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Page last updated at 10:01 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 11:01 UK

Robinson praises Edinburgh squad

Edinburgh head coach Andy Robinson
Robinson will take charge of Scotland A's trip to Romania in June

Edinburgh coach Andy Robinson praised his squad after they secured their best-ever finish in the Magners League.

Sunday's 36-14 defeat of Cardiff made Edinburgh the first Scottish team to finish as runners-up.

Afterwards, Robinson highlighted hard graft as being the key factor behind their success this season.

"It's all down to the hard work the squad have put in. It's been a massive team effort and the attitude has been really good all year," he said.

In Robinson's second campaign in charge of the Scottish side they won 11 and lost seven, to achieve a total of 55 points - eight behind champions Munster and three ahead of Leinster.

Their previous high in the competition until now had been fourth and an improvement on that standing looked unlikely this time around after they lost four of their opening five matches.

"The players kept their heads after we had lost a couple of games and continued working hard towards achieving their goals," said Robinson, who is favourite to land the vacant position as Scotland head coach.

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"Having the ability to accumulate points has been very important and we have played some enterprising off-loading rugby."

In their final game against the Welsh side, Edinburgh scored five tries in the space of 21 second-half minutes as they came back from 14-3 down.

"In the second half against Cardiff, I thought we produced some of the best rugby we have ever played," said Robinson.

"The comeback just shows the level of confidence that the squad have got and the attitude they have got, which is that they score tries from any phase or any play."

Robinson also singled out stand-in captain Ali Hogg for his contribution against Cardiff and throughout the season in general.

The back row forward started all 18 games for Edinburgh over the course of the season.

"Ali has really led from the front and produced a top performance," said Robinson.

If we can keep this squad together then I think we can really achieve some success over the next couple of seasons

Edinburgh centre Nick De Luca

"To have started every game this season is a great achievement and he has made a massive contribution towards the team finishing in second place."

Meanwhile, centre Nick De Luca believes the team can push on to make a serious bid for the Magners League title next season.

"We are absolutely delighted about finishing second - we have made history. We will always be the first Scottish team to to achieve that," said De Luca.

"Last season, we finished fourth and we used that as a platform, so hopefully now we can go on and win something.

"We have got a young side, but we've also got lots of experience.

"If we can keep this squad together then I think we can really achieve some success over the next couple of seasons."



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see also
Blues 14-36 Edinburgh
17 May 09 |  Cardiff Blues
Scots chance for Ansbro and Grove
15 May 09 |  Rugby Union
Robinson wants to lead Scotland
21 Apr 09 |  Scottish
Logan backs Robinson for Scotland
07 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
Robinson named coach of Edinburgh
01 Oct 07 |  Edinburgh


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