Quick Hits: Cockerill on 'finishing strong'

Quick Hits: Cockerill on 'finishing strong'

Edinburgh Rugby reinvigorated their hopes of a top-three finish this season with a dramatic late win over Connacht on Saturday night.

These are the Quick Hits as Head Coach Richard Cockerill spoke with media following the match in Galway:

On grinding out the win and staying in the battle

"The weather conditions were pretty horrific but I am delighted that the players stayed in the battle.

"I thought we played quote poorly in that second half and our discipline wasn’t great and we gave them easy outs, but we’ll learn from those experiences.

"We have some young guys out there and it is always good to get the win."

On staying in the hunt for Champions Cup qualification

"Look we can technically finish third. We have still got three games to go, so we just keep working as a hard as we can and try to win.

"Fourth might get us a spot, fourth might get us a play off spot, who knows? It was a good win for us. I think it’s a first time a Scotland team has beaten an Irish province in over a year. So it’s good to break that duck as well.

"We’ve had a tough year. Our Test guys have played double the Test matches as they have club games. We are working under some difficult circumstance. We could have easily beaten Scarlets and we just fell short.

"We could have won it in Munster and we just fell short. Tonight we worked hard and we’ll take the luck when it comes with us. We have just got to keep working hard and keep working with the guys we have.

"As and when the world comes more normal we hopefully can build on what we have done in the last three and a half year."

On playing the conditions in Galway

"Look, we knew winning the toss was actually quite important. We chose to play against the wind in the first-half. I thought we managed it really well at 7-5. I was disappointed that we gave away a couple of cheap penalties for them to march us down the field and get field position to score before half time.

"To be fair Carty’s conversion was class, so we were disappointed to be so far behind at half time. But we knew it was a win that was always going to have a factor in the game.

"Both sides ripped into it physically, there was no holds barred there. The red card potentially has a factor on the game but the weather was that bad you could have played 13 a side and you wouldn’t have known the difference.

“We just have to keep working hard on our game and try and beat Cardiff next Monday."

On the performance on Nathan Chamberlain

"He has been working hard at his game, he has worked hard at training and it’s his seventh appearance on the field. He did some really good things, what it does is give him a real good base to then keep building his game on.

"He made a good linebreak in the first half and to be honest I didn’t quite see how we got his way through under the posts, to be fair you needed to be under the sticks because the wind was so strong it was hard to kick the ball and control it.

"I am delighted for him, he is working hard at his game. He is being put under pressure to perform. I thought he - considering the conditions - played really well, he has got a lot of things to work on but I’m delighted for him and very proud of how he’s working on his game and he got his just rewards on Saturday night."

On Chamberlain's defensive efforts

"He did a great impression of a speed bump on Papali’i the big Polynesian back rower. He put his head in the spokes and brought him down.

"It was a tough night, it is hard to see on TV but it is pretty miserable in Galway. Nathan, he did what he should do, he made his tackles, he ran the game as well as he could and kicked his goal under pressure to get us within seven and clearly a good finish to win the game.

On injuries to Schoeman and Davidson

"Schoeman took a knock to his knee and it's too early to get a prognosis.

"Davidson took a hit to the head. We have got a very good medical team who go through all the process as anybody would. He was fit to play on."

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