us possibly due to them being at home helping them out.
“They ran away with it towards the end when two yellows (fellow prop Kyle Traynor also fell foul of referee Neil Paterson at a scrum leading to a penalty try) was not ideal. From then, though, they kicked on and scored three tries which closed out the game.”
Gilding’s 54-minute shift contrasted with previous outings of 19, 20, 10, 42, 17 and 21-minute spells. His previous experiences in an Edinburgh jersey came last season against Cardiff (a), Ulster (a), Leinster (h) and Ospreys (h) followed by stints against Cardiff (h) and Scarlets (a) in 2011-12.
He added: “Obviously it was great to get a first competitive start and I felt I did a pretty good job for the 50 minutes I was on the pitch but we lost the game so we will look at the review even more closely and hopefully I’ll get another chance.
“I’ll need another chance to show what I can do because one game is obviously not going to be enough.
“Hopefully Aironi on Friday at Murrayfield might provide that opportunity and if that means coming off the bench for a match where (Scotland prop) Geoff Cross returns so be it, especially with those big games coming up against Cardiff.”
That was a reference to the home and away Heineken European Cup ties against Cardiff who are also unbeaten in the pool.
A Euro debut is also a major target for the 5ft 10in and 118kg (18.6st) Gilding who lists Worcester coach Tony Windo, Edinburgh forwards coach Tom Smith and SRU scrum consultant Massimo Cuttita as the big influences so far on a career helped by an ability to pack down on either side of the front row. And he feels he has been helped also in his quest for appearances by getting regular runouts with Gala in the Premiership where ex-Scotland prop George Graham is coach, as well as a rotation policy at Edinburgh which he says is very much in the team’s benefit.
“I’ve had about five games with Gala which has helped bring on my overall match fitness and you need to be playing every week if you are going to be playing for Edinburgh so I’m particularly grateful for that as well as the emphasis that George Graham puts on the scrum. That’s perfect for me.
“I know fans obviously want to see the top players every week and the Press see it as the team that should be playing. At this level (though) players are not going to last the whole season playing in an unchanged team every week.
“That means an onus is on those of us coming in to up our standard and I’m happy to accept that challenge.
“Those of us trying to breakthrough are certainly getting chances which is encouraging and everybody who has come in for the first time this season has certainly done well.”
Gilding was speaking at Sciennes Primary, one of several schools where Edinburgh players undertook skills clinics as well as question and answer sessions in an effort to further integrate the club with the community.