‘SA style’ sparks Edinburgh

Sun, 12 Jan 2014 10:30
Large edinburgh perpignan Large alan solomons h s

A heroic defensive effort saw Edinburgh ease to victory over Perpignan in their European Cup clash at Murrayfield on Saturday night.

A heroic defensive effort saw Edinburgh ease to victory over Perpignan in their European Cup clash at Murrayfield on Saturday night.

Boss Alan Solomons saw Edinburgh back up their fine win at Gloucester in Round Four with a 27-16 success, thanks in no small part to the fact that they missed just two tackles in nearly 100 attempts in the first 70 minutes of action.

The defensive effort reflected that often employed by South African provincial sides and the impressive win will go a long way towards putting critics at ease who questioned the influx of South African players at Edinburgh.

The Scottish side scored three tries and only conceded one late on as they moved above Gloucester into second place in Pool Six and their South African coach had plenty to smile about, even though Munster's win at Kingsholm means qualification for the European Cup quarter-finals is now beyond them.

"That was a really good performance by the team. I thought we played well. It was a tremendous defensive effort but overall a really good performance and we deserved the result," said Solomons.

"I thought maybe in the opening 20-25 minutes we were making the tackles but we weren't stopping momentum and we had a high error rate. But we built into it and, once we got our rhythm defensively, they found it very difficult to score."

The only factor to take the gloss off an impressive performance was Edinburgh's failure to mathematically stay alive in the tournament or to boost their chances of a place in the last eight of the European Challenge Cup by picking up maximum points courtesy of a fourth try.

A 15th-minute score from Tom Brown and two third quarter efforts from former Southern Kings forward Cornell du Preez and Dougie Fife left them with 23 minutes to bag a bonus but they couldn't quite hit that mark as Perpignan dug deep late.

"I don't think frustrated is the word. Everybody is a little bit disappointed," added Solomons.

"We had three opportunities to get the try. We went for it. Unfortunately, we didn't get it but I don't think we should let it detract in any way from what was an outstanding performance."

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Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 6 0 0 28
Ulster 6 4 0 2 18
Oyonnax 6 1 0 5 7
Toulouse 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 16
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 16
Ospreys 6 3 0 3 16
Clermont Auvergne 6 3 0 3 15
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Racing Metro 6 4 1 1 22
Northampton Saints 6 4 1 1 19
Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 14
Scarlets 6 0 0 6 2
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leicester Tigers 6 5 0 1 23
Stade Francais 6 4 0 2 19
Munster 6 3 0 3 15
Treviso 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 0 2 20
Toulon 6 5 0 1 20
Bath 6 2 0 4 10
Leinster 6 1 0 5 6