“I am pretty disappointed in how we played and what we did but we got exactly what we deserved,” was how coach Richard Cockerill summed up the performance as his Edinburgh team exited the Challenge Cup quarter-finals against Cardiff, writes Iain Morrison.
“We didn’t execute,” he continued, “we didn’t play how we’d have liked to have played with the ball in hand and they didn’t allow us to do so. If you give cheap points away in big games it will come back to bite you in the end and it did.”
His side played poorly, Cockerill was right about that, but he will have been especially concerned at the ease with which Cardiff kept Edinburgh’s attack try-less. It wasn’t just that Edinburgh didn’t get a try, they didn’t get close.
Blair Kinghorn was one Gareth Anscombe tackle away in the second half but other than that Edinburgh’s best chances came in three five-metre scrums against a short-handed Cardiff seven.
“With ten minutes to go we score from those set of scrums,” Cockerill explored the what-if scenario, “they get penalised three times on the trot, it’s a difficult one. You make a line break on the goal line they kill the ball… we probably should have got something out of that but we didn’t execute, that’s our fault. The three scrum penalties you’d like to think the ref goes under the sticks.”
It wasn’t to be and now Cockerill has to pick up his side for their biggest Pro14 match of the season when Ulster come to Murrayfield on Friday; a win would confirm Edinburgh’s debut in the play-offs.