Injury concerns as Edinburgh rack up half century in pre-season win over Benetton

Edinburgh assistant coach Stevie Lawrie is confident that his team’s injury list will have shortened by the time they get round to playing Scarlets in Saturday’s opening United Rugby Championship match.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 6:59 pm
Edinburgh's Patrick Harrison takes on Lorenzo Cannone during the pre-season friendly win over Benneton (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

Speaking after his team ran in eight tries in an entertaining 50-29 pre-season friendly win over Benetton, Lawrie was particularly hopeful that talismanic No 8 Bill Mata would be passed fit to take part in the home match against the Welsh side.

“We’ve got a couple returning from the previous week,” he said. “Jamie Hodgson has already started his return-to-play protocols, so he’s a possibility and so is Jaco van der Walt. Bill Mata is a possibility as well - he’s nearing a return, so that’s quite exciting.

“There were a couple of bashes along the way but we’re hoping they’ll be there or thereabouts for next week. Couple of touch-and-goes.”

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One ‘bash’ was picked up in training on Thursday by Magnus Bradbury, who had to withdraw from the starting line-up as a result. His replacement, Nick Haining, lasted only five minutes before limping off.

Such concerns apart, it was an encouraging afternoon for Edinburgh, who looked sharper than they had been in their defeat by Newcastle a week earlier. Their stamina was impressive too, as, after being only 19-17 ahead at half-time, they finished by far the stronger team.

Their tries came from Mark Bennett, Ben Vellacott and Damien Hoyland in the first half, while after the break Luke Crosbie, Stuart McInally, Ben Muncaster and Hoyland again touched down before late replacement Patrick Harrison claimed the eighth. Blair Kinghorn added three conversions and Charlie Savala got two, the second of which ran up the half-century in the final kick of the contest.

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