Guinness Pro12: Alan Solomons questions Edinburgh players
Guinness Pro12: Alan Solomons questions Edinburgh players after 14-13 loss to Connacht on Friday
Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons questioned his players’ attitude after a poor performance at BT Murrayfield Stadium gifted Connacht victory on Friday.
After a surprise win in Munster on the opening weekend of the Guinness PRO12 season, the Gunners led for all but the last few minutes against Connacht, going down 14-13 with a late try from Willie Faloon as the Irish province produced as trademark line drive.
“We were just flat tonight,” Solomons said. “From the beginning, we spoke all week about possibly we’d peaked against Munster. We spoke about being in the right frame of mind mentally and physically, so we took it relatively easy during the week in practice.
“We were passive on defence, whereas we were the exact opposite in the game against Munster. We spoke about that at half-time, but there was no radical improvement.”
The last time the two clubs met at Murrayfield, Edinburgh walked away with a comfortable 44-10 win and Solomons hinted that complacency could have been an issue for their first home match of the season.
“Connacht are a side never to be underestimated,” he added. “They have some big scalps away from home, but unfortunately we just weren’t at the races; a flat, poor performance.
“I don’t think they were [in the right frame of mind]. That’s something we hammered on all week. One cannot underestimate, especially a side like Connacht, and tonight we were poor.”
The South African was also unhappy with the interpretation at the scrum, but refused to publicly criticise Irish referee Gary Conway, who was in charge of just his second PRO12 match.
Instead, Solomons and his coaching team will discuss the issue through the league’s feedback channels.
“We will sit down and go through every one of their scrums with a fine-tooth comb and we’ll discuss this with Tappe Henning, our head of referee performance in Scotland,” he said.
“We’ve got to get to the bottom of this, because that was a killer for us as it turned out right at the end.
“I thought the scrum made an enormous difference. I’m shocked that we were too passive tonight. As a team we were flat, but there’s no doubt what happened at scrum time had a bearing on that match.”
Solomons refused to criticise Conway’s performance, instead insisting his coaching team will analyse the scrums and send make their views known through the league’s feedback channels.
“It’s not for me to say at the moment,” he said. “I need to actually study their scrums carefully. We will have a look at each and every scrum and form our views, and we’ll sit with Tappe on Monday afternoon and go through every one of their scrums.
“The PRO12 tournament has a proper feedback process for this situation – it’s a really well run tournament, and we do things in the proper way.
“I think the very first five-man lineout we got tremendous momentum, but after that we fell away. The scrum was a factor, but full marks to Connacht. We did not play well and did not deserve to win.”