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Edinburgh – Rory Baldwin

Guinness PRO12 Editor

19 Oct 2012


Rory Baldwin (33) is the editor of the Scottish Rugby Blog which has been providing coverage of Scottish rugby at all levels since 2007, and has given him too many top rugby moments (on and off the pitch) to mention.

Both Scottish pro teams started poorly this season in the RaboDirect PRO12, then seemed to recover a little composure. Edinburgh picked up what seemed like a good away win in Cardiff, but since then they have started to slide with losses to Treviso and the Dragons and an abysmal start in Europe.

With its vast tracts of empty space, Murrayfield on pro-team duty can seem gloomy at the best of times. These days it must be worse than usual for the coaching team of Michael Bradley and Neil Back.

At some points Edinburgh have showcased the dazzling attack that made them a threat in every game last season, but for reasons still unclear, they struggle to impose their will and finish games. This is something that may trouble the men upstairs who brought in ex-Leicester man Back to do just that – inject a steely heart into the pack. David Denton and Sean Cox have battled hard but there have been too many basic errors. Young Stuart McInally has been favoured over Heineken hero Netani Talei at Number 8, but he is far from the only player to have struggled to get (and keep) things moving forward. Laidlaw has also been much less conspicuous than last season.

Edinburgh have not struggled to for inventiveness or flair, but without the quick ball they thrive on, they have struggled to create the chances to be creative.

Biggest surprise so far?
That Edinburgh have – at times – pulled some coherent scrummaging together. Until the Treviso match (complete with Italian ref) they had been pretty handy in the set piece including a demolition of Cardiff. New signings WP Nel and John Yapp have looked good, and it seems to have helped take some pressure off Jacobsen and Cross.

Most valuable player so far this season?
Some things have changed but Tim Visser is still the key man in the Edinburgh side – he brings the tries, and the crowds. Hopefully the knee knock he picked up won’t prove too serious, as even on the bad days he seems to pick up a score.

Overall season prediction for your side?
Hopefully they can rescue some mid-table respectability. Surely these doldrums won’t last? Otherwise the bottom of the league beckons once again.

Other predictions?
Visser will continue his rampage through the try scoring tables. At the moment the only other certainty looks like Glasgow winning the festive head-to-heads.

Who's going to win the RaboDirect PRO12?
Still hard to look past Leinster or Ulster. I think perhaps Ospreys will get back on track and Glasgow will offer a stiff challenge again this year if they can keep players fit.