Edinburgh Rugby: Mike Blair urges Edinburgh to learn lessons ahead of Brive test

Edinburgh coach Mike Blair insists that the disappointment of Saturday’s single-point defeat by London Irish can prove positive for his men as they pursue success on two fronts this season.

Emiliano Boffelli of Edinburgh Rugby is tackled by Lucioi Cinti of London Irish.
Emiliano Boffelli of Edinburgh Rugby is tackled by Lucioi Cinti of London Irish.

The capital side lost out 21-20 to their hosts, who had a man sent off when Edinburgh were ahead, at the Brentford Stadium in the pool stage of the European Challenge Cup.

“We’re frustrated with that,” said Blair. “Sometimes when you have a red card it can galvanise a team as well, and potentially you can relax a little bit thinking that 15 v 14 and you’re six points up”, he said, before suggesting that it is a valuable lesson ahead of the clash with his former side Brive at the DAM Health Stadium on Friday.

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“Sometimes you learn more in defeat than you do in victory. We’ve got some inexperienced players in there and we’re going to learn a lot from that. It’s frustrating that we’ve lost the game. We’ve won some close games as well – and we’ll lose some more close games. Frustrating that we’ve not come away with the victory when we’ve put ourselves in the position to do that.

Mike Blair lamented Edinburgh's loss to London Irish.

“Fair play to London Irish. They kept going at us after their red card. They had a lot of the game. They deserved their win."

And, with an eye on the upcoming clash which has now assumed greater importance, he added, “London Irish are ahead of us in Pool C, but I haven’t given that too much thought. We’ve got a six-day turnaround for Brive, so we’ll have a few changes in the team. It will be good to see the reaction to this defeat – see how much we pick ourselves up.”

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