Cockerill praises players and fans after historic win
Head Coach Richard Cockerill praised his side’s desire and battling qualities after they earned a home quarter-final in the Heineken Champions Cup with last night’s win over Montpellier.
The 19-10 victory in front of a crowd of 11, 802 at BT Murrayfield means that Edinburgh top Pool Five.
“It is a good achievement for us, Europe is bloody tough,” said Cockerill.
“To qualify for a home quarter-final is an achievement for any team and a real statement from us and a step in the right direction."
“Whoever comes here - it looks like Munster or Exeter probably - we are going to try and win and give it a bash. Why can’t we?
“The boys deserve the credit they are due. It’s a big step forward for us a club. We are still developing, trying to catch the big boys.
“It was a big win at Toulon a week ago and now to come back to BT Murrayfield and beat that side that Montpellier picked, packed with quality, is very pleasing.”
When Edinburgh went down 10-9 in the second-half having dominated possession, heads could have gone down, but that is not in this team’s make up.
“We went behind and you could see their physicality coming into the game, but we managed to stay in the battle and managed to get a foothold back in the game.
“When we do that, we have players who can cause some issues.
“I thought our set piece was unbelievable - the lineout drive that led to the try was against a big old Montpellier pack and they were in trouble - the players should take huge credit for that.or the last two months [Heineken Man of the Match] WP Nel has been outstanding. His point of difference is his scrum and set piece and he did that really well for us in this game.
“To do what we did to that Montpellier pack is impressive. We work hard on the back pitches in the freezing cold and WP had been really good for me.
“It is good for Scottish rugby as a lot of these guys from our pack will play in the Six Nations and Gregor Townsend’s team have got a good enough forward pack to dominate the opposition and they can play different ways.”
Cockerill thanked the crowd who cheered the team on and hopes even more people from the capital and beyond will be at BT Murrayfield on the weekend of March 29/30/31 to watch the last eight tie of European rugby’s premier competition.
“Hopefully we'll get a bigger crowd in the quarters, it was a great crowd for this one and they made a difference,” he said.“We want to get a big team and bring them here.
“Why not 30-40,000 people here for a quarter-final? We've got a team worth watching, we've shown we're a bloody good side. Come and support us. The boys deserve it."