WHEN you have 23 players missing from your squad yet still manage to win a game 18-0 you must be doing something right.

In fact, Edinburgh did a lot right in the Murrayfield fog on Monday night, beating Cardiff Blues to make it two wins in a row and move to third in PRO14 Conference B.

But do not be deceived by the score: this was no walkover.

The Welsh team were in contention for the bulk of the game, and even when they went 15-0 down they still pressed in search of the score that would at least take them within reach of a losing bonus point.

The Blues defended well, too, comfortably repelling the bulk of Edinburgh’s attacks even though front-row forwards Lee Roy Atalifo and David Cherry eventually crossed for tries.

Which made the home team’s composure and perseverance all the more commendable, especially given the fact that so many members of the squad had minimal or no experience at this level.

This was just a fourth appearance for stand-off Nathan Chamberlain, for example, while props Sam Grahamslaw and Dan Gamble came off the bench to make their debuts.

Chamberlain, who contributed eight points from two penalties and a conversion, was praised by head coach Richard Cockerill for putting in “a really competent performance”. But he insisted himself that a large part of the credit for his performance should instead go to the older, wiser heads around him, particularly captain Henry Pyrgos and inside centre Chris Dean.

“The whole team were very composed,” the 20-year-old said. “It comes from all the lads helping the young lads out – there’s a few young lads in the team and the senior players help us out a lot. Henry at scrum-half, Deano outside me as well, so it all came down from the senior players as much as us younger players trying to control that game as well.

“We stuck it out till the end and we’re happy we got the win. We couldn’t really see much near the end, but it was good. It was a bit greasy under foot as well, but we changed our game plan, we changed to a kicking game, and that seemed to work for us. It was a good performance from the whole group.”

As regular playmaker Jaco van der Walt will be in quarantine for another week or more following his return from his wedding in South Africa, Chamberlain will remain at 10 next Monday night for the toughest fixture of the season – the game against champions Leinster in Dublin.

It is not a prospect that fazes him, even though the home team will be overwhelming favourites to keep up their remarkable winning run in the league.

“We’ve got to take a lot of confidence into that,” Chamberlain insisted. “They’ve been unbeaten for 25 games, I think, so it’s a good test for us and coming off the back of two tight wins gives us a lot of confidence going into that game. I feel we can back ourselves.”