Edinburgh Rugby assistant coach Stevie Scott has pinpointed a familiar foe as the dangerman when Bordeaux Begles travel to BT Murrayfield on Friday for a potential winner-takes-all European Challenge Cup tie.
French international stand-off Lionel Beauxis, 29, was part of the Toulouse team beaten by Edinburgh at the quarter-final stage of the Champions Cup three years ago, kicking three penalties, but according to Scott he can be even more of a threat having gained additional guile and expertise. Beauxis moved to Bordeaux from Toulouse during the summer and Scott said: “Beauxis is dangerous and experienced. They also have a big Fijian winger. They have strike power.”
That Fijian is Metuisela Talebulamaijaina, capped 13 times, whose powerful running can also prove a threat in the centre where he lined-up in defeating London Welsh last weekend.
An Edinburgh victory is essential in order to qualify for the knock-out stages and while an away success against the same opponents in the opening round might breed confidence, Scott is wary. Rightly so, and not just because of Beauxis, who has 34 points from four outings and one of whose 20 caps came as a member of the French side that defeated the All Blacks in the a quarter-final of the 2007 World Cup. So far Bordeaux Begles have notched 20 tries in the pool and that is double the number posted by Edinburgh.
“The big thing about playing against French teams is it is important we get into the game early, squeeze them. We don’t want an open game against them. If we are kicking for touch the ball must go dead. They will take quick throws and play a high-tempo game. We must continue the good work we did in the scrum at the weekend, and in stopping (driving) mauls.”
Lyon, who beat Edinburgh last weekend, could take advantage of a low-scoring draw at BT Murrayfield to leapfrog into the last eight, but at least in defeat the Capital outfit were able to add some depth to their squad in Jade Te Rure.
His name has still to appear on the official list of players, but the 21-year-old from New Zealand could this weekend play a further part in Edinburgh’s glory bid.
Te Rure, who is Scottish qualified and arrived “on trial” last month, was on the field for the closing 17 minutes at stand off in Lyon when Jack Cuthbert was replaced at full back with Greig Tonks moving to last line.
“Jade has some nice touches as we saw when he played for our A side against Glasgow A recently,” said Scott. “Coming from New Zealand where he played in an ITM (domestic) cup final showed he had some experience behind him as well.
“He got the back-line involved well in Lyon when he was on and showed a good kicking game. He’s fitted in and just needs time.”
He was first included on the bench for the Pro 12 trip to Connacht a week earlier when Edinburgh restricted the use of impact players due to the tight nature of the contest before edging home.
“It was difficult to introduce Jade at Connacht but coming off the back of two hard games, against Glasgow and travelling once more in the aftermath of a trip to Connacht, we had to use a full bench,” added Scott. “That was especially the case after 69 of the 210 tackles we made in Connacht came in the last ten minutes.”
Te Rure is a former New Zealand Under-20 cap, but his emergence wasn’t the only notable feature of Saturday’s performance. Out on the wing Tim Visser romped in for his tenth try in European competition surpassing the haul achieved by Ben Cairns and Chris Paterson, albeit they scored in the premier Champions Cup event.
Paying tribute, Scott said: “Vis knows where the try-line is, that’s for sure. With Matt Scott fit and back playing in our midfield that means a couple of defenders sometimes being pulled in, creating extra space in the wider channels.
“Matt’s fellow centre, Phil Burleigh, is also a good attacking player and teams sometimes get tight in midfield trying to jam them up. Vis knows how to take advantage and nine times out of ten he will exploit any scoring opportunity”
Edinburgh returned from Lyon without any fresh injury worries.
Bordeaux Begles hooker Clement Maynadier will miss Friday’s Pool 4 decider against Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield after suffering a ruptured ankle tendon in last weekend’s bonus-point win over London Welsh, writes Colin Renton.
The 26-year-old bagged the first of the Bordeaux tries but went off injured after 34 minutes. The Frenchmen have a solid replacement in the form of Benat Auzqui, who started against Edinburgh when the teams met in the opening round of fixtures, a match won by the Capital team.