Edinburgh Rugby head coach Richard Cockerill reckons his side have nothing to lose when they host two-time winners Munster Rugby on Saturday in their Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final at BT Murrayfield.
The Scottish side are taking part in just their third European Cup quarter-final, while Munster are playing in a record 18th, but Cockerill – who won the competition twice as a player with Leicester Tigers – insists Edinburgh are approaching the tie full of confidence, having topped Pool 5 with 23 points.
The former England hooker said: “I want to win on Saturday. We’re a good team, we’ll be well prepared and we’ll look forward to the challenge.
“I think this is Munster’s 18th quarter-final. This is our third, so history dictates that they should probably be favourites. They’ve got all the big-game experience.
“But the journey is good for us, because it’s new and fresh, it’s exciting and it’ll be a really good test to see where we’re at as a team, both as a coaching team and as a playing group.”
With a record crowd for a European Cup quarter-final in the UK expected, Cockerill believes that the territory tussle and error count will decide who comes out on top.
“I think the territory battle will be key,” he added. “They keep the ball very well, with Conor Murray, and they chase very well, with their wingers, and win the ball back. They squeeze teams, they squeeze territory and force you into mistakes.
“We like to do that as well. We’ve got an international forward pack pretty much and we’re good. We’re well-drilled.
“I think the aerial battle of winning the territory and who can make sure they can manage that well, as well as the set-piece battles, the trench warfare, are going to be fierce, I hope.
🗨️ "The place is going to be absolutely bouncing!" 👏
Watch Stuart McInally's full player focus as he urges supporters to get behind the city on what is set to be a memorable day at BT Murrayfield: 📺https://t.co/1vttrUYozk
— Edinburgh Rugby (@EdinburghRugby) March 28, 2019
“But I think it’ll be [down to] errors. We’ve got players who can give us a bit of brilliance, so have they. We’re quite similar teams.
“They’ve probably got a longer history of doing it better than we have, but I think if we get it right on the day, there’s no reason we can’t win.”
- You can watch live free-to-air coverage of Edinburgh Rugby v Munster Rugby on Channel 4 and Virgin Media from 12:45 GMT on Saturday, as well as BT Sport and beIN SPORTS.