Sport Rugby

Thursday 14 December 2017

Solomons stays positive despite bonus-point letdown

EDINBURGH 27 PERPIGNAN 16

Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons
Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons

Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons stressed that his team's inability to gain a bonus-point try should not take away from the quality of their performance in their victory over Perpignan at Murrayfield.

The lack of a clinical edge saw them miss out on a fourth try and they failed to capitalise on numerous gilt-edged chances towards the end of the tie. The hosts went into the break 13-6 up courtesy of a solo try from winger Tom Brown, converted by Greig Laidlaw, who also added two penalties. Perpignan replied with two James Hook penalties.

A Hook effort early in the second half drew his side closer, but the sin-binning of visiting captain Guilhem Guirado proved pivotal, as Edinburgh made the most of their numerical advantage to cross the whitewash on two occasions through Cornell du Preez and Tom Brown.

Perpignan had the final say, with a late touchdown from Maxime Delonca, and Solomons was distinctly upbeat in his post-match summary. "That was a really good performance by the team. It was a tremendous defensive effort but overall a really good performance and we deserved the result," he said.

With regards to the elusive bonus point, Solomons was diplomatic. "I don't think frustrated is the word. Everybody is a little bit disappointed.

"We had three opportunities to get the try. We went for it. Unfortunately, on the night we didn't get it but I don't think we should let it detract in any way from what was an outstanding performance."

Despite the fact a bonus point was necessary to further their Heineken Cup ambitions, Solomons insisted that they would treat their visit to Munster next weekend as a crucial tie. " We look to try to improve each game, we look to rise to the challenge each game and we look to put in a good performance each game," he said.

Scorers -- Edinburgh: T Brown, D Fife, C du Preez try each; G Laidlaw 3 cons, 2 pens. Perpignan: M Delonca try, J Hook con, 3 pens.

Edinburgh: J Cuthbert (C Bezuindenhout 40); D Fife, N de Luca (J Dominguez 75), B Atiga, T Brown; G Tonks, G Laidlaw (G Hart 75); A Dickinson (W Blaauw 65), R Ford (A Lutui 75), WP Nel (G Cross 62); G Gilchrist, I van der Westhuizen (O Atkins 54); C Du Preez, R Grant (T Leonardi 70), D Denton.

Perpignan: J Hook; R Haughton (D Marty 75), L Mafi, S Piukala, W Mjekevu; T Allen (J Michel 57), D Duvenage (T Ecochard 50); S Taumalolo (J-B Custoja 66), G Guirado, P Ion (K Pulu 60); S Vahaamahina, L Charteris (L Narraway 64); D Leo, J-P Perez (M Delonca 54), K Chateau.

Referee: P Fitzgibbon (IRFU).

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