Back to drawing board for Michael Bradley as Munster loom
MICHAEL Bradley can be forgiven for appearing a little shell-shocked in the post-match press conference after watching his team implode against a well-drilled but workmanlike Saracens side.
Edinburgh were held scoreless while conceding five tries and if Gary Mercer, Glasgow’s former defence coach, gets a call from Bradley begging for help it would surprise no one at all.
“It’s hard to put into words at the moment,” said Bradley. “I’d really need to sit down and look at the tape but I don’t think that we could have played any worse.”
While coaches are prone to bouts of hyperbole, for once Bradley hit the nail on the head. The set piece disintegrated, the attack was toothless, the defence got progressively worse as the game went on and it wasn’t too clever to start with.
“I thought we were, blunt in attack, is the word I would use,” the coach said. “Running at Sarries wasn’t going to work, we needed to have a reasonable kicking game and we didn’t employ that. Our set piece, in relative terms, didn’t go well and so there are not many other aspects I can talk about in a positive way.
“It’s very disappointing because we would have been quite confident that we would go well, playing at home, we were quite excited about getting back into the Heineken Cup again, and it just didn’t work for us so it was a really tough day at the office.”
“We as a management team feel as though we let everybody down for sure,” Bradley concluded. “We have to give something back to our supporters and the club.” That daunting task comes at Castle Grim, aka Thomond Park, where Munster lie in wait next Sunday.
To make matters worse Edinburgh lost their skipper Greig Laidlaw to a shoulder injury at half time while Tim Visser suffered severe bruising to his leg and exited at the same stage of the game. Andy Robinson will want an update today because both players, although off-key yesterday, are central to his plans for the autumn internationals.
Kelly Brown at least had the satisfaction of winning and did his chances of a call-up no harm at all but when he was asked if Edinburgh’s dismal display had wider implications for the overall health of Scotland’s national team the Sarries flanker could only muse: “Good question! That’s a good question.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west