EDINBURGH assistant coach Roddy Grant has warned the squad that if they perform as badly in future as they did against Benetton on Friday, they cannot expect to end up on the winning side again. The PRO14 match at BT Murrayfield ended in a 31-30 win for the home team, but they lost the try count 5-4 and only held on to win thanks to some inaccurate kicking from the Italians.

Grant, the former Edinburgh flanker, is inclined to regard the performance as a blip, especially as the team’s defence has functioned well in previous games this season. But, with another league game against the Cheetahs coming up on Friday before attention turns to the Champions Cup, it has been made plain to the players that they will need to up their game.

“If you get 30 points against you it is a concern,” he said. “We’ve been very good in defence last season and this season up until now. It’s more I guess the proverbial blip. We’re not concerned going forward - it’s just more of a frustration, I guess.

“Hopefully we’ll look back on it and think it was a mental wake-up call. It’s clear that we can’t repeat that against the teams we’re going against soon. Against anyone in the PRO14 or in Europe, if you’re not on your game you’re going to run into trouble. It can’t happen again. Hopefully that was one of those Get Out Of Jail Free cards done and we’ll move on.”

While Benetton appeared able to score at will on several occasions, the coaching team remain convinced that their defensive system is fundamentally sound. Instead, they have put such weaknesses down to either individual mistakes or a lack of the correct attitude. “There were errors within the system,” Grant explained. “It’s a very good system and we’ve been good at it.

“When you have a performance like that on that side of the ball everyone needs to take stock. Probably it was just more mentally we weren't quite on it and if you’re not 100 per cent on it you get punished.

“It's difficult if you have the ball for 20 minutes and then suddenly you're defending and you get caught off guard. The momentum changes and unless you rein it in, the thread can unravel quickly.

“We’ve trained really well today. It's been a big day, a physical day, and we’re hopefully righting wrongs and getting minds right for the weekend. We can’t have that performance again.

“In any profession you get frustrated if something doesn't go that well. The coaches were frustrated that we didn't deliver in our area, and hopefully the players are too.” Edinburgh, now fifth on Conference B with two wins from four games, are still waiting for news on the knee injury which saw Fraser McKenzie carried off on Friday night. However, Ross Ford and Jaco van der Walt, both of whom were ruled out of the game late on because of illness, are expected to be available for selection this week.