Cockerill previews Ulster
As the race to qualify for the Guinness PRO14 Final Series intensifies, Head Coach Richard Cockerill insists that ‘it doesn’t matter how we win, we’ve just got to win.’
Edinburgh face Conference B rivals Ulster at BT Murrayfield this Friday night (12 April, kick-off 7.35pm) in their final home league fixture of the season and with just three points separating the two sides, play-off ambitions are well and truly on the line.
“We’ve got to win. It’s the same as last week,” said Cockerill. “If we don’t, we’re relying on other results and miracles. We’ve just got to keep winning.
“Even if we do win at the weekend, we’ve still got a lot to do. It’s been a tough run in – coming from the Heineken Champions Cup back into the league – but we’ve just to keep trucking along and get the win.
“It’s doesn’t matter how we get the win, we just got to win – it’s as simple as that.”
Ulster have endured a tough run of fixtures in the build-up to Friday’s can’t-miss encounter. After falling just short against Leinster, the Irish side went down to Glasgow Warriors 30-7 at Scotstoun last weekend.
However, with several international stars – including Rory Best and Iain Henderson – expected to return for this weekend’s clash, the form book is out the window.
“Although they were beaten by Glasgow, they were extremely good against Leinster the week before and they should have won. Each game, you take it on its own merit. They’ve had a tough run. They played in Dublin, Glasgow and now they come to us.
“They’ve got to win and we need to win. I any game, we’re always going to take teams on in the set piece, whether that’s Ulster, Munster or anyone else. It’s nothing new. They know what’s coming, we know what’s coming – it’s just about who does it best.
“I’m not relying on them bringing their second team for us to win. They bring their best team, we’ll put our best team and we’ll both go as hard as we can to try and win. They’ve got a lot of quality, but we’ve got some pretty damn good players too.”
This weekend’s match could also see Edinburgh legend and Scotland’s record cap holder Ross Ford make his final home appearance after it was announced earlier this week that the hooker would the leave the club following 11 years in the capital.
And Cockerill paid tribute to Ford – who has so far made 197 appearances in the capital – with the club legend set to be honoured following full-time this Friday night.
“He’s been in the game a long time and he’s still got a lot to offer,” continued Cockerill. “And that’s both on and off the field. So, hopefully he’ll get something that suits his ambitions and his family life. We wish him well.
“He’s a good man. He works really hard and there is a lot to like about Ross. Hopefully he’ll be able to assimilate into whatever he does next – whether that’s playing, coaching or real life! Hopefully he’ll find something that suits him.”