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Solomons relishes 'massive' victory

Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons placed his side's 45-16 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons among the top three performances he has witnessed during his time with the Scottish outfit.

The capital club produced a dominant display to beat Dragons into the final of the European Challenge Cup.

Solomons said: "We have had some good games - the 1872 Cup against Glasgow was a big game and the game away to Bordeaux was big but this one was massive.

"It's a knockout and you have one chance. I thought the boys did really well."

Referring to the win that saw his team make history as the first Scottish side to qualify for a European final, he added: "I think it is fantastic for everyone involved.

"It's been a really tough season, we've been in a lot of tough challenges. It means a great deal to all of us to make a final and it's great for Scottish rugby."

Having dominated the first half, Edinburgh found themselves on the back foot in the opening minutes of the second period. A try for Brok Harris brought the Welshmen back to within striking distance.

However, a charge down try by Ben Toolis calmed the hosts and created the platform for the strong finale that produced a win that has booked a showdown with either Gloucester or Exeter on May 1.

"You can always get a shift in momentum from that," said Solomons of the score that gave Dragons some hope.

"The try that Ben Toolis got from the charge down was crucial. That was the nail in the coffin."

Solomons had been forced by injury to shuffle his side and he praised the character of his men for the way they dealt with that situation.

"For the lads to put out that performance without five internationals I think says a lot for them and says a lot for our strength in depth," he added.

While looking forward to the opportunity to battle it out for the silverware against Aviva Premiership opposition, he insists attention will now turn back to Guinness PRO12 duty.

"The final will be a massive game obviously," he added. "We can't think about that now.

"You've always got to enjoy these moments. Monday morning, we've got to start again and our focus has got to be on Zebre, we can't think of anything else."

His Dragons counterpart Lyn Jones was realistic in his assessment, saying: "Disappointing is a fair word. It didn't start well and it gradually got worse.

"We were well beaten. They had big territory from individual errors. It's disappointing but that's the way it goes.

"We were outplayed in every facet really. Conceding 40 points in a game like this is vastly disappointing."


From Belfast Telegraph