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Edinburgh are hoping a step back into their past will lead to a bright future when they play Timisoara Saracens at Myreside in Round 6 of the Challenge Cup.
At stake for the Scottish capital club is a home quarter-final and a giant step towards a possible dream appearance at BT Murrayfield in May. They ran in nine tries in a 59-17 at the Dan Paltinisanu in Round 1.
If they can come up with a similar result at home then they will move to 24 points, win Pool 5 and be guaranteed a home draw. If they win without a bonus point, then they will still win the pool (Harlequins can match their tally, but lose on the head to head rule having lost twice to Edinburgh), but could have to battle it out with Brive and Bath on points difference.
Having come this far, losing only once in the pool in Paris to Stade Francais, there are no signs of the Edinburgh players giving up their gold chance, especially with an emotional return to their spiritual home at Myreside.
“We’ve just to go in there and get on with the job of getting the five points. We have put ourselves in a great position to get a home quarter-final and we’ve just got to concentrate on keeping playing like we have in the past few weeks,” said Alan Dell, one of the try-scoring heroes from the win at Harlequins in Round 5.
“You need to go into these kind of games, where you think there is a good chance to get points, in the right frame of mind. You need to focus on your roles and look to get those five points.
“When we played them over there they were really physical and strong. Towards the end of the game we got a bit loose, lost some structure and let them back in a bit, so fronting up physically from the start is the main thing.”
Although Myreside is set to become the new home for Edinburgh it is a venue that has been used many times in the past. The club’s early European fixtures were played there and Edinburgh played touring teams like Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, all with crowds of upwards of 6,000.
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Edinburgh booked their place in the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finals after a thumping 49-3 win against Timisoara Saracens.
Duncan Hodge’s side ran in seven tries on their return to Myreside with Neil Cochrane – on his 50th appearance for Edinburgh – going over for a brace and picking up the Heineken Man of the Match award.
After a 15-year absence from their spiritual home, the 2015 Challenge Cup runners-up simply had to record a win against the Romanians to book a home quarter-final berth and stay on course for a dream trip to the home of Scottish rugby at BT Murrayfield on the European Finals Weekend in May.
It took just one minute for Edinburgh to get the first score in Timisoara in Round 1, but the hosts had to show patience to brush off the early nerves. But after a gritty opening captain Cochrane was on hand to crash over at the back of a rolling maul in the 10thminute, with outside-half Duncan Weir spot on with the conversion.
The hosts were up and running and soon took a foothold on the game. Cornell Du Preez found the second after collecting Tom Brown’s set up, with Weir continuing to impress with the tee. Allan Dell departed after a blow to the head, and failed a Head Injury Assessment which put a halt to the Scottish international prop's night.
But there were no such worries for Blair Kinghorn who intercepted a loose ball from 50 metres to score at the posts for number three, before Michael Allen bagged the bonus-point, three minutes before half-time.
Timisoara got themselves on the board, one minute into the second-half after scrum-half Valentin Calafeteanu slotted a penalty. Edinburgh, however, soon resumed from where they left off with Cochrane going over for his second and his team’s fifth. Weir bowed out with the conversion to seal a perfect record for the evening, and was replaced by Jason Tovey.
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne was sent to the bin by referee Adam Jones, and soon after it was level-pegging when Marian Drenceanu saw yellow for collapsing a maul. Edinburgh were well on top as replacement Tovey carved his way through a gap to score number six, and chipped over with the conversion.
Hidalgo-Clyne returned, and was immediately involved in teeing up Damien Hoyland who wrapped up proceedings 12 minutes from the end.
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