Cockerill satisfied with European win
Head Coach Richard Cockerill was left satisfied with his side’s overall performance as a late George Taylor try secured a bonus-point win against Wasps in the European Challenge Cup.
Although Cockerill insists the capital club still have more to offer – with key Test players ‘still returning to fitness’ – he was happy with the way in which his side battled to stay, and then ultimately win the back-and-forth European contest.
“It was two good sides having a crack. It’s a proper European fixture, you know?” said Cockerill.
“You’re not going to run away with things, so you have to just try and control all the parts you can. I thought we were brave taking scrums and going for the try and we were positive in that regard.
“We could’ve done things a lot better, but you’re not going to run away when you play Wasps – you’re not going to run away by half-time and score three or four tries and be out of sight. You’re going to have to fight and work hard to stay in the game – which we did.”
The match was evenly balanced at half-time as Edinburgh led 10-6, before fullback Blair Kinghorn – a threat all evening – scored just four minutes into the second period.
Edinburgh then extended their lead through eventual Man of the Match, Duhan van der Merwe’s second score of the evening to make it 24-6.
However, the capital side let Wasps right back in it moments later through a period of sloppy play - a trait Cockerill lamented on full-time.
“We’ve got some good players, we’ve got a good squad and I felt we could have played better tonight. We’ve got to get out of the habit of getting in front and then letting teams back in the game by really simple, basic, fundamental errors,” continued Cockerill.
“We had two good sides and took control, but in key moments we need to have the elbow on people’s throats and when we need to finish them off, we need to finish them off. We need to do that better.
“But, we’re playing pretty well – we could have scored more tries. Our attacking game is developing, but I’d like it to be better. I think there’s a few test boys still rusty from coming back from the World Cup and we need to get them up to speed and keep playing them, so the only way to do it is to play them.”
Edinburgh now prepare to face Wasps in a week’s time as the capital side travel to the Ricoh Arena for the second of back-to-back fixtures against the English Premiership side on Saturday 14 December (kick-off 3pm).
And Cockerill expects Wasps to come back even stronger as Edinburgh now sit level with Bordeaux-Begles at the top of Pool 3 on 12 points.
“I think that Bordeaux are probably the form team in Europe at the moment, so it’s always good to win with five points, and for Wasps to get nothing is a big help.
“We’ll expect a reaction from them next week and we’ve got to make sure we keep our feet firmly on the ground, work hard, make sure we’re prepared and go to the Ricoh and get whatever we can out the game.”