Edinburgh Rugby coach Alan Solomons refused to accept hopes of a top-six finish providing access to the new European Champions Cup had been blown away in a 22-29 defeat by Cardiff Blues at Meggetland last night.
“You never want to say it has gone while there is a mathematical chance but this was critical to win. We came up short,” said Solomons who preferred to emphasise the rally which yielded a late losing bonus point through a Cornell Du Preez try.
“Full credit for the way the boys kept hanging in the last five minutes to get the bonus point. The spirit in our side is excellent.”
That bonus point registers as a forlorn hope in the quest for Europe’s top tier and a bigger silver lining lay in the return of Tim Visser.
“Tim has really only been back in training for a couple of weeks,” added Solomons.
“When Sam Hidalgo-Clyne failed to recover from a hyper extension of his shoulder sustained against Newport Gwent Dragons last time – even though his scans are clear – Tim came on to the bench.
“It was important to get him on for a few minutes at the end and he can take that forward into his next match.”
Above all Solomons was keen to stress the quality shown by Cardiff.
“Cardiff played really, really well.
“They were full value for their win and were certainly one of the best sides we have played against this year.
“They are going to finish the season strongly with a great goal-kicker at No 10 (stand off) and experienced players such as Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees and Bradley Davies.”