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Edinburgh prop says South African sides getting to grips in URC

By PA
Pierre Schoeman (Photo by Bruce White/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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Edinburgh prop Pierre Schoeman reckons Saturday’s stalemate with Stormers represents a further sign the South African sides are starting to find their feet in the United Rugby Championship.

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The four Springbok sides toiled for results on the opening two weekends of the campaign.

But on matchday three, Sharks and Bulls both picked up victories, Lions suffered a narrow defeat and Stormers fought back from an early 14-0 deficit to draw 20-20 at the Dam Health Stadium.

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Schoeman – from Pretoria – believes his countrymen are now getting to grips with playing regularly in the northern hemisphere.

He said: “We obviously wanted to win but it was a good game. It was physical. We know the South African sides are physical, especially the Stormers.

“It was their third game abroad so they’re getting the hang of the refs, the set-piece battles, the kicking games and the weather conditions.”

Edinburgh face more South African opposition next weekend when they host the Bulls, who beat Cardiff at the weekend.

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Schoeman added: “We’ll need to be switched on. The Bulls are very physical and they pride themselves on set-pieces as well. Discipline, no soft moments and no soft tries is going to be key for us.”

Jaco van der Walt was at the heart of Edinburgh’s best moments as he set up the two tries scored by Darcy Graham and Ben Vellacott in the opening six minutes. He successfully kicked two conversions and two penalties as all of the game’s points were scored in the first half.

Coach Mike Blair said: “Jaco was excellent. He’s played with a lot of confidence over the last couple of games. I’m delighted with how he’s started the season.”

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