Edinburgh assistant coach Steve Scott will be working hard with his players on the breakdown and their levels of intensity this week ahead of their “must win” Guinness Pro12 home clash with Cardiff Blues on Saturday.
Scott, along with head coach Alan Solomons and fellow coaches Duncan Hodge and Peter Wilkins, was disappointed with the number of turnovers the side conceded in the 27-19 loss to Munster in Cork on Friday. The intensity was also lacking to the performance according to Scott and now eighth-placed Edinburgh have to secure a bonus point victory against the Blues and hope that Munster and the Ospreys both lose their matches.
That would sneak them into sixth spot and secure a European Rugby Champions Cup place for 2016-17, but Scott knows it is a big ask on the final day of the regular season.
“Against Munster our breakdown work wasn’t good enough and our intensity wasn’t there either throughout the whole game which you would expect in a big encounter like that and that will be addressed in the coming days,” Scott explained.
“It is a difficult one because, when the game comes around, you are passing the responsibility on to the players and we want them to be up there at the levels of intensity required.
“We look at everything, but it is hard to put a finger on it when things don’t go quite right.
“The boys realise that this weekend coming we have a lifeline.
“Saturday is about us putting a performance together for the last game of the season and then seeing what happens off the back of that. We can’t have any worry about the results that are getting fed into us from elsewhere. It is really irrelevant if we don’t do our job. We have to do what we can and that is to win with a bonus point.
“Our attack is something that has always been evolving. We have been working on it and it will get better. If you break down our attack against Munster at the weekend there it was actually quite good.
“We are going to have to attack against the Blues, we are not going to score four tries without attacking and we may have to take some risks to get that extra fourth try.”
Scott and Solomons have talked all season about the progress being made at BT Murrayfield, but if Edinburgh do not get the required results this weekend then it could be an eighth-placed finish for a third season on the spin.
A number of supporters are frustrated about that being the norm – and Scott is too.
The former hooker said: “There have been lots of good things this season and there are fine lines between winning and losing.
“We can look back at games that we should have won, but we didn’t – we had a tough decision down at the Scarlets when they got a penalty that wasn’t offside – but I’m sure other sides will look back and think the same and we can’t rely on things like that.
“We need to be more consistent, that would be the message from the coaching staff to the players. There is good stuff happening, but there is also poor stuff that costs us and finding consistency is the big thing for us.
“We have made strides, but I will be very disappointed if we don’t make the top six because we had a firm belief that we could.”
The likes of Duncan Weir, Glenn Bryce, Kevin Bryce, Rory Scholes and Solomoni Rasolea have already signed on for next season and Scott believes their quality – and that of further signings – will help the team improve going forward.
“Hopefully we can sneak over that line at the weekend and get what we want to achieve from this year, but next year I think we need to be serious about being not just in the top six, but pushing for that top four,” he stated.
“There has been gradual progress as this team has built over the last three years, but next year is a big year for us and we need to be doing something impressive.”