Mark Bennett explains why Edinburgh are 'in a great spot' ahead of Bulls showdown

Mark Bennett is confident that Edinburgh are in a good frame of mind - and body - going into their first big challenge of the season against the Bulls on Saturday.

However, the capital side’s centre still expects his team will need to make a significant step up from last week’s win against the Dragons if they are to make it two wins out of two in the BKT United Rugby Championship campaign.

Edinburgh defeated the Welsh side comfortably enough in the end, scoring seven tries in a 44-6 win, but only after shrugging off a sluggish start, and Bennett knows that another flawed beginning like that is likely to be punished more severely by the Bulls in Pretoria. By the same token, however, he is confident that he and his team-mates are well placed to avoid such a pitfall thanks to their pre-season training.

“Pre-season has been really good and the boys have worked bloody hard,” he said yesterday. “I think that we’re in a great spot: we’re fit, we’re fast, we’re strong and we’re ready to rock and roll.

“The Bulls are a very physical side, as you would expect from any South African team, so I think first and foremost you’ve got to try and match their physicality. That’s the key to the game over here: match the physicality and we’ll give ourselves a chance. If we don’t, then it’s going to be a long day.”

It briefly threatened to be a long evening against the Dragons before Bennett and co got their act together, and the 29-year-old does not expect to be allowed to ease into the game on Saturday. “We got the job done against the Dragons, but the first 20 minutes were quite squeaky. At the weekend we’ve got to start quickly. We’ve got to try and put them on the back foot and have the start that the Dragons had against us.

“It was a good start, but there’s a lot more to come from this team. There’s still a hell of a lot we could do better, which has been the theme this week.”

Edinburgh's Mark Bennett during last weekend's win over Dragons at the DAM Health Stadium. (Photo by Simon Wootton / SNS Group)
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