Belfast Telegraph

Magner's League: Moffat needs to end losing streak

By Michael Sadlier

By all accounts, the Edinburgh dressing room was not the place to be last Friday night in the immediate aftermath of their home defeat to Munster.

Having fallen to their second successive reverse, head coach Rob Moffat was apparently in no mood for drawing any comfort from the narrow margin of defeat which had seen Munster shade proceedings 16-13.

After an opening day loss to Cardiff Blues, Moffat’s side had produced a pretty flat performance at Murrayfield which, when put alongside their lacklustre end to last season, amounted to a sixth straight reverse for the Scottish capital’s side.

The result against Munster also located them one from bottom in the table with a solitary bonus point. It was little surprise then that the coach apparently decided to give his charges a touch of hairdryer treatment.

This week, though, has been about trying to put things back on track on the training paddock — Moffat also decided to name his side later than normal this week to also try and shake things up a bit — while deflecting criticism that has come Edinburgh’s way, particularly comments made by Scotland and Lions coaching legend Jim Telfer.

“So far in the Magners League, we've only shown a fraction of what we know we can produce,” Moffat said this week.

“Parts of our game, in isolation, have been very good, but it's now about making sure we bring them all out at the same time.

“Some people have been |criticising the players — but we’re all involved in this.

“I’m a firm believer that if |we perform well, we’ll win |the game (against Ulster),” the coach added.

Telfer weighed in this week by suggesting that the side’s key players — Chris Paterson, Mike Blair and Phil Godman — were failing to perform. He said the side should, instead, be concentrating on a game-plan that sees them play a tighter game at home while being more expansive away from Murrayfield.

Unsurprisingly, Moffat was having none of it.

“The game we are good at will kill a lot of teams and we have to keep developing it,” the clearly frustrated coach said.

At least there has been something positive from a difficult week, with the news that new signing Esteban Lozada had been released from hospital after the Argentina international |second row was knocked |unconscious against Munster, but that’s as good as things |have been.

Though there is more than ample time to turn things around, their current situation is a distant cry from where Moffat was at this time last season.

Back then, the side arrived at Ravenhill for Moffat’s third league game in charge on the back of two wins. They then narrowly saw off Ulster and kept pushing on for a play-off place, only for their campaign to implode at the back end of the season with four straight losses that saw them finish sixth.

But that was then; right |now Moffat needs a win and needs it badly.

Belfast Telegraph


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