Harry proves Edinburgh’s kicking king

Harry Leonard equalled Chris Paterson's feat by kicking seven successful penalties against Scarlets
Harry Leonard equalled Chris Paterson's feat by kicking seven successful penalties against Scarlets
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In a season of woe for Edinburgh Rugby, 
positives have been thin on the ground.

With this in mind, the fact 20-year-old stand-off Harry Leonard entered the club’s record books last time out has to be savoured.

The Scotland age-group kicked seven penalties in the 28-29 Murrayfield defeat to Llanelli Scarlets as Edinburgh at least yielded a bonus point for finishing within a single score.

It was a feat which had only been achieved once before and now sees Leonard bracketed alongside Scotland’s all-time top points scorer, Chris Paterson, who was the last Edinburgh player to kick seven penalties in a 35-16 home win over Cardiff back in 2004. Leonard, like Paterson that day, picked up a man-of-the-match award, although he was typically inclined to put the emphasis on team matters afterwards.

Leonard said: “It was really tough, a really physical battle up front. Given the score, everyone is really gutted. I thought we had it in us (to win), especially the way the scoreboard looked with 10 minutes to go. That performance is definitely a step up on the last couple of weeks but it is still a loss and it should have been a win. Our performances haven’t been good enough lately but I feel we put a lot of things right [against Scarlets].

“There were obviously bad things but I think there were positives to take from the game, and one of the major ones was the forwards. My kicking was okay. But penalties come from forwards stepping up and they definitely did that.”

Further opportunities are set to come Leonard’s way, especially with Greig Laidlaw, the No 1 stand off, attached to Scotland. The next few weeks present a great opportunity for me to work hard for a more regular spot in the team with Greig [Laidlaw] away for three or four games.

“He’s awesome for me and Gregor [Hunter]. To watch him play and how he controls the game, and then talk to him is invaluable for our development.

“Ulster will present a great challenge and are a good team, but Scarlets are also a good team and we had tonnes of chances to beat them. We’ll go to Ravenhill with confidence and hopefully get a good display.”