Edinburgh V Toyota Cheetahs
Edinburgh secured their third win of the season, and their second bonus-point victory in as many weeks, after a domineering closing spell saw the capital club eventually pull away from Cheetahs at BT Murrayfield.
Richard Cockerill’s side were, in the end, worth the five points eventually secured on the night as Jamie Ritchie crashed over the line with just two minutes remaining for the all-important fourth try of the contest.
The match was not without its drama, however, and much like last week’s tussle with Benetton, Edinburgh let a half-time lead slip following a largely loose spell of play to begin the second period
However, despite trialling by a point heading into the final third, Edinburgh rallied and when Bill Mata crashed over the whitewash to regain the lead, BT Murrayfield was once again on its feet.
And Edinburgh reacted accordingly to the supporters’ will. With one final push, an attacking lineout was secured and with Cheetahs in reverse, Jamie Ritchie had the simple task of dotting down.
Speaking following the match, Head Coach Richard Cockerill was pleased with how his side performed, but felt there are still large parts of their game that can be improved upon.
“We were largely very good and we created some really good opportunities in attack,” said Cockerill.
“I was disappointed at half-time because I thought there were lots of opportunities that we didn’t take. We can play a lot better and hopefully we will in the next couple of weeks.
“I’ve said to the guys in the changing room, we need to be a team that continues to play, even when we have the lead. We’re very good at playing when we’re behind because we love to be an underdog, but I’d much rather that we get in front and kill the game.”
It was another match in which Edinburgh had to battle to the final whistle. With Cheetahs winger Rabz Maxwane twice crossing the whitewash, the capital side were in an all-so familiar position, however they once again proved that they are made of tougher stuff.
“We’ve got some good metal fortitude. We’re getting better and we’re a team that’s still developing.
“We’re disappointed in the performance in many regards, but we still take the five points. So hopefully we’ve created a mentality where we truly want to get better, rather than we’re simply happy with the five pointes secured.
“With Cheetahs, you don’t know what they are going to throw at you, so you have to be really accurate in everything you do. We can do a lot better in defence especially and not let those easy tries in.”
With a bonus-point win tonight and Ulster’s loss to Connacht, Edinburgh move into second place in Conference B, however, Cockerill is not getting carried away by his side’s league position so early in the season.
“You’re never as good as you think, and you’re never as bad as you think,” explained the Head Coach.
“We’re six games in and there’s a long way to go. League position at the moment is irrelevant. If we’re in the top-three come the end of the year, then we’ll be having a different conversation. This time last year, we lost to Cheetahs as well as Benetton at home, so I think we’re making progress.
“I’m happy with the work the lads are putting in and the progress we’re making, but I know that we can play better. We’re a much better team than we’ve so far showed and hopefully we can take that form into Europe and beyond.”
Edinburgh now prepare to travel to face Montpellier in the opening match of the 2018/19 Heineken Champions Cup