Edinburgh face a Biggar test at Ospreys

Edinburgh's Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, left, calls for a penalty in the victory over Dragons last week. Picture: SNS
Edinburgh's Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, left, calls for a penalty in the victory over Dragons last week. Picture: SNS
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The brains behind Edinburgh Rugby’s scrum revival has urged the team to keep their feet on the ground and warned of a potent threat lurking in Ospreys ranks ahead of a trip to Swansea in the RaboDirect PRO12 tomorrow evening.

Forwards coach Stevie Scott, pictured inset, looked on with pride as his charges surged towards the Dragons’ posts in injury time last week to force the penalty which allowed Harry Leonard to secure a 16-13 win.

Almost immediately, Scott was looking ahead to the meeting with a team whose spearhead needs just 27 points to become only the second player to reach the century mark in the RaboDirect-sponsored competition.

Adding to Dan Biggar’s achievement is the fact it has come aged just 23, with plenty more years in which to add to both his points aggregates and 18 Welsh caps.

“It is important our discipline is tight,” said Scott. “Dan Biggar has played a bit of Test rugby and is the Ospreys lynchpin.

“He knows how to play a game and get results. He is a good goalkicker.”

It was Biggar who sits behind only Dan Parks in the all-time charts and the very figure who converted a late penalty to secure a 29-29 draw for Ospreys at champions Leinster last weekend and that, coupled with a 24-19 over Treviso, also on the road, has put the Liberty Stadium outfit in good heart.

“Ospreys’ six points from their first two games away from home is a good start for them. Year in, year out they are a top four team and anybody away from home is going to be a big challenge,” noted Scott.

At least, though, Edinburgh have a weapon in the form of a power scrum which can be put to good use.

“We’ve been working hard on our scrum within the new laws and have got a lot of it right. It has been a main focus,” said Scott.

According to ex-Scotland hooker Scott, there were opportunities to be exploited from taking up an interim post towards the end of last season and being able to work with his charges through the summer until his permanent appointment was confirmed.

“One benefit from being here throughout was to make an early start on our scrum and line-out,” he explained. “I was in place and Alan Solomons (new coach) wasn’t here yet.

“I thought we needed to get working on the scrum as quickly as possible and get an edge there.”

At the same time, Scott warned: “If anybody had offered me a 16-13 win over the Dragons before last week’s match I’d have taken it, but it’s now been and gone.

“We did a job, got a result and did a lot right, but we will come up against tougher packs. Dragons were a decent pack, but we have tougher challenges ahead in your Leinsters, Ospreys, Perpignans and Gloucesters.

“We’ll get challenged again in that area, that’s for sure. As I said to the team this week, they need to be aware that as soon as you think you have cracked something, it can come back and bite you in the a***.”

Scott himself is a no-nonsense sort, whose record since coming on board at Edinburgh after assisting Sale Sharks stands at a very respectable four wins from seven outings, starting at home to Ulster last season, and he admits he is adding to his knowledge by working alongside Solomons.

“Alan took a lot of stuff on that we did last season so it’s not been massive change,” he said.

“Every coach wants to put their marker down, though. I have been around at some good places with some good coaches, but the big thing about Alan is he has been involved in Super 15 [with Southern Kings], the English Premiership [with Northampton] and Pro 12 with Ulster.

“He has a view on three different competitions and knows what it takes to win games.

“The big thing for us is improving from where we were last week. We made too many simple errors. We are going to Wales to limit errors and put them under pressure.”