Edinburgh coach Solomons rues missed chance

Alan Solomons was left to rue a missed opportunity as Edinburgh's careless performance in Cardiff cost them the chance of moving to the top of the Guinness Pro12.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 1st February 2016, 6:30 am
Edinburgh's Mike Allen is tackled by Cardiff Blues' Josh Navidi. 

Picture: Kevin Barnes/CameraSport
Edinburgh's Mike Allen is tackled by Cardiff Blues' Josh Navidi. Picture: Kevin Barnes/CameraSport

With weekend defeats for the top two, Scarlets and Leinster, Edinburgh needed a bonus-point victory to take them to the summit. However, in the end, they were fortunate to come away with a losing bonus point.

Solomons said: “Our error count was through the roof and on that basis we couldn’t possibly expect to win.

“We shot ourselves in the foot all night. We never retained the ball for longer than three or four phases, so there was a lack of possession.

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“We also made too many errors in the backline and the only positive was that we kept them out and came away with a bonus point.”

Edinburgh captain, Mike Coman, agreed. “We didn’t deserve to win, our ball retention was poor and we need to be accountable for our individual errors. Performances like that are not good enough and we know we can play a whole lot better.”

The writing was on the wall from the second minute when the Blues stole the lead through a Dan Fish try. Rhys Patchell converted and shortly after added a penalty as the Welsh threatened to run away with the game.

The visitors had no answer to the power of Italian internationalist No.8, Manoa Vosawai, who carried well and might on another occasion have helped himself to a couple of tries before half time.

However, he was denied, by the TMO, after a double movement, and a second, when he lost the ball.

Edinburgh, who were second best for much of the half, suffered another blow before the break when Rory Sutherland picked up a yellow card for impeding Tavis Knoyle as the former Wales scrum-half ran a penalty inside the Edinburgh half.

Still, for all their first-half domination, Blues failed to capitalise and Edinburgh trailed by only seven points at half-way courtesy of a Nathan Fowles penalty.

Solomons said; “For the first 20 minutes we were under the pump but we had a breeze in our favour in the second half and I’m disappointed we didn’t take a great opportunity.”

After the restart the visitors were far more competitive but they did not looked like conjuring up a try and the Blues came closest to doing so in a featureless and scoreless second half.

Patchell finished off an excellent round of passing by forcing his way over in the corner but the TMO harshly ruled no try for a marginal call for a foot in touch. Patchell also missed two straightforward penalties which would have ensured Edinburgh would have come away with nothing.

That was what they deserved as there were few plusses for them on the night. Blues had all the influential players with Patchell and centre Rey Lee-Lo being far more creative than anything Edinburgh could manage.

Up front, the visitors had no-one to rival Vosawai and the absence of any ball carriers was a major concern. Hamish Watson and Neil Cochrane were hard working defenders, but very few players emerged with credit from a lethargic effort.

Despite the defeat Edinburgh remain in contention for the title with their next fixture against Scarlets a fortnight away.

Coman said: “We have Sunday to Thursday off this week and the break has come at a good time, we’ll have a good chat when we come in on Friday but we are doing better than we have in recent seasons as we are still in the top four.”

Solomons added: “The league is really tight and is genuinely exciting for the spectators. There’s a long way to go so the title won’t be determined until late in the season.”

Cardiff Blues: D Fish; B Scully, R Lee-Lo, G Evans (J Evans 61), A Summerhill; R Patchell, T Knoyle (T Williams 61); T Davies (B Thyer 71), M Rees (E Lewis 66), S Ma’afu (S Lewis 47), J Hoeata (M Cook 74), J Down, E Jenkins, J Navidi, M Vosowai

Edinburgh: G Tonks; D Fife, M Allen, A Strauss (W Helu 45), T Brown; P Burleigh, N Fowles (S Kennedy 72); R Sutherland, N Cochrane (S McInally 61), J Andress (S Bergham 64), A Toolis, M Coman, J Ritchie, H Watson, C Du-Preez


Penalty: Fowles

Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)

Attendance: 6,058


Try: Fish

Conversion: Patchell

Penalty: Patchell