Richard Cockerill taking nothing for granted despite Edinburgh's 1872 derby win against Glasgow Warriors
Coach looks to challenges ahead
Edinburgh had a brief taste of top spot in the Guinness Pro14 Conference B after defeating Glasgow 29-19 but coach Richard Cockerill is taking nothing for granted at this midway point in the season.
In the end, Munster claimed a losing bonus point in their 13-6 defeat by Leinster to edge above Edinburgh, but it was a Saturday to celebrate in the Scottish capital as the team bounced back from last weekend’s 20-16 loss at Scotstoun to level the three-match series.
“For me, it is about the consistency of effort every day. We have to make sure we keep our consistency. It doesn’t matter if we are top after round nine,” said Cockerill after the seven-try encounter which thrilled a record-breaking 27,437 crowd at the national stadium.
“That’s irrelevant. It is about being in the top three after round 21 that matters and that’s what we have to concentrate on.
“It was a big step forward for us. We had a big crowd and there was pressure on us to perform, and we performed. It was one hell of a game. A lot of people came to watch not knowing who was going to win and it was a bloody good game of rugby.”
Darcy Graham stole the show with opening and closing tries to bookend a compelling 80 minutes. The 22-year-old Borderer stole in for the well-taken first try of the afternoon and then put the gloss on proceedings with a dazzling dash down the East Stand touchline to put the game out of sight.
Amidst the euphoria, Cockerill was keeping his head on the bigger picture, whilst also savouring the moment.
“These wins are huge for us. Winning in Munster was huge. Those are games where other teams won’t pick up points,” he said.
“We’ve got big league games coming up over the next few weeks and obviously we have Europe [Challenge Cup] as well.”
The eccentricities of rugby mean that, just as you feel the club game is kicking into its stride, the Six Nations beckons soon and Cockerill knows he will need to pick from a new armoury.
“I would always want a little bit more. We are losing more and more players all the time,” he said. “That’s the dynamic with the landscape shifting for this team. Wwe need to have a good balance.
“We’ve just got to keep working hard and prepare as well as we can see where it takes us.”
Edinburgh are now sitting pretty in Conference B but things are looking a bit tricky now for Dave Rennie, who leaves Glasgow to become Australia coach at the end of the season.
“When you lose it’s always hard to talk about individuals who went well. There was no shortage of effort but we have to be sharper and more clinical. But I thought Huw [Jones] was a handful with ball in hand,” said the Kiwi coach.
“I haven’t done all the maths. But we have lost five now so that puts us under a bit of
heat. We still have to play Ulster a couple of times and we still got to play Cheetahs
and Leinster so there is a chance to claw back some points there.”