Edinburgh: Alan Solomons praises pack for win over Zebre

By Jamie LyallBBC Scotland
Roddy Grant drives the Edinburgh pack against Zebre
Roddy Grant scored Edinburgh's fourth try

Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons hailed the grunt and graft of his pack after a comfortable 37-0 victory over Zebre at Murrayfield on Friday night.

The forwards claimed four of the Scots' five tries, with three yielded from a potent driving maul.

"We've always prided ourselves on being a good mauling side and having a strong scrum and set-piece," said Solomons.

"We knew it was going to be a little bit damp and we'd worked hard on it all week."

As the race for sixth place in the Pro12 reaches its climax, Edinburgh secured a much-needed bonus point, taking them four points clear of Connacht and the Scarlets, with two rounds remaining.

The Irish and Welsh sides play their fixtures on Saturday.

"We had to get the win tonight and it was important to get the bonus point, but if you put the cart before the horse you have a problem," said Solomons.

"You've got to build your innings, so to speak, and I thought we did that. We were pretty clinical and we got what we wanted out of the game.

Edinburgh celebrate their victory over Zebre
Edinburgh's win took them four points clear of Connacht and Scarlets

"The front five in particular - and Steve Scott our forwards coach must take credit - that's where the victory was laid, up front, the front five played exceptionally well."

With Friday's Challenge Cup final against Gloucester now looming large, Solomons, minus Scotland internationals Matt Scott and Grant Gilchrist to long-term injuries and fellow internationals Dave Denton, Greig Tonks, Jack Cuthbert and Hamish Watson to an array of problems, was careful to preserve his prized assets after Roddy Grant notched the all-important fourth try on 54 minutes.

"I think, once we got the bonus point, there were two things," said the South African.

"One, it's important for our replacement players to get some game time, so there was an opportunity to give them game time.

"And two, it's important that, with a massive game coming up and having achieved the bonus point, that we take our players off."

Full-back Tom Brown, a part of the Edinburgh squad that reached the 2012 Heineken Cup semi-final, added: "It was a game where the tight five were awesome and it took the pressure off us.

"We knew we had to pay them a lot of respect - we weren't going to go into it flinging the ball around trying to get tries.

"We wanted to get our structure right from the beginning; we put them in the corners, we put them under pressure, and our tries came off the back of that."

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