Cockerill hails team performance

Cockerill hails team performance

Head Coach Richard Cockerill praised the efforts of his entire squad following Edinburgh’s 19-11 win over Cardiff Blues.

The capital club made it two wins from two in the Guinness PRO14 with an impressive performance on the road and Cockerill asserted that ‘the sum of our parts and the quality of our work’ were two of the factors behind Edinburgh’s victory over their Conference B rivals.

"The weather conditions weren't perfect for playing all court rugby so I'm delighted with the win. It's a big win on the road for us,” said Cockerill.

"This group has lots of guys missing but I thought the sums of our parts and the quality of our work were the reasons we won. They are a good team (Cardiff) and had opportunities to score more points as we did.

"It's a big win for us. They are in our conference and would have put this down as a game where they should win.”

Edinburgh led by just a single point at the break, 8-9, and had to work to stay in the battle as the hosts asserted their dominance in the second period.

However, strong solo performances from the like of Duhan van der Merwe, George Taylor and replacement scrum-half Charlie Shiel provided a strong platform from which Edinburgh eventually powered to victory.

“They were very good with the ball in the first-half and we didn't manage it as well as we spoke about in the week,” continued Cockerill.

“At half-time we adjusted that a little bit and I thought we were better. There were some big moments. Van der Merwe's carry for three points and George Taylor's line break to finish with Mark Bennett.

“We had to battle and I thought we stayed in the battle well. They could have easily got on top of us early in that second-half.

"We looked like we were going to get played on top of but we managed to get a foothold in the game. We could have easily lost.

"They are a good side and we respect them. We seem to beat them here and they seem to beat us at Murrayfield!

Taylor – who replaced Matt Scott an hour before kick-off – enjoyed an impressive outing in Edinburgh’s midfield and it was the former Melrose man’s break that eventually set-up centre partner Mark Bennett for the game winning score.

"George is a good young player who has been waiting for his opportunity. With Chris Dean injured and Matt Scott pulling out in the warm-up because his ankle wasn't quite right.

"I thought all the guys that came off the bench were good as well. Charlie Shiel made a real impact and Kunavula was a real threat in the back-row as well.

"I thought George did really well. He's still got a bit to learn but he's physical and that was a good Cardiff midfield. To live in that company and do well is really pleasing.”

Edinburgh now have just a four-day turnaround as they prepare to face Leinster at the RDS Arena next Friday night (11 October, kick-off 7.35pm) and Cockerill expects another difficult test against the reigning Guinness PRO14 champions.

"It's a big win for us because it's going to be a tough conference. However, we now travel to Leinster and I've just got to prepare the guys we've got as well as we can, come and play as hard as we can and try to get as many points as we can.”

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