Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill gave a brutally honest assessment of his side’s 56-3 Heineken Champions Cup defeat against Racing 92 in Paris by admitting his side “got what they deserved”.
Racing, last season’s runners-up, made it four French teams in the last eight as they ran in seven tries in an incredible all-round performance at La Defense Arena.
They will now travel to meet the winners of the game between Bordeaux-Begles and Bristol Bears.
“There is no disgrace and coming here and losing, but the margin of the result looks ugly. Physically they were very good and we couldn’t cope with them,” said Cockerill.
“We did some good things in the first half and had some scoring chances, but they’re a great side. When you get behind and have to start chasing the game it becomes very difficult.
“We got what we deserved in the end and we weren’t good enough to get anywhere near them. The scoreboard doesn’t lie and I’m not going to shy away from that.
“We started manfully, and could have scored early on, but if you aren’t accurate, and you drop off physically, the game can get away from you. We couldn’t cope with their pace and physicality and their strong bench made it even harder.
“They’re certainly a good enough side to win the Champions Cup. They just fell short last year, but they’ve got a very good squad, they’re very well coached, they have some very good individuals and collectively they were very good today as well.”
The only blots on the home side’s copybook were injuries suffered by skipper Henry Chavancy, former All Black lock Dominic Bird, French hooker Camile Chat and scrum half Maxime Machenaud. Chavancy dislocated his shoulder and, along with Bird, who picked up a neck injury, left the field on a stretcher.
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They will also have to go into the game next weekend without Scottish outside half Finn Russell, who is still serving his ban after being sent off in the Six Nations win over France is Paris.
“It was a really proud effort and a great way to turn around a disappointing loss in the TOP 14 last weekend against Bayonne. We showed a lot of character against a strong Edinburgh team,” said Racing’s Australian star Kurtley Beale.
“There is still a lot to work on, but we will take this and build into next week.
“We have to prepare and recover well and then be ready for anything because the Champions Cup is such an enormous stage to play on.”
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