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'Devastated' Gilchrist on Edinburgh's 'failure' of a season

Grant Gilchrist
[SNS]

An emotional Grant Gilchrist reacted to Edinburgh's dismal 31-6 defeat to Benetton on Saturday, which ended their URC play-off hopes.

Here's what the Scotland lock had to say...

On what went wrong: "We made too many errors. We gave them turnovers. We knew they had dangerous players in the backline and we couldn’t give them transitions and that’s what we gave them. So it was inaccuracy. I thought the effort was there, you could see how hard we were fighting through that first 50 to 60 minutes.

"I lost count of the number of entries in our 22 where we defended brilliantly, we scrapped for everything. But if you keep making errors and you keep letting these teams have shots at you, eventually the ball will bounce for them and it bounced for them three or four times in that back 20."

On the final-quarter collapse: "We needed to be able to get some territory and possession in their half and we weren’t able to do that because we kept making mistakes around the halfway line.

"Across the course of their tries, I don’t know how many are off first phase of a turnover, most of them I would suggest. Certainly three or four are first phase, where we made a mistake and they got through. It’s in our control but we have to be more accurate."

On how he assesses the season: "We set goals at the start of the season and we set a goal to be in the top eight and we’re not there. We have to take that on the chin as a failure. There have definitely been good foundations put in place.

"We’ve shown over the course of this year we’re more than capable of being a top-eight team, but we weren’t able to do it consistently. I think it’s a step forward but at the end of the day we said we were going to make the top eight and we didn’t achieve that, so in my eyes it’s a failure and we have to address it."

On departing players like WP Nel and Viliame Mata: "It’s hard speaking about it. I’m devastated this is their last experience in an Edinburgh jersey, they deserved much better.

"All I can say is thanks for what they’ve given the club, they are both absolute legends who will be spoken about forever when someone speaks about Edinburgh Rugby."