EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP: Alan Solomons hails Edinburgh win over Agen

Edinburgh Head coach Alan Solomons.
Edinburgh Head coach Alan Solomons.

There was much for Alan Solomons to be satisfied about at Murrayfield on Friday night - a 23-0 win over Agen that yielded a bonus point win to enable Edinburgh to leapfrog both Grenoble and London Irish to go to the top of the group ahead of their two main rivals coming together on Saturday.

Ultimately this was certainly a comfortable win for the ‘Warriors’ - but it was a performance that took a long time to warm up with most of the action, including three tries, coming in a fifteen-minute period in the second-half as ‘Solly’ acknowledged.

“We made heavy weather of it but I felt that - if we kept at it - eventually they would tire in the last twenty minutes. We had to wear them down. We started to get right on top late in the game,” he said. “I think the substitutes made a big difference - they all did very well. The really important thing for us was to get the bonus point, it was vital for us.”

This was certainly a game totally dominated by the home side with Greig Tonks giving his side an early lead with a penalty and Magnus Bradbury notching the first try of the evening before the break.

The one-way traffic continued after the interval with Mike Coman, Greig Tonks and Hamish Watson all scoring tries to secure that crucial extra bonus point, the final score coming in the 73rd minute. Alan paid tribute to try-scorer Hamish Watson and youngster Jamie Ritchie.

“It was good for Hamish to come back - he’s been out for a month. Jamie Ritchie played really, really well - he is a good player. He’s got a tremendous work-rate. He’s 19 years of age.”

Next up for Edinburgh is the final group game away to Grenoble - a formidable task as Solomons acknowledged.

“Grenoble next week: it’ll be tough out there but it’s the last game. It’s an important game and we know we will need to play well. We have the capability to perform really well.”

With 11 changes from the side who defeated Treviso last weekend, the Coach acknowledged that it is rather unlikely that the same 15 that played against Agen will run out in France next weekend.

“We’ll freshen up the squad but the likes of Hamish and Jamie did really well tonight.

“We had youngsters out there tonight, we were looking into the future a little bit.”