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Solomons rues disappointing defensive display

Andrew Lawton

17 Sep 2016

Edinburgh Rugby head coach Alan Solomons was left to rue his side’s defensive weaknesses as they missed out on a losing bonus point in a 33-20 defeat to Leinster at BT Murrayfield on Friday night.

The Scots fought back from 26-8 down at half-time to trail 26-20 thanks to tries from Hamish Watson and Magnus Bradbury, but a late Dan Leavy score ended the home side’s comeback.

Earlier three tries in 12 first-half minutes from Leavy, Garry Ringrose and Isa Nacewa, scoring on his 150th Leinster appearance, helped Leinster establish control of the Guinness PRO12 round 3 game.

The visitors had a try bonus point before the break and Solomons blamed his side’s disappointing defensive work for the defeat.

“In my view, their tries were soft tries,” he said.

“Defensively we were very, very poor. We made too many errors, were very poor defensively, and I think that was the key to the whole game.

“We went into the shed after a great start at 8-26, so we regrouped at half-time and dominated possession and territory in the second-half, but created opportunities that we didn’t close out.

“When we got to 20-26, we had every prospect of winning that game. All we’ve got to do at the end is to hold them and you’ve got the bonus point, but we didn’t.

“We didn’t translate the pressure into points, but I think had our defence been better we wouldn’t had been in that position.”

Prop WP Nel led out his team on his 100th appearance for Edinburgh who had taken an early lead after Phil Burleigh’s clever kick was collected by Mike Allen to touch down before the Leinster onslaught.

The defeat leaves Edinburgh with a single victory and no bonus points from their opening three games while Leinster have their second win of the campaign following defeat to Glasgow Warriors last weekend.

Guinness PRO12 Final 2017 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 adults and €5 child, and be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie. For further information visit http://www.pro12rugby.com/final