After a game that left plenty to be desired as an entertainment spectacle, the victory of Edinburgh over Glasgow Warriors was a triumph of mind over matter, triumphant head coach Richard Cockerill admitted.
“I thought we were positive with the ball, positive with our attitude, and if you’re positive and keep trying, you end up winning,” he said.
We have parts that we can build on, but it’s about winning, and we’ve done that.
It was OK if you liked the scrum and the tough defense, but it wasn’t very exciting. It was kind of a little turgid, didn’t it?
The weather were fine, but on the field it was damp and greasy and that affected both sides, but it’s about winning these games and it’s the most important thing.
“It was two teams that weren’t in great shape and it was all about four points tonight.”
In PRO14 Conference B, Edinburgh remains fifth, but at two games back they are just four points behind Cardiff Blues. Having lost six of their first eight games of the season, Cockerill says he is pleased that even though they are unable to find a smooth flow of play, his team seems to have found a way to get results.
Two weeks ago we won at Sale Sharks and today again, those are two good teams we beat,” he said. “Winning is a good habit to get into.
On Monday, we’re going to come in and look at some stuff because we can play a lot better than that. We definitely have to look at our line-out because there they were better than us.
Yet we had a good scrum, and we fought hard. In the second row, because of a foot injury, Ben Toolis had not practiced all week, but he did well and played the full 80 minutes, which I’m satisfied with.
Cockerill also defended the on-field decisions of his players to either kick to the corner or go for the scrum rather than go for the three points that came in the first half when Glasgow conceded a series of penalties close to their own goal.
The home side struggled to turn those penalties into attempts and there was a chance that in the final quarter this could come back to haunt them as neither side managed to trouble the scoreboard.
It was not until Jaco van der Walt had sunk the penalty from a distance of 15 minutes after the knot had been broken.
“To say our attack was blunt is unfair because we put them under pressure,” he said. I thought the boys were courageous to keep pushing into the corners and using the scrum, and I felt that we didn’t get the reward we deserved.
I thought they were fortunate that they didn’t end up in the box with a player because they were seven times penalized for no fault of their own in the scrum.
“We deserved to win and I’m happy with the points so now we move on to next Friday.”
The two sides meet again in five days’ time in the second leg of the 1872 Cup series in Scotstoun.