'Brutal' Cockerill is just what Edinburgh need – Toolis

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Ben Toolis admits Edinburgh “let themselves down” in their loss to Benetton
Pro14: Scarlets v Edinburgh
Venue: Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli Date: Saturday, 23 September Kick-off: 19:35 BST
Coverage: Watch live on S4C; Updates on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and the BBC Sport app

Edinburgh lock Ben Toolis believes the capital side will feel the benefit of Richard Cockerill’s “brutal” honesty in Saturday’s Pro14 match at Scarlets.

The ex-England hooker handed out “a few home truths” to his squad after last Friday’s home defeat against Benetton.

“Cockers is very brutal and he will give it to you straight,” Toolis said.

“But I think in any successful team, you need that. It was tough to hear but keeps everyone on their toes and makes sure everyone fixes what they need to.”

Edinburgh’s players were subjected to a “pretty robust” review of their performance against the Italians when they returned to training on Monday.

But Australia-born lock Toolis, who started Scotland’s summer tour wins over Italy and Australia, insists they were happy to accept Cockerill’s feedback.

“In the past we probably haven’t been as harsh on ourselves as we should be. Boys need to be accountable for their actions,” Toolis told BBC Scotland.

“No-one means to make a mistake but when you come in on a Monday, you need to re-watch what errors were made. That is the only way you are going to get better. Although it is the last thing you want to do, it needs to be done.

“We are trying to build some respect and credibility as a team in terms of how other clubs see us. No disrespect to [Benetton] Treviso, but it is a team we should be beating, especially after two good wins at the start of the season.

“When you lose at home like that, it doesn’t create much respect or credibility for us.

Cockerill delivered some hands-on coaching as he prepared Edinburgh to face Scarlets

“We did a lot of silly things and let ourselves down. We probably played as individuals more than as a team – that was probably the main gist of the meeting.”

Cockerill finds himself wrestling with the same maddening inconsistency that has dogged his predecessors as Edinburgh head coach.

Last Friday’s defeat revived the spectre of a home humbling last season by another Italian side, Zebre, a week after beating Harlequins in the European Challenge Cup.

Toolis acknowledges that Edinburgh “probably subconsciously” did not afford Benetton sufficient respect, assuming they would win on home soil after early-season victories away to Cardiff Blues and home to the Dragons.

“Even in the last 10 minutes, we were probably thinking we would get in for a try and win, but Treviso are such an unpredictable team – you don’t know what they are going to do,” he explained.

“I think we need to respect every team we play no matter who it is, and respect the ball, because 19 turnovers [against Benetton] is not good enough.

“Against a tougher opponent, we would probably be much smarter with the ball and wouldn’t throw anywhere near so many errors. We need to go with that mentality into every game.”



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