Edinburgh reaction: Ben Vellacott 'wanted to prove a point', exit problem highlighted, Ali Price 'makes club better'
Sean Everitt, the Edinburgh coach, said Ben Vellacott had a point to prove as he praised the substitute scrum-half’s impact in the 25-22 victory over Connacht at Hive Stadium.
The result lifted the capital club into the top eight in the United Rugby Championship and gave Everitt his third victory in four matches since taking the helm in the summer. In a closely contested game, each team scored three tries, two conversions and a penalty but Edinburgh edged it thanks to Ben Healy’s drop goal. It was the final kick of the game.
Wes Goosen scored Edinburgh’s first try after four minutes; Vellacott, on for Charlie Shiel early in the second half, got the second and then set up Mark Bennett for the third during a dazzling performance. In the week Ali Price joined on loan from Glasgow, this was a timely performance from the co-captain who missed last weekend’s defeat to Leinster for personal reasons.
“Ben was made captain for a reason – he leads by example,” said Everitt. “Coming onto the field as a substitute and pulling that off says something about the confidence that he brings to the team. He was just outstanding tonight in every department, so I’m very happy for him. Unfortunately he missed last week - I think he wanted to prove a point tonight. And with Ali Price arriving there’s great competition for the No 9 jersey now.”
“I’m delighted with the win,” added Everitt. “We were outstanding defensively despite leaking the three times. The group needs to understand that they need to exit well after scoring points and that’s not something that we did well tonight.
“All three tries were conceded after we failed to get out of our half after kick-off. The guys were really resilient and I’m very proud of the boys. It’s a great win because now our guys will believe that they can win in tight situations against top teams.”
Vellacott believes Edinburgh showed their durability to record their third narrow victory of the campaign.
“It was a bit of a nail-biter towards the end,” said the scrum-half. “We want to be an 80 minute team and I think we showed that. We train for those moments at the end, because we know against a team like Connacht it's going to come down to the wire.
“It gives us confidence. Ali Price’s arrival makes the club better. We want to be competitive in all positions so it’ll be awesome.”
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