United Rugby Championship: Edinburgh target home quarter-final

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Edinburgh captain Grant Gilchrist is eyeing a home quarter-final as the United Rugby Championship enters its final stages.

Gilchrist’s side currently occupy seventh position on the table, but only three points separate them from the second-placed Stormers making it all to play for in the final two rounds.

Tightly packed table

Edinburgh are aware of how tight the table is and will treat their next two games as knockout games as they search for the all-important home quarter-final.

“You look at how tight the league is – there’s not much between ninth and second, so we know that these two games are equivalent to knockout games because they will determine how things will go after that,” Gilchrist told the Scotsman.

A clash at home against Ulster is the next hurdle for Edinburgh and Gilchrist is under no illusions of how tricky it will be.

“We know how big playing Ulster is and we know we need to win one of the last two to get into the last eight and if we want to play at home, then we have to win them both,” he said.

“We would love to play a home quarter-final here. That would be a huge statement by the club but it would also give us the best opportunity to go further in the competition.”

Gilchrist longs for the day his side wins silverware and claims it would be his “best moment” in rugby.

“It would mean so much to me,” said the lock. “This place, this group of players, the club has been a huge part of my life. It would be the highest and best moment I could have on a rugby pitch if I could do that.”

Edinburgh are also still in contention for a European win keeping Gilchrist’s dream alive, but he knows they have to be on their game.

“We have two home games in the leagues and a home quarter-final in Europe,” he said. “We can control our own destiny, but if we are slightly off, as we found out at the weekend, it can quickly unravel.

“We are going to have to be better against Ulster and then better again against Glasgow and better against Wasps. But if we can keep doing that, keep growing as a squad, then we will back ourselves and look forward to it.”

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