Edinburgh looking for Ravenhill repeat

Guinness PRO12 Editor

12 Jan 2010


Edinburgh are looking for a repeat of their Magners League success at Ravenhill when they travel to Ulster again this weekend.

The Scottish capital side take on their Magners League rivals in Round 5 of this year’s Heineken Cup knowing that victory is well within their grasp, even if their recent form hasn’t been as good as they would have hoped.

Ravenhill is traditionally one of the hardest grounds to win at as a visiting team but Edinburgh have already achieved that feat once this season.

Rob Moffat’s men triumphed 16-13 back in mid-September as Edinburgh began their Magners League campaign with three straight wins.

Edinburgh go into Friday night’s fixture following a 21-12 win over Cardiff Blues last time out but successive defeats to Glasgow in their previous two games has seen them lose joint-top spot in the Magners League. 

Veteran full back Chris Paterson admits that things have not gone as smoothly as they would have liked in recent weeks but the Scotland legend is still confident that another victory in Belfast is a real possibilty. 

“Of the two of us, Ulster are the ones in better form, and they will have home advantage but, having won at Ravenhill already this season, we know we are capable of going there and doing it,” said Paterson. 

“And, make no mistake about it, there is still a lot to play for. 

“For perhaps the first time I can recall since I started playing in the Heineken Cup we are coming up to weekend No 5 and you still cannot tell with any degree of certainty just how the group is going to finish.” 

Edinburgh and Ulster currently occupy joint-second place in a pool that also includes French giants Stade Francais and former tournament winners Bath.

The two Magners League sides have nine points to their name and both still harbour hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages as group winners or runners up. 

“Stade have put themselves in pole position with one more win than ourselves and Ulster but, so far, there is no real winner or loser in our group,” added Paterson. 

“Sometimes after just a couple of rounds sides can see they are already on the way out but this Pool is finely balanced and it promises to be an exciting weekend in Paris and Belfast. 

“However, we know full well that if we lose at Ravenhill we will be as good as out. “

Ulster have won five of their seven home games so far this season, but, both their two loses have come against Scottish opposition.

Edinburgh, meanwhile, have lost both their away fixtures so far in Europe this season and Paterson admits his team face a tough task against an Ulster side with threats all over the pitch.

“Ulster are a very physical, abrasive, big and powerful team but they are also pretty quick. 

“The power of their game is a real threat while they now have a settled back line with Andrew Trimble and Simon Danielli dangerous out wide. 

“We know we have performed poorly away from home so we need to sort that out and an away win on Friday would be like gold dust. 

“We were disappointed to lose the two big derby games against Glasgow – they deserved to win on both occasions – but we are a bit out of form and have hit something of a blip. 

“How we recover from that is to go out and do the small things more accurately, eliminate those unforced mistakes and, hopefully, start scoring some more tries.”