Cockerill - the better team won on the night
Head Coach Richard Cockerill admits that the better team won on the night as Edinburgh suffered their first Guinness PRO14 defeat of the season against reigning league champions Leinster.
The capital club trailed by just five points at the break, but Leinster scored five second-half tries to secure a comprehensive bonus-point win in Dublin.
“I have no complaints about the end result. The better team won on the night,” said Cockerill. “I was probably more disappointed that we didn’t score four or five tries ourselves – we had more than enough opportunities.
“If you give them cheap field positioning and let them in to your half - and we let them into our half on plenty of occasions – then they are an experienced and talented enough team to punish you.
“Although the final scoreline was perhaps a bit flattering for them, I was just disappointed at a few parts of our game. We should have at least taken a try bonus-point away from the game.”
Edinburgh fought back from five-points down to take a lead late in the second-half as Jamie Farndale finished a well worked set-piece strike.
However, despite having a numerical advantage – with two Leinster players sent to the bin following a period of sustained pressure on the hosts’ line – Edinburgh struggled with the Irish side’s physicality, allowing them to grab a score with just 14 men on the park.
“When they had both their prop (Bent) and centre (Tomane) in the bin, that period was crucial. We weren’t particular smart in the way we played.
“We continued to put pressure on their scrum, when perhaps we should have got the ball into the hands of the backs and had a crack at them.
“But we’ve got to learn on the job and makes these changes as the season goes on. We’ve got some inexperienced guys in the team and a relatively new group.
“We should have taken some better options tonight, but we created enough opportunities and put a really good Leinster team under serious pressure.
“So, there are parts of our game where we can take some positives, but the scoreboard doesn’t lie. 40-14 and they were the better team tonight. Leinster deserved to win, but I’m just disappointed that we leave with nothing because I feel we created enough opportunities to leave with two points.”
Although the capital club found themselves on the wrong end of the scoreline, there were positives to take – especially when working the ball out wide to Mark Bennett, Damien Hoyland Duhan van der Merwe.
Edinburgh were, on a few occasions, just an offload away from opening up Leinster and Cockerill feels his side are making great strides in their attacking development.
“For us to develop our game, we’ve got to continue to push the boundaries. We came here to play tonight and try and win the game. It was never going to be a 9-6 and you could see in our play – in that we took scrums and didn’t kick for goal – that we wanted to play.
“But in the end, we made too many mistakes and were ultimately punished. We’ve just got to keep working hard. We’ve got a relatively small squad, with a relatively small budget and we’ve got to keep developing the lads we’ve got.
“They are all doing a really god job. We’ve got a little bit of a break now but we’ll be back better when we face Scarlets at home in two week’s time and we’ll make sure that we get a positive result.”