EDINBURGH winger Damien Hoyland promised after Saturday’s 24-17 defeat to a Benetton side who had a player sent off after just 10 minutes, and who were reduced to 13 men twice during the second half due to yellow cards, that his team’s failings would not be swept under the carpet.

The capital outfit travelled to Treviso looking to pick up a third away win on the bounce – after getting the better of Zebre and Cardiff on their own patches during the last month – but ended up being bullied out of the game by a team who drew inspiration from adversity, and who played a smarter and more aggressive brand of rugby over the whole 80 minutes.

The defeat is not a critical blow to Edinburgh’s URC play-off aspirations, but a sobering reminder that this team is still very much among the second rank in the league, with a real lack of edge up front when their coterie of international stars are away or being rested.

“The boys are pretty gutted to be honest,” said Hoyland straight after the game. “All credit to Benetton, they made life pretty difficult for us at the breakdown. When you can’t win your own ball back it makes the rest of the game much more difficult. We knew they were going to be a big threat there and they were just too good for us.

“We need to take a hard look at ourselves going into next week – against Munster at the DAM Health Stadium – and make sure we are a lot better.”

“Benetton away is a tough game,” he continued. “They are a passionate team, and the crowd gets right behind them. They are very, very physical and when they get their tails up, they’re very hard to stop. When you’re playing them at their home, it is a real tough place to come.

“And just because we were playing against 14 men it didn’t mean things were going to happen automatically. We still had to execute our plays, but we weren’t good enough at the breakdown and we couldn’t hold onto the ball for long enough to capitalise on that extra man.”

Of course, every team in competitive sport is generally better at home than they are away, but this swing from a 53-8 win for Edinburgh when the two sides met at the DAM Health Stadium just over a month ago is hard to fathom, let alone accept.

“We spoke a lot about opportunities coming into this game,” added Hoyland. “We could have got three away wins on the trot over quite a difficult period and that would be massive for us. Two out of three from away games is still quite good, better than no wins from three, but we’ve got to be hard on ourselves. We wanted to get the three wins and we were more than capable of doing it.”

Edinburgh were missing 10 internationalists, who had all been rested following the recent Autumn Test Series, but – to his credit – Hoyland did not try to use this as an excuse.

“Benetton were missing some guys as well,” he acknowledged. “We have a very good pool of players and a lot of guys still available who put their hands up week in and week out. We had a squad that we thought should have been capable of winning today. It all comes down to that breakdown battle – something so simple and Benetton made that extremely difficult for us.”

Munster have had a patchy start to the season, losing all four of the games they have played on the road so far, but they will present of formidable challenge on Friday night.

“Although they are not in a position in the league where they would want to be, they have been a top team for a long time,” concluded Hoyland. “Even though we are playing at home they are not going to roll over. That will be a tough game. But if we play our game and play as well as we can then we can beat Munster, especially at home.

“I feel that our performance today was nowhere near what we are capable of. We’re going to have to raise at much higher next week to have a chance of beating Munster.”