Edinburgh deserve more credit for win over Glasgow, insists Cockerill

By Jamie LyallBBC Scotland
Richard Cockerill
"Glasgow are the better side" and "should win" Saturday's match, says Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill
Pro14: Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium Date: Saturday, 30 December Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW

Richard Cockerill is perturbed by what he regards as a lack of recognition for his Edinburgh side's performance in last week's 18-17 win over Glasgow.

Edinburgh lost prop Simon Berghan to a fifth-minute red card, but overturned an 11-point deficit in a heroic final quarter to earn their triumph.

The Murrayfield victory ended Glasgow's 10-game winning streak in the Pro14.

"It's annoyed me. But my job is to make sure I champion the cause of Edinburgh," head coach Cockerill said.

"Glasgow are a good side but they've got no divine right to be the best team in Scotland. We're here to challenge that. Edinburgh are a good team, working very hard. We're not as good as Glasgow, but the sum of our parts has to be better than their individuals, and last week I thought we were."

The teams meet at Scotstoun on Saturday in the second of this season's three 1872 Cup fixtures.

'It's not just them making errors'

Cockerill wants his Edinburgh team to replicate their dogged approach, and force Glasgow into making errors.

"I want to make sure people don't forget how well Edinburgh played last weekend rather than just how poorly Glasgow seem to have portrayed themselves," he explained.

"Put them under pressure, they're going to force the game - that's how they play and they were 10 from 10 before the weekend so it works for them.

"They've got a good side, they're well coached, they've got very good players. But if you roll your sleeves up and work hard and defend properly - Calum MacRae has done a fantastic job with our defence here, we're one of the best defensive sides in the league - then they will make mistakes.

"It's not just them making errors; it's the pressure of our defence and our mindset and physicality that creates those mistakes."

Edinburgh have not finished above Glasgow in the league standings since 2011, and failed to place higher than eighth in the final seven seasons of the old Pro12.

Simon Berghan
The Edinburgh head coach has no complaints about Simon Berghan's red card last week and resulting ban

Cockerill is eager to mould an Edinburgh squad and set-up that can usurp their inter-city rivals as Scottish rugby's dominant force.

"We want to make sure that we are competitive, and when young Scottish players come through the system, they don't want to go to Glasgow, they want to come to Edinburgh because we're as good a team if not a better team to develop their game and go on and play for our country," the former Leicester Tigers boss said.

"We haven't got one back that starts in the Scotland team - there's a challenge for us. We're building an environment and a culture and hopefully a team that can compete on its day, which we've shown we can, and redress that balance.

"Glasgow are the better side. They should win [on Saturday]. However, we're going to make sure if they're going to win, they're going to have to play exceptionally well.

"We're actually coming into these games with some expectation, and that's what we want. The supporters came to Murrayfield at the weekend not really knowing what to expect.

"Now, we've got some competition for the national spots and for who is the best side in Scotland, which is great."

Cockerill, who has made four changes to his starting XV for the trip west, has no qualms over the six-week ban meted out to Berghan.

The tight-head prop was dismissed for a stamp to the head of Scotland colleague Fraser Brown, with the 12-week entry-point sanction halved due to his clean record and behaviour, and the fact that Warriors hooker Brown did not suffer a serious injury.

"It was a fair and straightforward hearing," Cockerill added.

"The laws are very clear - if your boot makes contact with the head you're likely to get sent off.

"It's a fair enough sending off, the entry point is 12 weeks, 50% mitigation for good record and how he presented himself, and whether you like it or not it's probably about right."

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