Press Pass: Cockerill on Cardiff
Hear from Head Coach Richard Cockerill as he spoke with the media ahead of Friday night's Guinness PRO14 match against Cardiff Blues at BT Murrayfield.
Cardiff had a good win last weekend after a second-half comeback against Benetton. What do you make of the Welsh side?
“Look, they’re a half decent side – they’ve got good players. They’re missing a few players but crikey, so are we. So, look I’ve played them four times since I’ve been here – I’ve beat them twice away and lost both at home. So, we need to make sure we’re on it, we’ve got lots of guys missing but we’ll have a good team, we should be well motivated since we’re on a good run, so we need to make sure we get all the basic things right.
“It’s the same as the last two weeks. The weather will be a little bit better but we need to be really functional and practical in how we play. We just need to go and win the game – do whatever it takes to win.
At this stage in the season, is it about simply securing a W, rather than how you do it?
“I’m not fussy about our style. Substance, physicality and mentality should be 10 out of 10 for us, and we should go out with confidence to make sure we get our performance right.
“Even last weekend, a really good win with five points, but that 10 minute wobble before and after half time means then it’s 20-14. We’ve still got a bit of vulnerability about us and we need to make sure we get rid of that, cause it’s not good enough.
“We’ve got a good side out there, and we’re missing a lot of people, but no excuses. I’m only interested in the guys that are here. We’ll have a good team, we’ll be well prepared and we need to win. Simple as that.”
Is there a stage where you do begin to target topping the Conference?
“Yes, after round 21. Glasgow here [at BT Murrayfield], when we play them in the 1872. Because the minute any team starts getting away from fundamentals, you fall on your face. We’re not a good enough team to start thinking about anything else but what we do tomorrow and that’s how well we’re going to do it.
“Whether you’re a Toulon or Leicester, or Exeter or anybody else – you just need to make sure you get today right. And that’s what we’re doing. We’re going to see how far we can go. Is it realistic that we should top the group? Well, Munster have got one thing to concentrate on and that’s the league, they’ll get some very good players back.
The commentators last weekend said you’re the one team apart from Leinster you don’t want to get into an arm wrestle with – it might not be pretty, but do you take solace in the fact you can do the nitty gritty?
“I’ve never played in a game where you get more points for being pretty. It’s not a beauty contest. Our job is to win the game. We’re not a one trick pony. We can play all types of weather, all types of teams, we can play tight, we can play wide, we can score lots of tries, and we’re tough to play against.
“I like it when teams don’t like playing against us. It’s cause we’re Edinburgh – we’re a little bit unfashionable. And you probably should beat Edinburgh, cause we’re not very good. That’s perfect for me. I like it when teams say that.