Edinburgh will give it everything for top six, says Alan Solomons

Edinburgh celebrate a late score from Alex Toolis at Murrayfield
Edinburgh celebrate an added-time score from Alex Toolis at Murrayfield

Head coach Alan Solomons admits Edinburgh will need to improve on a ragged win over Zebre if they are to clinch a top six place in the Pro12.

A last-gasp try from Alex Toolis secured a bonus point in a 29-0 victory, with Edinburgh making amends for a dire first half.

With three matches remaining, a difficult trip to Leinster is next.

"It's a massive game and we need to play a lot better than we did tonight," Solomons told BBC Scotland.

Edinburgh, presently fifth in the league but having played more games than those around them, go to Munster on the penultimate weekend, with the season finishing at home to Cardiff Blues.

"It's a very tough run-in," said Solomons. "But we are going to give it everything.

"The players showed a lot of character and commitment to hang in and get that bonus point."

Five points against Zebre looked unlikely at the interval, with the hosts ahead thanks to a solitary kick from debutant Jason Tovey.

"We didn't play well in those first 40 minutes," said Solomons.

"We had opportunities for tries and we blew them. At half-time we said 'we've got 40 minutes to save our season'.

"We hardly fired a shot in the first half and we needed to get into it, which we did.

"I will say, in fairness to the players, that it was a five-day turnaround from our last game. There was a lot of sand on the pitch at the Dragons and that took a lot out of the boys' legs."

Jason Tovey shows off his man-of-the-match medal
Tovey shows off his man-of-the-match medal

Damien Hoyland touched down twice in quick succession and replacement scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne added a try before Toolis crashed over in the corner to keep hopes of reaching the Champions Cup next season alive.

Tovey, on loan from the Dragons until the end of the season, converted three of the four scores and turned in an impressive all-round display.

On the Welsh fly-half, Solomons said: "He showed his experience and did exceptionally well."

He also singled out Magnus Bradbury for praise after the 20-year-old replaced injured captain Mike Coman after just six minutes of play.

"All of our substitutes added impetus," said the South African coach.

Solomons would not be drawn on whether Tovey could earn a longer stay with Edinburgh, simply saying: "We will keep an open mind. Our focus is on the competition at the moment."

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