Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Solomons rues second-half errors

Perpignan fly-half James Hook was more than happy with the 31-14 Heineken Cup win over Edinburgh

Head coach Alan Solomons admits his Edinburgh side paid the price for an erroneous second-half performance as Perpignan stormed back to win 31-14 in Sunday's Heineken Cup clash.

The Scottish side led at half-time thanks to a spirited performance and a try for Tim Visser, b ut they were put to the sword by Perpignan after the interval at Stade Aime Giral.

The Catalan giants ran in four tries through Wandile Mjekevu (two), Joffrey Michel and Justin Purll to secure a bonus-point win which sees the Blood and Golds leapfrog Munster to top Pool Six, while Edinburgh drop to third.

And Solomons admitted his side lost their way in the second half.

"After a good, controlled start, second-half errors in our system changed the course of the game and from then on we were obviously on the back foot," he said.

"What we'll take away from this game is a very good 40 minutes. However, at this level, you are at punished for mistakes and that's what happened after the break.

"We need to continue to cut down our individual and system errors but also to keep your composure after an error is made, and when a side scores against us."

Edinburgh face Gloucester in the December double-headers while Perpignan take on two-time former champions Munster.

James Hook contributed 11 points for the home side and pulled the strings expertly in the victory, a nd the Welshman was thrilled with the victory which puts his team in a commanding position in Pool Six.

He said: "Nothing much happened in the first half but we had a bit of a chat at half-time and came back out firing.

"We had been playing into Edinburgh's hands in the first half. They were defending close so we just needed to get the ball out wide to our strike runners.

"We did that following the break with Wandile and Watisoni Votu really coming into the game.

"They were outstanding in the second half and the two quick tries really helped us and really swung the momentum. Edinburgh's heads dropped a bit after that but they kept battling and got a try at the end.

"It's still early days but to take a losing bonus-point on the road and a bonus-point win at home is great. At half-time we certainly would have taken that.

"We have to face Munster first in December and that will be huge - they are giants of European rugby.

"It will be a tough match but one we are looking forward to. These double-headers will shape the outcome of the pool."

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