Edinburgh's Richard Cockerill ready to wield axe v Scarlets after Benetton loss

By Bryn PalmerBBC Scotland
Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill
Richard Cockerill's side face Scarlets

Richard Cockerill says some senior players will pay the price for Edinburgh's home humbling by Benetton as they prepare to face Scarlets.

The head coach held a "pretty robust" meeting with his squad on Monday.

"A lot of those guys have international experience, some as recently as Scotland's summer tour, so I would expect better from them," he said.

"Some of those guys will not be in the side this week and others will get opportunities."

Ahead of facing the reigning champions on Saturday, Cockerill admitted that a "few home truths" were dished out after Friday's 20-17 defeat by the Italians.

The former Leicester Tigers boss put the loss, which followed wins against Cardiff Blues and Dragons, down to "poor choices" and "glibness with the ball".

"They need to listen and understand what we are trying to do from a game-plan point of view, which they all said they did beforehand but clearly didn't do it in the game," he told BBC Scotland.

"People have got to make the right choices. They have got to do what is best for the team, not what is best for themselves.

"The sooner they learn that, and be part of the team, the better it will be for everyone."

Edinburgh applaud Benetton off the Myreside pitch
Edinburgh had to applaud victorious Benetton off the Myreside pitch

Edinburgh led 14-0 early on against Benetton but allowed the visitors back into the game at Myreside, and a trademark late rally failed to produce a third win from three league games.

"We just switched off, we became sloppy; there was not much intent about us in defence or attack for large periods of that second half," Cockerill said.

"When we really had to switch on again to try to win the game, we started to concentrate again, so it is purely a mental thing.

"We have got to drive that every day. I have only been here four months, we are slowly turning the corner, but clearly on Friday a few old failings came back to haunt us and we got what we deserved in the end."

Despite his disappointment at losing their 100% record, Cockerill insists he still expects Edinburgh to be competitive against Scarlets, who lost 27-20 away to Ulster on Friday.

"This team have had a habit of being poor against teams they are meant to beat and very good against teams they are meant to lose against, so I am hoping we have the same mentality again this weekend," he added.

"The key bits for us are to get a good performance and put the physical parts of our game back together like we had at Cardiff and in parts against the Dragons."

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