Cockerill: Fourteen-man win a 'career highlight'
Cockerill: Fourteen-man win a 'career highlight'SHARE
Edinburgh overcame all the odds to record an epic come from behind victory over rivals Glasgow Warriors in the first leg of the 1872 Cup.
Despite having Simon Berghan sent off after only five minutes, the hosts battled, and then battled some more, before Chris Dean touched down with only seconds remaining to give Edinburgh the unlikeliest of victories.
Whilst the weekend's clash – the 160th meeting between the two sides – was, at times, a turgid, error-laden affair, all will be forgotten – especially as the Edinburgh squad celebrated wildly on the full-time whistle.
"It's up there with anything I've ever been involved with," Cockerill – who was coaching in his first 1872 Cup clash – said in an interview on the Edinburgh website.
"Firstly, the players deserve the credit because they played exceptionally well under some adversity. They've worked really hard since pre-season. We've tried to become tougher to play against and I think we showed that this [Saturday] evening.
"At half-time, we just said: let's stay in the battle – let's keep doing our job as well as we can. The score was sort of irrelevant at that point, we just needed to keep our heads down."
Whilst it's easy to get caught up in the excitement and fanfare surrounding the 1872 Cup, the coach was quick to appreciate how crucial the four points could be, come the end of the season.
"I'm delighted to get the four points. I know there is obviously a lot of stuff around the derby and the 1872 Cup, but to get the four points was really important.
"The players had a choice. They had an excuse to lose, and it could have gone either way, but if we had lost by four points I would have been just as proud of the group. Because after five minutes, you would have probably thought we would be struggling.
"I can't coach the players to have the will to do what they did tonight – so they should take all the credit tonight."