Gissing On Howlett Reunion

ImageBen Gissing admits he will not be going into uncharted territory when Edinburgh take on Munster in the Magners League on Friday (15 February, kick off 7.30pm) because he played alongside the Irish Province's chief attacking threat, Doug Howlett over a decade ago.
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Auckland-born lock Gissing has been the only player to appear in all of Edinburgh's matches so far this season and the 32-year-old has played an influential role in the club climbing up to third spot in the table.
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With eight games to go, the team from the Scottish capital now have a genuine chance of staging a late challenge for the title.
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But the next obstacle in Edinburgh's path is a Munster side spearheaded by All Blacks' record try scorer Howlett.

Nevertheless Gissing revealed he knows exactly what to expect from his fellow New Zealander; because he first clapped eyes on him when they were both starting out as junior players at Auckland Marist's.
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Gissing said: "We played club rugby together for a couple of years before he was taken into Auckland's NPC team pretty quickly; he would have been about 18 at the time.
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"When I first trained with him it was obvious how good he was. He was into track (athletics) and he was the quickest guy around at that time.
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"He was always quick and scored loads of tries for the Marist's. So I wasn't surprised to see he has gone on to have a good career in the game
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"I also played with Rua Tipoki (another Munster back). He was a good guy and has also had a good career."
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As a former Leinster stalwart and Ireland A international, Gissing is well versed in the threat posed by Munster and says Edinburgh will not be resting on their laurels until the end of the season.
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He said: "You can't say anything about progress yet because we're not at the end of the season.
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"I think these next two games are very important to us and then we will see where we are. Then we will get everyone back from international duties and re-evaluate it after that.
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"This game is hugely important. We will be looking to play the exciting type of rugby we have been playing. Hopefully the crowds will come back because they enjoy our rugby."
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Back in early November, Edinburgh narrowly lost 19-16 to a Munster side containing Ronan O'Gara and the men in black and red were guilty of surrendering some needless late penalties.
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But since then Edinburgh have ironed out the flaws that led to that defeat and Gissing believes their improved game management can be attributed to one factor; increased experience.
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He said: "Game management just comes from playing games together. It is all about the team; it is not about any one individual; if the coach thinks he can improve the team by bringing someone else in then that is what he does.
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"Also if you look at our team sheet we don't have any star names, we just have good honest players.
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"We all want to play for each other which is the main thing and nobody wants to let anyone else down. The team wants to play for the coaches. The coaches are putting the effort in, the players see that and are responding to that."

Meanwhile, Edinburgh Rugby Club have launched an initiative to reward the loyalty of the fans after confirming anyone who pre-purchases a ticket for the Munster match will automatically be entered into a ballot to win the chance to buy Scotland v England tickets. For further details visit www.edinburghrugby.org.