Edinburgh Pipped for Challenge Cup Title

Edinburgh Rugby came agonisingly close to a maiden European title on Friday night, but it was not to be as Gloucester weathered a late storm to claim the Challenge Cup.

A first-half try from Billy Twelvetrees and a pair of penalties from Scotland skipper Greig Laidlaw, playing against his former side, gave the West Country side a 13-6 led at the break in a half they completely dominated.

Jonny May and Charlie Sharples were at their elusive best for Gloucester, with James Hook and Laidlaw controlling the game from half-back.

And Hook put England centre Twelvetrees in for the game’s first try on 11 minutes, after his powerful run brushed off Andries Strauss before beating the covering Greig Tonks to score under the posts.

Laidlaw converted and added a penalty, to cancel out Hidgalo-Clyne’s opening three-pointer, to make it 10-3.

Edinburgh did threaten briefly towards the end of the half even with Anton Bresler in the sin-bin – but a loose Hidalgo-Clyne pass meant the move came to nothing more than three points (13-6).

However, the match might have been all-but over if it was not for some superb defensive work – led by the returning Cornell Du Preez.

The back-row made a wonderful tap tackle on a flying May, who was destined for the corner and a try that would have killed the game off shortly before the interval.

Indeed, Hidalgo-Clyne had a penalty chance just before the break that sailed wide of the uprights, but with six points separating the two sides, it was still all to play for in the second half.

The visiting support knew an improved performance was required from Edinburgh, who struggled to contain England flyers May and Sharples in the first 40 minutes.

Gloucester came out of the blocks quicker after the restart and a further pair of Laidlaw penalties extended the lead to 19-6. Edinburgh were up against it.

The men in black and red knew they needed to score next, and that was aided when Gloucester back-row Ross Moriarty was shown a yellow card for dropping a knee into Fraser McKenzie’s back. The former England under-20s man was perhaps lucky to avoid seeing red.

Disaster then struck for Gloucester with 15 minutes to go, when referee Jerome Garces asked the TMO to check a tackle in midfield, and he showed Bill Meakes a red card for a high off the ball shot on Sam Beard.

That meant Gloucester were down to 13 men, and with Moriarty waiting to come back on, ‘Burgh struck, as Ross Ford drove over and placed the ball from short range, following good work by his pack colleagues.

Hidalgo-Clyne added the extras and the match once more hung in the balance into the last 10 minutes.

However, it was not to be, as Laidlaw and the Gloucester pack saw out the remaining time, thanks in part to an impressive five-minute spell where the cherry and whites’ pack retained possession inside the Edinburgh half.

And with the clock almost red, Stuart McInally dived over the top of a ruck, Garces awarded a penalty, and although Laidlaw’s kick went wide – it sparked scenes of celebration for Gloucester, and brought the curtain down on Edinburgh’s European adventure.

Edinburgh: Tonks (Brown 40’), Fife, Beard (Heathcote 64-69’), Strauss, Visser, Burleigh, Hidalgo-Clyne; Dickinson, Ford, Nel, Bresler (McKenzie 53’), Toolis, Coman (McInally 60’), Grant {Watson 60’), Du Preez

Gloucester: Sharples, May, Meakes, Twelvetrees, Purdy, Hook, Laidlaw; Wood (Thomas 48’), Hibbard (Dawidiuk 71’), Afoa, Savage, Palmer (Galarza 40’), Moriarty, Kvesic, Evans (Rowan 69-74’)

59 comments on “Edinburgh Pipped for Challenge Cup Title

  1. Standoffalot on

    Very, very disappointing from Edinburgh against a limited Gloucester side. Completely failed to turn up. Hard to think of any Edinburgh players who deserve pass marks. Far too many basic errors and missed tackles to compete, especially in the first half. Not the same team which completely dismantled the Dragons. A real shame, and definitely an opportunity missed, but this was more of the Edinburgh team which lost at home to Ulster and Munster, than the team we have regularly seen in the Challenge Cup. Need to sort out this Jekyll and Hyde syndrome very quickly if 6th spot in the Pro12 is to be achieved.

  2. aligator on

    Could not disagree more with Standoffalot.
    The effective but very limited ER style and game plan was almost completely out thought and out played by a wide and very fast tempo Gloucester game.
    The ER approach gave the ball to G on most occasions, and they knew what to do with it. We played right into G’s strengths.

  3. Rory Baldwin on

    Sounds like you’re agreeing to me! Edinburgh’s tactics were limited by their standards. Can’t remember any of the pack carrying of any great note although Roddy Grant keep them in the game first half when Gloucester were all over them. Whoever choose those tactics and then failed to adjust when the Gloucester back three were wise to every (poor) kick needs to take at themselves.Great effort to get to the final but poor effort in the final.

  4. Standoffalot on

    Alligator, I get where you’re coming from, but some seriously basic up front tackles were missed, and some seriously sloppy turnover ball coughed up. If you’re going to play the Edinburgh way you have to get the basics right. Edinburgh did that against both Zebre and the Dragons to great effect. They were lucky to a degree against London Irish. For me, tactics aren’t a consideration as Edinburgh have played the same limited style all season. If you’re going to play that way you have to get the basics right. Everyone knew what Edinburgh would do in the final. When it doesn’t work they have no plan B. Gloucester are not a good side, watching them in the Aviva they are below average. Glasgow would murder them. Edinburgh played nowhere near their potential. A great shame and a chance lost.

  5. Neil on

    Wkat can I say- that was GUFF. Kind of like watching scotland in thew 6 nations with Lailaw making his usual quopta aof mistakes. rubbish kicks that go nowhere etc. Why does he still get a game? Forward pack ineffective- again just like Scotland.

    • Idiot alert! on

      You sure you aren’t a bit mental. Laidlaw plays for Glaws. They won you idiot! I seriously doubt you actually watched the game from your padded cell…!

      Forwards were even, Glaws backs won it for them. But you wouldn’t know that would you as you clearly have no clue about rugby whatsoever.

      • Neil on

        That may be true but there is more than one person that has access to my computer. As I say, I’m pretty sure that I know who the person is that posted under my name. Sorry but on this occassion you got it wrong matey and you have wasted my time!

      • real neil on

        FF lets just keep the discussion to rugby. I told you what happened don’t like being falsely accused of something, however trivial it may seem. Still waiting for an apology from a certain person.

        Anyway, lets just keep the discussion to rugby. After all you know jack about me and vice versa.

    • FF on

      Neil – did you post with the same email address because this will be available to the blog admins like Rory?

    • real neil on

      The point is that more than one person knows my email address and that I contribute to this blog. Rory should not just assume that because the name and email address are the same that it is in fact the same person. 99 times out of 100 he may be correct but on this occassion he is not. Perhaps some a bit of thought is required before making sweeping accusations that are very obviously false. It was very clear to me that someone was taking the biscuit and I’m pretty sure i know who. However, I’m not getting upset about it as I can take the odd practical joke.

  6. aligator on

    Standoffalot I take your very valid point on tackles and turnovers. But somewhere ER were just not let to play their game and so seemed to loose the plot and as Rory B says could not adapt to the circumstances. Some big things here to work on for next season “more than one string to the bow”.

  7. pragmatic optomist on

    Such a shame. These opportunities don’t arrive very often, and Edinburgh chose the final to have their worst match in the competition. When the Gloucester back 3 are the big dangers, why deliberately kick to them? Please don’t say it was the right thing to do, it was just badly executed. It was tactical ineptitude of the highest order.
    Much has been said of the limited game of Edinburgh. Is this the best that Solomons and Scott can come up with after several weeks of preperation? Not impressed.
    Considering Edinburgh has a slight scrum advantage and a decent lineout, they didn’t do very much with their possession.I’d exclude Du Preez from any criticism as he was outstanding. Best Edinburgh player by a country mile.
    A few other things.
    1- SHC for Scotland!?!? Poor game management and some terrible passing. Allowed defence time to line up by taking so long at the breakdown. Has learned some bad habits it would seem.
    2 – Would anyone in the backs get a game for Glasgow?!
    (Some of them wouldn’t even get a game for Zebre.)
    3- Tactics – Let the forwards rumble up the middle and waste time when we have a two man advantage. Really?

    Hopefully the Scottish clubs can put up a better performance in Wales this weekend.
    Tough match for Glasgow at Ospreys. If they lose this one they might not get home advantage in semis. A season defining match with only Hogg avaialble of the much vaunted back line. A big ask?

  8. bull on

    Well Gloucester wanted it more and played the better rugby, the best team won. There were some decent passages of play for Edinburgh however they chose to come second.

    Edinburgh, clearly have a problem playing against 13 men. They lack professional grit. Yet again , like against Ulster, they chose to come second.

    Out on the full from a kick off twice, once is forgivable, twice, well that was the moment that the confidence was passed to Gloucester IMO.

    Shame on the commentators trying to argue the Red card should have been Yellow. JP Doyle had a good game and the right decision.

    Edinburgh fans deserved more however at least they were there.

  9. john mc on

    I agree with pretty much all of the specific comments about Embra’s performance in the final on Friday – and have posted as much on other forums.

    It’s important though to reflect on the bigger picture for Edinburgh. To have reached a European final and be in the running for a top six/seven spot in the Pro 12, having been basically in disarray last season and the early part of this season, is encouraging. Plenty of work to do for the future of course, but also plenty to be quietly pleased about. Onwards, then, with a coach who has started to turn things round.

  10. pragmatic optomist on

    John Mc – Does that mean you like the idea of Solomons/Scott contracts being extended at the end of this season?
    Given the limitations of Edinburghs playing style, poor selections in bringing in backs, and general tactical limitations , wouldn’t it be a good time to bring in a coach with more progresive ideas?

    Agreed that Edinburgh was a bit of a basket case when he arrived, but how long do you give him?
    He never seems to accept much responsibility for Edinburghs failings. Last year it was someone elses fault because he wasn’t there for pre-season training and player conditioning. (spurious crap IMO)
    This year started badly with hidings from various teams, and has improved since Glasgow games at xmas.
    The cup run might have saved him this year, but how much wiggle room does he have, and in this professional world, is there no better coach that Edinburgh can find?

    • John Mc on

      Fair challenge, Optimist. To tell you the truth I wasn’t aware the contracts were up for renewal this season’s end. Now I know this I’d say, given the revival in the past few months, Sol and co are worth another season at the coaching helm imho. Another thing I don’t know is who the potential alternatives are. I think Sol formed the wrong game plan on Friday night, and wasn’t helped by his players’ or his own inability to adjust it before it was too late. So I’m not giving him an unconditional vote, just saying he’s worth persevering with – if he wants it of course!

    • FF on

      I think this does a disservice to Solomons’ efforts and bringing in a new coach would risk the progress Edinburgh are making – progress which is not a matter of opinion,but fact. Edinburgh are also more or less improving in line with Solomons’ own predictions.His targets for this year were winning the 1872 Cup, qualifying for the QFs of the European Challenge Cup and achieving 6th place in the league. We are still in a scrap for 6th place but if we miss out it’ll be by a small margin after a truly horrendous start to the season marred by an injury crisis that led to amateur and academy players being called up for some matches. I think it is churlish to downplay that improvement.

      Yes, the current side’s improvement is based on a more competitive pack, yes, there is a clear issue with the backs that must be addressed and yes, Edinburgh need a plan B when the bludgeon doesn’t work. But Glasgow’s development into a genuinely competitive side started by establishing exactly the same model of being a gritty team with an incredible team ethic (which ER players have been at pains to shout about) who bring through Scottish talent and turn them into competitive players. This is a million miles from Edinburgh under Bradley – Solomons’ looks to me like he could be our Sean Lineen. I don’t think he’ll make Edinburgh pro-12 champions but he should be given more time to make us top-6 material and play-off contenders. The reality is that a new coach and more unnecessary change is no guarantee of improvement and risks progress already made.

      The final loss was disappointing but there is a risk of throwing out the baby with the bath water. From reading the Edinburgh fan forum, it looks like most ER fans want Solomons’ contract to be extended. IMO opinion it would be madness if the SRU chose to get rid of him.

      • Braw Lass on

        Thank you; this is one of the thoughtful, sensible and well presented opinions with which I agree.

      • FF on

        No it did not, but then you have to put Edinburgh’s cup run under Bradley into context. Edinburgh reached the semi-finals of the HC in the same season as finishing 11th in the Pro-12, Edinburgh’s worst ever performance, only ahead of Aironi. The following season Edinburgh climbed one place to 10th (thanks to the Dragons) despite having more cash to spend on players than any Scottish side had ever had before due to the money generated by their HC exploits. However, in the HC they managed to post the worst performance of any European side I can remember – they lost all 6 games with a combined aggregate of -142, conceding 18 tries and scoring only 3 and securing 0pts. Edinburgh lost to Saracens 45-0 at home.

        Edinburgh had an fortunate run to the semi-final driven by the remnants of the Robinson/Moffat built team. It was wonderful but did not even begin to mask the depths that Bradley dragged Edinburgh down to in the league – the credit lies with the players alone who seized the early momentum they earned and almost rode their luck to the final. The next year the team had almost totally disintegrated.

        When Solomons took over Edinburgh were too bad to even be a laughing stock. Even if Edinburgh hadn’t made the Challenge Cup Final he’d be worth persevering with.

      • Rory Baldwin on

        Don’t get me wrong, am largely impressed with what he has wrought this season but think there is a glaring lack of a backs/attack coach and with Visser off they’ve lost their one bit of class in attack. I think he deserves an extension but something has to be done about the pretty poor quality recruitment of backs till now (and I had high hopes of Burleigh, Maclennan and Beard).

      • FF on

        I think Burleigh has been good!

        You’re right about the other two though. Hopefully we’ll see some of the more glaring journeymen get eased out and some younger SQ players take their places – Beard is OK, Maclennan isn’t up to pro-12 standard and Strauss says everything about what our problems were rather than the team we want to be. I’d assume Maclennan and Beard were pretty cheap though (not being super-12 players) and brought in primarily as squad filler.

        Visser is a bit of a conundrum. There is no doubt how good he can be but he just has to work harder without the ball. I’m not sure he fits Edinburgh’s style anymore. He’d get more opportunities at Glasgow but the crowd would murder him at Scotstoun if he play with as little physical commitment as he often does for Edinburgh.

  11. aligator on

    I think it is important for the team’s morale and continued progression that Solomons and Scott are given another 2 years. This will allow them to cement in the present achievements and then build on that solid platform. Of course in that is the important question of recruitment of new talent, especially for the backs.
    Overall “steady as she goes” but add in some new ideas and talent.

    • FF on

      The biggest issue in the backline is who to play at 10. No one nailed down a place this year; most disappointingly Heathcote never seemed to settle at Edinburgh and has lost confidence, but also Tonks has been reasonable without truly convincing that he isn’t just a good utility player rather than specialist. The others are stop gaps – Bezuidenhot was clearly a journeyman brought into fill out the squad and I doubt will be retained, Te Rure is far too raw for this level at the moment, Burleigh has played well in a couple of games but the last thing we need is another utility half-back.

      Our midfield with Scott and Burleigh has the necessary quality but beyond them it is slim pickings at the moment. Helu is a winger/13 and Solomons has already said he wants to see Deans come through next year so we might not be looking at other new midfielders coming in. Hopefully Strauss and Beard will be eased out gradually by competition. If Farndale is over his chronic injury issues and Hoyland back from 7s duty I suspect there’ll be a lot more opportunities for these guys next season and rightly so.

      So for me, we need to recruit a 10 above all else. With only two Scottish pro-teams it is hard to imagine the SRU bringing in a NSQ 10 but I’m not sure where that leaves us…Ruaridh Jackson has had his contract extended at Wasps in January, Glasgow are never going to let go any of their 3 test FHs and I doubt it would be an appealing move for them either, and next season Heathcote, Millar and Leonard will be in the English Championship having been rejected by Edinburgh. Not sure where that leaves us…

  12. pragmatic optomist on

    Fair enough. It would seem that some want to extend Solomons tenure for at least another year.
    I want Edinburgh to do well, and accept much of the comment, particularly the need for a top flight 10. It’s such a critical position that it isn’t really a job for a non specialist.
    (ie Johnny Sextons importance to Leinster speaks volumes. They wouldn’t dream of putting a ‘prospect’ in that position.)
    If Edinburgh don’t address the 10 role, I’m not sure that they can compete with the top Pro 12 teams, which is where they should be next year.

    Also, I did read in the Hootsman that there are a lot more ‘back room’ staff at Glasgow than Edinburgh. I can’t verify this, but if true it’s a strange situation.
    Is there room at Edinburgh for a ‘backs coach’?

    • bulldog on

      Well this is all very high level analytical stuff , but lets get right down to it.

      We are deflecting away from the obvious issues on Friday and looking for a scapegoat.I dont think I would like him to be my coach , but thats just because I do not think I would connect with him, but that is just me.

      If I am being objective the coach is fine , leave him alone, Edinburgh have made progress, they are probably quite an unpredictable side to play against this season and that is a threat.

      On Friday the scrum and line out were consistent. Edinburgh scored when the man was yellow carded, not every side takes their opportunity when it arises and Edinburgh did. It was an exciting game to watch.

      I cannot add much to the earlier observations about tactical kicking , it was pants and you cannot win when you give the opposition the ball, however I am old fashioned that way and would love to change my ways.It is just that I rarely see it done well. Gloucester countered consistently well throughout. Lets put that as poor judgement and Edinburgh need the confidence to vary a game plan if it is not working.

      However, and there is always a however. Edinburgh lost the game on schoolboy howlers. They put the ball out on the full ,twice, at key times, from the kick off and suffered for it. Edinburgh played out the match against 14 men and at one point there were 13 Gloucester players on the pitch. That is what actually happened.

      There is just no getting away from it, they were given a better than fair opportunity to win. You can analyse the what if’s till the cows come home , but , that game, was lost, by basic errors, on the pitch.

  13. Andy on

    I think the match demonstrated just how poor Edinburgh’s back line are. Without Scott there is no quality in the centres. Edinburgh really need a classy fly half, centre and winger if they are to move forward. Good to see a Scottish scrum dismantle an Aviva Rugby Globogym pack though. Let’s hope that scrummaging can transfer onto the national side.

    • Rory Baldwin on

      I think Burleigh has looked good at 10 but had a poor second half when they were up against slow ball and great pressure on their ball by Gloucester. His kicking from hand has been excellent, as long as you don’t count restarts… But do we really want a non SQ 10 holding down one of our 2 available slots?

      • FF on

        I’m not sure what option we have. On the plus side Edinburgh have signed 18 year old SQ FH Blair Kinghorn and already have Te Rure on the books so that gives us two young SQ players to act as understudy. Tonks remains but hasn’t really established himself as a FH instead of a utility player. I think Weir is probably the most suited to Edinburgh but it would be a surprise if Glasgow let him go two years after letting Jackson go as well.

      • Andy on

        Glasgow will have a pretty active revolving door this summer so for the sake of stability I couldn’t see them letting Weir go. Would be the best for Scotland though if the two of Weir and Russell were each getting 20 games a season.

  14. pragmatic optomist on

    I’m looking forward to seeing Gregor Hunter getting a game at 10 for Glasgow. Although Weir and Russell both need game time, the way the players are rotated should allow some opportunity for him. He was a talented lad so let’s hope he can have a season free of injury.
    (Same with Cusack who should be pushing for the Scotland tight head spot). I’d have thought 3 x 10’s are a minimum requirement for Glasgow, considering the likelihood of injuries, although both Horne and Hogg can play at 10.

  15. Angus on

    So to talk about coaching and I qualify this with the fact I can count on 3 fingers the number of Embra games I have seen this season so I am generalising

    There are considered to be 2 types of coaches – Developmental and Progressive. A developmental coach is one who can take a side from being on life support to breathing on its own while a Progressive coach can take a mid table side and make them into Champions

    While it is certainly not unheard of for a a single coach to take a team from the bottom of the table to the top it is more the exception than the rule

    Many sides fail in the long term when a Developmental coach is kept on on the basis of having achieved exactly what they are capable of as a developmental coach but failed when they are expected to then fulfill the role of a progressive coach – a role in which they are unproven and which is unsuited to their skills

    It can work just as much in the other direction when a Championship winning coach is expected to resurrect and achieve miracles with a basket case – eg Robbie Deans and the Quallabies

    The question then becomes What is Solomons? To answer this about any coach you only have to look to their history.

    So what is Solomons’s history? I know he was considered to have done good things with the Port Elizabeth Super rugby side but good was considered to have been for them not to lose every game while getting smashed in the process (Developmental)

    Think about other coaches in this way and see if you can see a pattern

    Lineen Developmental, Townsend Progressive…..

    Cotter Progressive but being expected to fulfill a developmental role with Scotland. Just putting it out there……

  16. pragmatic optomist on

    It’s an interesting demarcation Angus. From the responses I received on the subject, I think a few of the people on this site think Solomons deserves another crack at it next year. Given where Edinburgh were for the last few years, perhaps that’s the right way to go.
    If Edinburgh finish in the top 6, it would be unfair not to to give him that opportunity. (Looks more likely to by 7th based on Llaneli’s easier run in)
    If Edinburgh don’t push on next year, then he’s ‘development’ type for me.
    It’s been interesting to read that the players appear to have gone ‘public’ in supporting him (or is it a SRU inspired article to support their own decision, or simply a sycophantic piece of tosh? Who knows!)

    Speaking as someone who was incensed by the decision to move Sean Lineen on, when he was making good progress at Glasgow; I now think I was wrong. It’s entirely possible that Lineen would have had the same or better results than Gregor, but I don’t think so any more.
    Lineen is a sterner and less flambuoyant kind of coach altogether, and Glasgows playing style then and now reflect their different philosophies.
    Gregor has added some flair to the grunge. I hope that Solomons can add some flair on the East coast.

    NB Is Robbie Deans available as Edinburgh coach? I’d take that.

    • FF on

      Sean Lineen was head coach of Glasgow for 6 years before being eased out by the SRU to make way for Townshend (a decision roundly lambasted by fans but which has been a resounding success) and it was only in his 4th season (2009-10) that Glasgow made their first play-off appearance after finishing 3rd in the league.

      Personally I don’t think Solomons will make Edinburgh the finished article, but to me it seems premature to think of changing things at the top just when we have established a positive team culture and are becoming competitive. Maybe after another year or two it will be appropriate to look for who can help Edinburgh take the next step but we need to be patient and give Edinburgh some stability to grow as a club.

      Edinburgh haven’t had a coach for longer than two seasons since Frank Hadden left for the Scotland job in 2005. In the 10 years since we have had 9 Head Coaches including interim appointments. The SRUs biggest mistake was putting Scotland ahead of Edinburgh and promoting Robinson when he was doing great work. That is no way to develop a club.

      Glasgow have given us a model for a Scottish pro-side to succeed and grow rugby in our country. Edinburgh needs to follow it.

      • Neil on

        My own feeling is that you need 3-4 seasosn to make a side. I dont think Solomans is the best coach in the world and he relies to heavily on foreign imports but the Edinburgh team is ever improving and I think he should stay for at least another 2 seasosn. If the team have not made any further improvements by that time then he has to go but not before.

      • Andy on

        Agree with Neil. It should be the 3rd season in which he should be judged. This season was about stopping the rot, next season will be about building a quality side and a quality squad, the 3rd season will be the one where they look to make the play-offs.

        I mentioned above about the Glasgow revolving door and I think that Edinburgh need to do the same. Hilterbrand, Berghan, Leonardi, Bezuidenhout etc. just not going to cut it.

      • FF on

        Andy – next season will be Solomons’ third season. Last year Edinburgh fared little better than under Bradley but there was a huge turnover in the squad and renovation of Edinburgh’s team culture. This year Edinburgh have gone much further than stopping the rot, improving their league position significantly, winning more games against the play-off contenders (H v Glasgow, A v Munster, H V Ospreys), progressing in the Challenge Cup, bringing through Toolis, SHC, Watson into the Scotland squad and Sutherland into the Edinburgh team. There is no doubt there have been some pretty low, low points but that is a really solid foundation to build on for next year.

        When Solomons came in he said he would clear out the squad, recruit to make Edinburgh competitive and create a strong team culture to bring young players into, as he did at Ulster. So far he has done exactly what he said he’d do – not only that but he has snapped up a lot of Scotland’s brightest young talent like Ritchie and Bradbury (who’ve already appeared for Edinburgh), Deans, Farndale, Hoyland and now Kinghorn and has said he sees many of them getting first team opportunities next year.

        I think Solomons critics, and he has had more than a few, are going to be eating some humble pie next year. A top-6 finish would be good enough for me. Then, as Angus said, it might be time for another coach to take a competitive club with solid foundations to the next level.

  17. pragmatic optomist on

    I agree with you about Andy Robinson FF. He was a top coach and seemed to fit in very well at Edinburgh.
    Edinburgh seem to be on the right path now, and Solomons deserves praise for that. That said, I find it hard to forget some of the dire (even nightmarish) performances this year (Ospreys springs to mind), where the performances were so bad, I didn’t think they could improve enough to reach a final.
    Like you say, some stability might be a key ingredient for Edinburgh next year.

    • Neil on

      The biggest problem with Edinburgh this year has been consistency. At times the team looked half decent and they got a good win over Glasgow earlier this year. However, they have also looked mediocre at other times, particularly at the start of the season. Time will tell what sort of team they will field over the comiong seasons. I would give Solomans a couple of seasons to sort it out. My biggest concern is that he does not place enough emphasis on bringing on youth talent, relying too much on foriegn players.

      • FF on

        How much is enough emphasis on youth?

        This season he has brought through SHC, Toolis and Watson to win Scotland caps. Rory Sutherland is also regularly appearing for Edinburgh now. Do you really expect Edinburgh to have more than 3/4 breakout young players every season at the same time as becoming play-off contenders? On any rational level, Solomons should get a pass for supporting young Scottish players this season and the indications are we’ll see more next season as Deans and Hoyland in particular are likely to feature much more.

        In reality the squad hasn’t been missing young Scottish players because of foreign players, it has been missing senior Scottish players who were complacent, failing and were removed, sometimes quite ruthlessly. If next season shows continued progress, I think we’ll have to admit that Solomons was correct to choose the course he did. As always, the proof is in the pudding.

  18. Angus on

    PO. I would tend to agree with you re Solomons in that he be given the chance to at worst consolidate and at best kick on. Having said that I would have plan B ready to go should next season not start well. As opposed to letting the season run its course

    The thing with a progressive coach is you tend not to know their limits or that they are a progressive coach until they have reached them. At the beginning of the season he set his goals and I think everyone said geez that’s a bit ambitious and if he achieves them he will have done bloody well. Does the final of the challenge cup compensate for 7th v 6th in the league? Probably. Would 8th out of 12? No it wouldn’t and I would consider mission failed

    Robbie is in Japan and after having made a few yen, and a few years out of the limelight, would b ready to come back in from the cold so well worth a call

      • Angus on

        Robbie Deans. Robinson is Robbo isn’t he?

        Lalalala to have enough characters to submit this post:)

      • FF on

        Got you – sorry for being dim!

        Deans would be amazing but not sure if he’d consider Edinburgh being back in the limelight ;)

      • Angus on

        Fair call so maybe we can wait until the North & Midlands go pro and tempt him with the Northern Lights

  19. John Mc on

    Neil (or Neils), keep the posts coming. Everyone has a voice to be heard so long as it’s civil and at least approximately on subject. I think I’m always able to spot the real you because of the spelling. I’m not suggesting you can’t spell, only that your keyboard skills seem to need some refining! No doubting your passion for Scottish club and international rugby though.

    • Neil on

      Well said John. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If we were all in complete agreement with each other it would make for a boring existence.

  20. Neil on

    Angus,

    I suspect someone else who was using my computer, posted this message as a practical joke. I’m pretty sure I know who but cant prove it. However, I’m not going to get wound up about it as I can take the odd joke. I explained all this to Rory but, for some reason, the message did not get posted. I just wish he had been man enough to admit he had got it wrong on this occassion. Anyway, lets move on from this and talk about rugby. I was watching our 7’s team yesterday. I thought we played quite well until we came up against Fiji- it was equivalent to taking on a team from another planet and we got thumped.

  21. Rory Baldwin on

    Neil, you are continuing to post under two separate identities, “Neil” and “Real Neil” using separate emails but IP addresses that both these accounts have used in the past to post from. Regardless of who posted it, from the information we have available they appear to come from your accounts. Please keep access to these under control and post from one account only.
    I would also remind you that this is a privately run site and while we welcome commenters, access to it is at the management’s discretion. I would far rather spend the limited time I have available working on the site or writing about rugby than policing squabbles in the comments section, and if you continue to disrupt the discussions we may have to take further action.

    • Neil on

      Real Neil and Neil are indeed the same person- I just got fed up with being falsely accused of posting a comment that I had nothing to do with, hence the reason I used the name Real Neil- hardly much of a crime if you ask me.
      My advice would certainly be to spend your time on rugby matters and ignore the trivial- on that we agree.

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