Cockerill - We just keep marching on
Head Coach Richard Cockerill shared his verdict following Friday night's 14-6 win over Cardiff Blues that saw Edinburgh go seven points clear at the top of Conference B.
What did you make of the game? It wasn't pretty, but you got the win.
“They defended very well. We didn’t cope with it particularly well, but it was going to be tiny margins and look, it was a poor game – I thought we played very poorly, but three games in three weeks in a test window – with three wins – we’re delighted with that.”
“There’s a lot of guys getting through a lot of work, because we’re pretty much down to what we’ve got. Yeah look, the game was poor. It was a poor spectacle – it was an average game. There’s test matches going on, there’s lots of distractions. We win the game, we’ve taken points off another key rival in our conference, so we just keep marching on and keep doing what we’re doing.
"We were pretty rubbish, let’s be fair. I’m the coach and I was bored watching it. But we found a way to win the game and ultimately that’s all that matters at this point. We can play better, we won’t play worse than that this season – that’s as bad as we’ve played.”
You made a number of changes to the team, how did you rate your squad's performance?
“We rotated and we knew there was a strong bench. John Barclay did a very good job, like he did last week. Schoeman is Schoeman – I think he’s an exceptional player. Ceccarelli is a very good player too. So look, we had to just keep battling and stay in the game, and if you do that, you give yourself an opportunity to win – and they kept themselves in the game and they had opportunities to take points as well.
"So, we’re very happy with the win and it was a really poor performance from us. But it was poor and we still won. We’ll take in the circumstances and the context of where we’re at.”
Did you think the squad looked jaded in that performance?
“No, we played for three weeks, they had two weeks off before that. It’s just sometimes we’ve been on good form. We’ve been very motivated for the first two games – I was disappointed. Our energy was poor tonight and I don’t know why because we’ve had a normal training week – it’s been sensible and I’d probably expect a little bit more from the players. However, we played very poorly and we found a way to win, and ultimately that’s a good sign for us.”
“Look, we’ll have a week off next week and then we’ll have a two week run-in to Kings. So you know, you just have to manage the breaks. At this time of year, time off is okay. We’ve got test windows and all those things, so the boys can have a bit of down time and then we’ll start getting prepared, and their energy tanks need to be full so we can come and work hard and get prepped as well as we can.”
What is the state of the squad as we head into a two-week break?
“George Taylor has hurt his elbow – I don’t know to what extent, and the rest are just bangs really so in that regard, the breaks are very helpful.”
“The Scotland boys will come to South Africa – whether they play against the Kings the week after the last test match, I don’t know yet, so we’ll see. Cheetah’s too yeah – some will be involved in Kings depending on what happens with selection and who plays and what minutes they play, we'll see.