If you are expecting a busy Monday at work tomorrow it may be nothing compared to what the Edinburgh Rugby players will be going through as they “feel the wrath” of head coach Richard Cockerill and his staff, writes Gary Heatly.
Edinburgh centre Chris Dean fully expects he and his team-mates to be worked hard tomorrow and for the rest of the week – the centre branding Friday’s loss to Benetton Rugby “nowhere near good enough”. The 23-year-old grabbed two tries in the shock 20-17 Guinness PRO14 defeat at Myreside, but the overall team performance was ragged and lacked composure.
Dean’s double had Edinburgh 14-0 up after 25 minutes, but the Italians battled back to 14-10 at the interval.
Most in the ground still felt that Edinburgh would have enough in the tank to claim a positive result, but the visitors started the second half well, leading to Edinburgh skipper Magnus Bradbury being sin-binned. Into the last six minutes the hosts were down 20-17 and although Benetton Rugby had two men in the sin bin by that stage, they held on for a famous victory in dramatic circumstances.
The result brought to an abrupt end the hosts’ winning start to the campaign and head coach Richard Cockerill did not pull any punches afterwards, stating that his side “lacked desire and switched off at times and were rightly punished”.
Next weekend Edinburgh are on the road to reigning champions Scarlets, and Dean is well aware that they must improve quickly.
“I think we were far too undisciplined on Friday night, we coughed up the ball far too often and it came back to bite us,” was Dean’s honest assessment.
“Benetton Rugby took their chances well, put us under pressure and made a fight of the game. We still felt like the game was there for the taking in the last 20 minutes, but maybe we did panic a bit and error followed error really.
“We could not get into our shape or get on the front foot and it was very frustrating. We were 14-0 up early on and perhaps we eased off a bit. The guys at this club have played enough matches to know that you cannot ease off against any opponents.
“What was also frustrating was the way that we let in the first try because we pride ourselves on our defence under defence coach Calum MacRae, but the communication wasn’t there between the players and that was not good. After the match, in the dressing room, Richard Cockerill was very calm, but he told us that we are far better than that and he expects a lot more from us.
“He told us we should never have been in the position of chasing the game and we will now go to the Scarlets as underdogs.
“I am sure we will feel the wrath of the head coach and we deserve it – we must get better as a group and not waste what was a good first two weeks of the season.”
When Cherif Traore was joined by fellow prop Alberto De Marchi in the sin-bin late on, many thought the referee should have awarded a penalty try to Edinburgh.
But Dean said: “We’re certainly not blaming the referee, this defeat was about our failings and nobody else.”