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Hodge impressed with Edinburgh’s character after dramatic Challenge Cup win

Jack Miller

23 Oct 2016

Edinburgh’s acting head coach Duncan Hodge admitted he could not quite believe his side had emerged victorious from their Challenge Cup clash with Harlequins after a rollercoaster encounter at BT Murrayfield.

The Guinness PRO12 outfit edged out the English Premiership side 36-35 in a thrilling 11-try match, with Tom Brown’s late score proving decisive.

Edinburgh had forged a commanding 31-14 half-time lead as Allan Dell, Blair Kinghorn, Nasi Manu, Hamish Watson and Damien Hoyland all crossed the whitewash, but had surrendered that advantage going into the final ten minutes.

But while Hodge accepted his side had stumbled after the break, he believes in defeating last season’s beaten finalists, the Scots have taken a massive step forwards.

“To come back and play the way we did for half an hour was unreal,” he said.

“It’s so good in a lot of ways. There was a big crowd here as well so hopefully they’ve not just been entertained but seen what these boys are about.

“The second half we were all over the place for half an hour – sin-bins, discipline, penalties, we were getting sucked into drives, everything.

“It was a huge penalty count against us and it was probably fair enough. We just lost our shape, we lost our discipline, we lost composure, we were making some bad errors, but when it was needed we somehow responded and got over the line.

“To come back, score another good try and keep them out was just unbelievable. I’m not entirely sure how we did it.

“Fair play to the players, they were magnificent and they should be proud of today, but we know there are still a lot of things to fix.”

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