The Edinburgh coach Andy Robinson yesterday looked back on last season's encounters with Munster with mixed emotions – his side had the European champions in trouble in both matches, which is something to be proud of, but lost twice, which is not. The clubs meet again in the new Magners League season at Murrayfield tomorrow and Robinson is desperate for similar effort from his players but different results.
"We had Munster on the ropes in both games last term – but on each occasion we let them off the hook," the former England coach said. Robinson insisted his squad are better equipped now to deal with the demands of the league – and likened Munster's current status to the Edinburgh situation at the start of last season. "Back then," he said, "we had a new coach – and that is where they are now. Our foundations are in place and we then found momentum. When that happened, we took off. But it did take a few games."
But Robinson stopped short of suggesting it is an ideal time to be facing Munster. "They have brought in some backs of tremendous quality and there will be more to them as a team," he said. "I think they might surprise a few people."
Robinson has resisted temptation to use Chris Paterson at stand-off in his competitive comeback following his ill-fated year at Gloucester. Paterson slots in on the right wing, while Phil Godman fills the No 10 jersey. Lock Craig Hamilton and prop Geoff Cross have been given the nod to start following rousing displays in pre-season friendly wins over Wasps and Bath.
In Wellington yesterday, New Zealand thrashed Samoa 101-14. The All Blacks ran in 15 tries to gain their fifth century in Test match rugby and inflict on the South Pacific Island nation their heaviest defeat.