Hodge lauds his team’s attitude and belief

Date published: October 23 2016

Edinburgh’s acting head coach Duncan Hodge was pleased with his side’s narrow victory over Harlequins at Murrayfield.

Quins came back from 31-14 down at half-time to take a 35-31 lead deep into the second half, but their director of rugby John Kingston believes the two points his side took from a game of 11 tries means they can still qualify for the quarter-finals.

“It was just a roller coaster of the game,” said Hodge. “I think what I take out of it was the way we bounced back from the first two minutes, when we made some bad errors and they got a soft try, and then the attitude in the final two minutes to hold on.

“To come back from that start and play like we did for half an hour was unbelievable, then we lost our way for a variety of reasons – the penalty count, we lost our shape, we lost our discipline and got pounded for 25 to 30 minutes.

“Then somehow we found the belief and will to win in the last 10 minutes which was unbelievable. There are some technical things to work on, we totally understand that, but in front of one of our biggest crowds of the season it was great repay them and score some tries. It will do the players the power of good and it was great to win a game of rugby against a good side and it puts us two from two so we are very happy.”

Kingston was disappointed his side let the game slip after taking the lead in the second half. “I have mixed emotions,” he admitted. “You cannot afford to give away the number of points we did in the first half and expect to come away and win the game.

“It looked like we had the game won, a couple of things went against us, but the boys showed unbelievable attitude and the big thing for us is that is not the end of it, it is not a knockout competition.

“We have seven points from two games, we will keep fighting and with four more games to go we have a good chance of getting out of the group I would have thought.

“Edinburgh are a good side, we know they play good rugby, but they profited from the errors we made. They were excellent with their breakdown work and got turnovers and then their reactions to sting us meant we allowed them to score from nothing which good sides do.

“We did not do that in the second half but sadly we had too much ground to make up by then.”