Edinburgh flanker Hamish Watson was trying to be diplomatic when asked if he felt he and his team had suffered the rough end of the stick from Scottish referee Mike Adamson on Saturday when he was informed that his coach Richard Cockerill was sure they had.
“If he has already said it, I suppose I can, I did not want to say anything,” said Watson with a broad grin which briefly masked the disappointment of the 17-0 defeat at Scotstoun against Glasgow Warriors.
Following the stunning 14-man 18-17 win in the first game at home it means that the new-look three-match 1872 Cup series will now go down to a decider on the last weekend of April.
“When we watch it again it might be different but at the time we felt some of the decisions were a bit harsh,” continued Watson.
“I thought some of the calls were pretty touch but I’ll have to go back and watch the game again and then I can make a proper decision on it.
“I was playing and you do see every decision as harsh so I will watch it back and then make a proper decision on it.”
Watson was at the heart of many of the penalties which went against Edinburgh and ultimately cost them the match but the openside accepted that the often murky world of the breakdown is a win some, lose some game.
“Exactly and most of them I lost today,” said the Scotland forward. “It was tough at the breakdown and I did give away a few penalties but that is part of my role, I have to go for the ball and try to slow their ball down. It was tough, we had a few penalties against us today but I will have to go back and watch it.”
Watson felt that 17-0 was an unfair reflection of a game which, although Glasgow dominated, Edinburgh had been firmly in contention until the scoreboard eventually ticked beyond them.
“The try at the end was pretty disappointing,” he said. “It would have been nice to keep them out and not let them score but the reason we conceded that try was not that the defence was not good enough at the end but because we were playing from deep and trying to get a bonus point out of the game from 12-0.
“If you are playing from five metres out from your line at a scrum you run the risk of conceding a late try.
“Our defence as a whole was pretty good and we maybe attacked the better of the two teams but did not finish them off and gave away too much ball after the line breaks. Because of that we did not win.”
The year may have ended on a losing note but, as 2018 dawns, Watson believes there is much to be optimistic about as Edinburgh look to progress in the European Challenge Cup and chase a top-three place in their Pro14 conference.
“Cockers has definitely got us all heading in the right direction,” he said. “We are definitely closing that gap on the top teams and people are starting to realise that now.
“For large parts of Saturday’s game, we looked the better side, though we were not in the end result. Still, for large parts of the game, we looked good and were really threatening Glasgow which not many teams have come here and done.
“Normally it is a bit of a try fest here. We are definitely heading in the right direction.
“We are still growing as a team, we are quite young and will learn from that. We have to learn when to give those last passes and when to hold on to it and go again next phase when they will be stretched.
“We were chasing the game a bit and maybe that is why we were chucking that last offload but line breaks-wise some of the boys did really well to get themselves into those positions. It was really good to show our attacking game was shaping up well but we have to hold on to that ball.”