Rugby: Pienaar can really punish us, warns coach Bradley

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Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley is warning of the threat posed by Ulster’s Ruan Pienaar in Saturday’s Heineken European Cup semi-final in Dublin.

“We need to seriously consider where on the pitch we play the match because they will capitalise on any mistakes we make,” said Bradley.

“Pienaar is a quality kicker, as in world-class. (In a quarter-final) Munster made three mistakes which were 51 to 53 metres from their line, and that was nine points, so we’ve got to be very careful about that.

“We are going to have to get things so right against Ulster.

“We made five mistakes against them at Murrayfield (in the Pro12), they got four tries and they should have scored a couple more — they are that good and they’ve got that much power.”

Having achieved the rare feat of preventing four-times champions Toulouse score for an entire half last time out, Edinburgh Rugby skipper Greig Laidlaw is calling on his side to carry on where they left off.

“Again it is about getting the small things right. Ulster have a good defence so our attacking game has to be spot on.”

The knife-edged nature of Edinburgh’s campaign so far can be summed up by the fact they scraped through by a last minute drop goal at Racing Metro while, in the previous leg, the Frenchmen saw a similar effort go wide of the posts.

“The tightness of the result can sum up the glory of sport and sometimes we have come out on the right side,” said Laidlaw. “Our guys have stuck in well especially in the Heineken Cup and I won’t need to gee the team up. They know it is a big game and have responded very well so far. I hope same thing happens this weekend

“They will be delighted to have beaten us twice this season and we will look at what we have to take from those games we and put it right. Our run has always felt real because I have huge belief in the players at Edinburgh. If we do our job right we won’t be far away but if we don’t Ulster will be hard to beat.”

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