IF Edinburgh were disappointed to have their unbeaten competitive home record ended by Ulster last Saturday, at least they had the consolation of claiming the losing bonus point that confirmed they will be in the URC play-offs. 

Over the next few weeks, however, they know that there will be no second chances thanks to narrow losses. Their season now essentially consists of straight knockout games, starting this Saturday when they are at home to Wasps in a Challenge Cup quarter-final. 

Win that and they will have a semi-final against either Lyon or Glasgow. Then, before the play-offs start with a last-eight tie in either Ireland or South Africa, there will be a league match against the Warriors, with the prize for the winners being a guaranteed place in next season’s Champions Cup.

The capital club have shown considerable promise all season, but centre Mark Bennett, for one, knows that will count for nothing unless they get some big results over the coming weeks. “We need to crack on now,” the Scotland international said yesterday. “We’ve played some great rugby, we’ve won some big games, but the bigger ones are still to come. So the next few weeks are going to be big for the club and really show how far we’ve stepped forward this season.” 

In the biggest of matches against the most physical of opponents there may be a temptation to play a more conservative brand of rugby, but Bennett is convinced that would be a mistake. An adventurous style of play has taken them this far, he reasons, and it is their best chance of going further.

“It’s what we’re about,” he added. “It’s the brand of rugby that we want to play, it’s the brand of rugby that we find suits us. So I don’t think we need to step away from that.”

While Wasps this weekend is the main focus, as a former Warriors player Bennett cannot help but look forward to the game or games against Glasgow.

“I was there for six or seven years - I think it was only a couple of weeks ago that I’ve played more games for Edinburgh than I did for Glasgow. It’s a strange one to think about.

“It’s a massive game for the club, not only for our final place in the league table but for the Champions Cup for next season. It’s a huge game.”