Edinburgh Rugby scrum-half Nathan Fowles was as frustrated as anyone following the weekend defeat by Zebre – but he believes the spirit within the squad will help them bounce back from the disappointment quickly.
Fowles, 22, started the Guinness PRO12 match in Parma on Saturday and kicked two penalties in the first half. He was taken off at the break to allow Scotland man Sam Hidalgo-Clyne to get 40 minutes of action under his belt but throughout the 80 minutes things just did not go right for Alan Solomons’ men in Parma.
They conceded 18 turnovers and 14 penalties as they slipped to a 19-11 loss, their first of the campaign.
This weekend they are on the road again to Connacht in Ireland and on Monday the squad had a busy day at BT Murrayfield watching the video of the Zebre match and plotting the improvements needing to be made.
Fowles said: “We have had a great season so far and we were confident heading into this one, but Zebre got in our faces early on and they seemed to get on the front foot.
“In the first half we managed to get the try [through Hamish Watson] just before the break and we thought that we could really kick on from there, but it was not to be and we all know that as group we made too many errors.
“What I have found in my time at the club since last season though is that there is a great spirit in the group and we have belief in each other.
“Just as we were not carried away when we put the four wins on the board we will not get too downhearted about one defeat. I am sure there will be a few honest discussions and a lot of hard work in the coming days before we set off to Connacht.
“The great thing about this period of the season is that we have a number of back-to-back matches and they keep coming thick and fast, so you simply do not have time to dwell on losses.
“We also have the Scotland guys being phased back into the team now and there is a lot of young talent like Blair Kinghorn coming through so the competition for places is really starting to hot up.”
Fowles has impressed many in the Capital since he arrived, originally on loan, from Sale Sharks in February.
With Hidalgo-Clyne away at the Six Nations during February and March and Sean Kennedy struggling with injury Fowles took his chance at that time. A number of tidy performances came as Edinburgh reached the European Rugby Challenge Cup final towards the end of 2014/15 and that earned Fowles a one-year deal for this term.
“When I came here on loan I had spent most of my career down south so it was really good for me to come into a new environment,” Fowles, whose grandfather is Scottish, explained.
“At the time I was looking no further than that initial loan spell, but what I found here was a lot of talented boys who were really building towards something.
“As a result when the club offered me a deal for this season I was delighted to take it and I really feel at home in the city.
“We want to improve on last season’s mid-table finish in the league and we had a really good pre-season which I think helped us with our good start this time.
“As I say the Zebre loss was frustrating, but we are still in a good position to push on before the 1872 Scottish Cup matches at Christmas time.”