Edinburgh: Alan Solomons rues 'damaging' Pro12 defeat

Interview: Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons

Alan Solomons admits that his Edinburgh side will struggle to finish in the top four of the Pro12 after their defeat by Connacht at Murrayfield.

His side sit fifth in the table after four defeats in their last five outings - including Friday's 28-23 loss.

"It is damaging, no question about it," said Edinburgh's head coach.

"We are now in a situation where we certainly cannot afford to lose a game at home and we need to pick up probably two wins in tough away games."

Edinburgh found themselves 14-0 behind the Pro12 leaders at half time, but despite a stirring fight-back, the Irish visitors secured a bonus-point win.

"I am very disappointed," Solomons told BBC Scotland. "In the first half, Connacht played really well and absolutely deserved their lead.

"In the second half, we got on top of them and had two defensive lapses that cost us 14 points.

"But for those lapses, we could have and should have won the game.

"We had a problem at the breakdown and we had to deal with that and I thought we sorted that out at half time."

Matt Scott
Matt Scott is a doubt for Scotland's Six Nations clash with France

Solomons said that injuries and international call-ups had hampered his side.

"Connacht are a good side - they are top of the log - they have been fortunate not having any injuries," said the coach, who did not know the extent of the injury that forced Scotland centre Matt Scott to be substituted after 21 minutes.

"We have nine front line players out of our pack of forwards - that's massive out of a team.

"I thought the forwards did well considering so many guys are out and sometimes you are down to the number three in a position."

Edinburgh flanker Hamish Watson hoped that a last-minute kick by Sam Hidalgo-Clyne would prove vital.

"Getting a losing bonus point is huge for us still as it is so tight that top eight," he said.

"I think it will definitely come down to the last weekend to settle that top six."

Connacht head coach Pat Lam is not ready to concede that his side have secured a top-four finish and a place in the play-offs.

"It is still open because the competition's so close," he said, praising his side's "clinical" finishing at Murrayfield.

"The number one goal was to get into the European Cup next year and now we are enjoying the records we are breaking."

Asked how Connacht had turned themselves from perennial also-rans into title contenders, Lam said: "I've been in many teams as a player as the underdog and we beat some big teams.

"The biggest thing is the mindset: we don't need a chip on our shoulder, we don't need people to look down on us.

"We work hard and, on the back of working hard, we can come out and beat anyone if we play as a team."