Edinburgh got what they deserved, admits frustrated Richard Cockerill


Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill speaks to his players. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA
Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill speaks to his players. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA

Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill said he had no complaints about the dramatic 22-19 loss to Ulster and insisted “we got what we deserved”.

The home side fell at the semi-final stage of the Guinness Pro14 at BT Murrayfield after being pegged back from a 12-point lead early in the second half and conceding a late penalty, which Ian Madigan scored to send Ulster to the final in Dublin against hot favourites Leinster.

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Cockerill accepted the decision by Irish referee Frank Murphy to adjudge sub hooker Mike Willemse’s intercept attempt as Ulster looked to attack was a deliberate rather than accidental knock-on and said: “I’m disappointed that when you’re 19-7 up you don’t control the game how we can and make good decisions and not let them back in. Credit to them but that’s all of our own making. It wasn’t good enough from us.”

Edinburgh were uncharacteristically inaccurate and indisciplined as the tension seemed to get to them in what was a fifth knockout loss under the otherwise excellent tenure by the Englishman in the capital.

“I think we lost the penalty count 14-8 but we didn’t exit properly, we kicked poorly and loosely and gave them opportunities to carry back at us and we were ill disciplined at the tackle, not rolling away. We invited them back into our half and got what we got, exactly what we deserved and they got what they deserved. We can solve all those things.”

On that knockout jinx, which has also seen Cockerill’s Edinburgh lose European Challenge Cup quarter-finals to Cardiff and La Rochelle, as well as defeats by Munster in both the Pro14 last eight and Heineken Champions Cup, the coach added: “In these games it’s the little things that make the difference, the basics. Some of our players clearly still don’t know what that looks like. We’ve got international players who will go and play Test matches for Scotland. They should know better.

“We’ve had enough opportunities of learning. Tonight we weren’t capable of delivering.”

Counterpart Dan McFarland, the former Glasgow and Scotland forwards coach who is now boss at Ulster, said: “We’ll go to Leinster with a gameplan and give it a shot.”

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