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Edinburgh look to rest weary Scots after sloppy mistakes cost qualification chances

Alan Solomons is likely to rest some of his Edinburgh players for next Sunday's return Heineken Cup match against Gloucester after suggesting that their involvement in Scotland's November Test programme had taken the edge off their performances.

Edinburgh made too many mistakes
Edinburgh made too many mistakes

Speaking in the wake of his side's 12-23 loss to the English outfit at Murrayfield yesterday afternoon, Solomons said that Edinburgh's hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the European tournament are not dead yet, but admitted that qualification now looks a tall order after losing two their first three pool games.

"When you lose a home game that makes it very difficult," said the South African. "It doesn't mean you are out, but it makes it very difficult. The odds are definitely stacked against us. We have to have a look because there is a lot of fatigue among guys who have played in the autumn internationals. We are going to have a careful look at the squad.

"It's good that they play for Scotland because we want as many representatives as possible, but that break from the team means there has to be reintegration. It's not a major issue, but its something that takes a little while to get it right.

"Every game we play is important, but we have to take an assessment, speak to our medical guys, our strength and conditioning guys, and have a look at our players. We have to look at the fatigue factor. It is definitely there."

Among those who could be given the weekend off are Greig Laidlaw, Nick De Luca, Alasdair Dickinson and Dave Denton, all of whom have played a lot of rugby this season. Resting his Scotland players would diminish Edinburgh's prospects of victory at Kingsholm even further, but with Heineken Cup qualification likely to depend on finishing positions in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season, Solomons may decide to concentrate on the league programme from now on.

Edinburgh's defensive errors led to all three Gloucester tries, but Solomons blamed his side's lack of composure in attack when the opposition had a player in the sin bin for yesterday's defeat.

"In the second half we had 13 errors and five penalties," he said. "If you're giving the ball away 18 times in a 40-minute half it makes it very difficult. We blew it when we had the opportunity when their man went off. We lacked sharpness, we lacked a bit of urgency."

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