Quick Hits: Gilchrist takes learnings from defeat

Quick Hits: Gilchrist takes learnings from defeat

Edinburgh Rugby suffered a disappointing end to their 2020-21 European campaign on Sunday afternoon with Racing 92 coming out on top in a one-sided encounter in Paris

These are the Quick Hits as club co-captain Grant Gilchrist spoke with media following the clash in Paris:

On the capital side's overall performance

“We were clearly second best in all areas. Bitterly disappointed. We came out here to put our game on them – in a one-off contest – and we were second best by a long way.

“We gave them exactly what we didn’t want to give them. With the outside backs they’ve got, we knew that they would be lethal with any loose turnovers or transition ball we gave them, and we paid the price.

“The score-line obviously gets worse when we were trying to play at the end but the damage was done by that point.

On the team's positive start to the match

“I think the first half on the whole, we started alright and there was a couple of errors. That knock-on at the line-out was costly because it would have been a great way to start the game – and a deserved way to start the game.

“They had spells during the first half when we were on top, but we also had spells and we just didn’t manage to turn that into points – Jimmy’s disallowed try and Hamish being held up at the end of the half really hurt us.

“We also started the second half pretty well, and we were in the fight, but when we did get opportunities to put them under pressure, we either made an error at the line-out or lost the ball quickly in the sets.

"And we knew against this kind of defence, when they want the ball back straight away, that you have to hold the ball and put them under pressure – but we were too keen to try and make something happen out of nothing, which is a trap you fall into against these good sides.

"When you try and force it and that gives them the turnover ball with the space to play in, so it was tough going in the second half.”

On taking learnings from defeat

“It’s always good to experience playing against teams like that.

“It is hard at the minute. I hate losing and certainly hate losing in that manner, so it is hard to see at the minute but these dark days when you get a chance to play against really top sides can be defining moments for teams.

“This could be a real opportunity for us to see where we need to be better – and clearly that is in a number of areas – but also see areas where we did match up well.

“It is hard for me to say that at the minute, but when we look back at the game there will be learning points, and we’ve got to move forward.

“It has obviously been a bitterly disappointing season for us so far, but we now go into the Rainbow Cup and we have to attack that with a fresh attitude.

“so, we learn the lessons from this match and move on to the rest of the season – we can’t have it hanging over our heads because it is a new competition and we need to treat it differently.”

On knowing Edinburgh are better than that performance

“We came here to win, which is hard to say when you lose by 50 points, but our mentality coming into the game wasn’t that this was going to be a learning experience.

“That’s why we are all hurting just now – because we know that if we put our best game out there then we can be a hell of a lot better than we were in Paris.

“But we only showed during the first 20 minutes and in glimpses after that, so it is bitterly disappointing.

“At this stage now, all we can do now is learn from it – but going into that game we knew we had more than enough talent to be a hell of a lot better than we were.”

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