But sets sights on victory against Montpellier
He said: “We started well and played some good rugby and controlled the game. Basically we just didn’t come out the blocks in the second half.
“Credit to Edinburgh. They controlled the game second-half and we just couldn’t get a foot in the game. To beat a team like Edinburgh, you have to play for the full 80 minutes and obviously we just didn’t do that today.”
Friday evening at Murrayfield is guaranteed to be special when Edinburgh – semi-finalists back in 2012 – can clinch that knockout spot by seeing off Montpellier.
But yesterday, the Top14 outfit showed they won’t be easy touches after demolishing Newcastle Falcons seven tries to one.
Those who were willing Falcons to produce an unexpected victory over in France were probably hanging on to the notion their dream just might be realised as the Premiership outfit trailed Vern Cotter’s men by just 12-3 at half-time, the Falcons line breached by Timoci Nagusa and centre Yvan Reilhac.
However, after interval, Montpellier cut loose, with the Falcons defence overrun.
Paul Willemse, an addition to the French Six Nations squad, scored as the home pack began to dominate.
The French were equally clinical behind the scrum, winger Henry Immelman securing a brace of tries, either side of Nico Janse van Rensburg’s score, with Romain Ruffenach rounding off the seventry rout to take a 45-8 win, Falcons’ only try coming from Zach Kibirige in the closing minutes.
It was job done for former Scotland coach Cotter, who knows that, despite the emphatic nature of yesterday’s victory, a bigger test awaits at his one-time stomping ground of Murrayfield.
Describing the Newcastle match as “a cleaver game”, Cotter praised his players, but demanded a similar effort on Scottish shores.
“I’m happy with the reaction of the players. They have prepared well for this [Falcons] match, they have been serious, and the five points are a fair reward for all this investment.
“Now, there is a quarter-final to play for in Edinburgh. It’s a good thing for our team. But Murrayfield is another appointment. Even if we were good in the rucks against Newcastle, it will be necessary to raise the tone because Edinburgh is really strong in this field.”