Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill pleased despite Leinster defeat

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill
Richar Cockerill became the head coach of Edinburgh in the summer

Richard Cockerill felt his Edinburgh side were unlucky to leave empty-handed after a "first-class" performance in the 21-13 defeat at Leinster.

The Scots slipped to a third successive Pro14 defeat on Friday but Cockerill saw plenty to be positive about.

"Delighted with the performance and with the effort of the players," the head coach told BBC Scotland.

"I thought it was a first class performance and we were unlucky not to get something out of the game."

The Englishman added: "To come here with a fully loaded team like they had, and to perform like we did and actually probably deserve at least to get a point, if not to sneak the win, we should be happy with the performance at least.

"We're taking a step in the right direction, we're building confidence and belief in what we're doing. I think we're slowly slowly turning the corner, but it's a big corner."

Welsh fly-half Jason Tovey scored all of Edinburgh's points, including a try.

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Pro14 highlights: Leinster 21-13 Edinburgh

"He was very lively with the ball and he ran the game very well," Cockerill added. "That combination with him and [Phil] Burleigh - the intelligence of Burleigh and the danger at the line with Tovey, was very good.

"I thought James Johnstone at 13 caused all sorts of problems with his pace. It was pleasing to see we had a bit of cutting edge about us tonight against a very good back line and a very good back row. We caused them all sorts of problems."

Despite his delight at many aspects of Edinburgh's display, Cockerill knows there is plenty to be worked on in training.

"We could've been a bit smarter, we're still making fundamental errors, some little silly errors that cost us," he added.

'We have to win next weekend'

"Eventually, good teams, with good players, if you give them enough opportunities they will score, so we've got to tighten up on that, learn lessons from it and make it better.

"You know when you play good sides you're going to be under pressure for long periods and we were tonight, but our effort and enthusiasm and our willingness to put our bodies on the line was first class.

"I'm just disappointed that with all the effort we didn't get anything out of the game. But if we perform like this on a consistent basis we will pick up points and turn teams over."

Edinburgh are fourth in the Pro 14 Conference B and with Zebre visiting Myreside next week, Cockerill is preparing for a crucial period.

"We have to win next weekend, 100%, there's no getting away from that," he added. "We have to put this amount of intensity and effort and physicality into games that we should win.

"It's hugely important next weekend. The next three league games will be really important to where we end up at the end of the season, it's as important as that for me."

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