Last Saturday may have reaffirmed their own coach’s assessment that in spite of recent derby results their rivals remain the superior force in Scottish rugby, but it is Edinburgh who have the challenge of working out how to battle on two fronts as they head into the new year.

That is partly down to being in the lesser European competition which presents an odd dilemma because they have now established themselves as serious contenders to win a trophy they just missed out on when beaten in the final a couple of years ago, but are also focused on ensuring that they are not contesting it again next season.

Since they have ground to make up on the teams currently occupying the three places in their Pro14 Conference that will be rewarded with European Champions Cup involvement next season, matches like this weekend’s against South Africa’s win-less Southern Kings must consequently be treated with full respect, even with back-to-back European meetings with Stade Francais looming. Cliched as it may be, then, their players have every justification in resorting to the old standby of claiming that they are not looking too far ahead of themselves, attractive as those meetings with the Parisian team may be.

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“Most guys will say we just think week to week,” said Phil Burleigh, their vastly experienced New Zealand-born centre who won a first Scotland cap during the recent autumn Test series. “We’ve got the Southern Kings this week, we’ll take a lot of learning from the Glasgow game and look to move forward in the Pro14 first. We’d like to take four or five points from the Kings game, but after that playing against Stade Francais is something to look forward to, a good European match. Hopefully we can put them away and get a home quarter-final. We’d like to win both games of course.”

Their forthcoming double header with Stade is a repeat of how last year’s pool campaign was decided, an exchange of home wins enough to take Edinburgh into the knockout stages as pool winners thanks to previous results and, knowing those matches will be another step up in quality, Burleigh reckoned they could still take encouragement from Saturday’s defeat in Glasgow.

“We broke them a lot. Probably more than they did us. It was good to see (and) our defence was good,” he observed. “It was only 6-0 with about 20 minutes to go. That’s something we’ve prided ourselves on all year. It’s something we can take away from the game.“We’re still moving in the right direction. We put a really good effort in against a very good Glasgow side. We were more physical than we used to be and we didn’t take a step back.”