Cockerill - It's a massive win

Cockerill - It's a massive win

Head Coach Richard Cockerill shares his verdict following Saturday's 9-14 win against Scarlets that saw Edinburgh climb back to the top of Guinness PRO14 Conference B.

On the squad's overall display in the 9-14 win

"The second half we didn't have the ball, we coughed it up and spent a huge amount of time in our own 22m

“Our defensive display across the board was very good. Calum MacRae, our Defence Coach, is a tenacious man and he works very hard at it. He should take the plaudits today because the defence won the game for us.

“It is a massive win. They are a good side, they are well coached, we were both missing lots of guys for obvious reasons. We have played them twice, we have taken nine points and they have one, which in our conference is pretty big.

“The conditions made it hard work but we live in Scotland, it rains a lot and it's windy. You have to deal with it, you have to dig in, it wasn't pretty, they were unlucky at times but you ride your luck and we will keep taking it.”

“We won’t take anything for granted. Connacht and Cardiff are good sides and they can easily beat you. We’ll come in Monday dust ourselves off and prepare for next weekend.”

On the injury to Fraser McKenzie

“He got a good whack on his shoulder, so we’ll have a look. It was disappointing because Gilchrist was under time constraints because of national duty and he maybe involved in the 23 with Scotland.

“To lose Mckenzie so early after coming on means we had to readjust our back five. Barclay made a big difference with his experience and we put Bill Mata in the second row.

“Bill Mata grafted and I’ll have to remind him of this performance for other games... I’m just delighted with the win. They are a good side and it could have gone either way but today was our day.

On the performance of Duhan van der Merwe

“There’s parts of his game he doesn’t like. He doesn’t like running backwards in the wind and trying to catch the ball.

“If he’s on the front foot he’s so quick that he can cause some damage. We had two opportunities and we took them.

“In the end that was the difference along with the grit and determination of our defence. In these games if you get a couple of cheap scores which they probably were, well taken but cheap to be fair it’s really hard to chase down in this weather.

“It was almost easier not to have the ball.”

On what Matt Scott and Nick Haining bring to the squad

“Nick is a good player. He’s still very raw. He still needs to play more rugby for us to get used to the intensity. Matt Scott is great going forward.

“The whole squad effort was really good. Gilchrist will probably be involved next weekend for Scotland but he wanted to play.

“It’s good the Scotland management realised that guys need minutes. All round it was a big Scottish effort.

On the win taking Edinburgh ahead of their Conference B rivals

“There are days where things will go against you anywhere so we’ve got two big games coming up. We play Connacht without our internationals and we have two games in South Africa where it will be very hard.

“There’s lots of big games to play including Munster. We’ve played 11 and we are in and around the top of the conference but it means absolutely zilch until we get to round 21.

On Bill Mata's Man of the Match performance

“We know how good Bill is. Normally we are talking about how good he is when he’s got the ball and attacking.

“Bill cares about the team and he’s a good team man who works very hard. If he didn’t want to tackle I wouldn’t pick him as it doesn’t matter how good he is going forward.

“Tonight was about grafting and working hard. It was about looking at the scoreboard at the final whistle and going ah okay it’s us. It could easily have gone either way.”

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