Painful as his side’s season-ending defeat had been in its own right, there was a discernible change in the demeanour of Edinburgh head coach when he registered his concern about the damage done to international centre Mark Bennett on Saturday.

Richard Cockerill expressed unhappiness with the way it had happened, but that was surely influenced by knowledge of the past problems endured by a player whose knee injuries have so far prevented him from fulfilling the promise that was so evident in his teens.

“The biggest concern was Mark Bennett,” said the coach.

“He got taken out at the side of a ruck and cleared past the breakdown. He’s been injured in an incident that could have been avoided He’s had two reconstructions, one on each knee.

“You don’t want blokes injured when it’s not part of the game. We’ll have a look at it and I’m sure the authorities will have a look and see if there’s anything untoward. He got cleaned out and taken past the breakdown and got caught in a poor position with his knee.

“There might be something or nothing in it. With the injury issues he has had you don’t want that to happen at all.”

Nor was that by any means the only injury that was added to the insulting way long-serving former skipper Ross Ford’s career ended, with three fellow international captains - Stuart McInally, John Barclay and Henry Pyrgos - as well as Fijian back-row Bill Mata all forced to leave the field early.

After two seasons that have rightly seen Cockerill and Edinburgh receive many plaudits, he accepted that this was a harsh reminder of how much work needs to be done.

“This team has been around a long time and qualified by right for Europe once in 147 years and qualified for a play-off once in 147 years,” the coach pointed out, however.

“We’ve got to keep working and battling away. We’ve got to be better next year. We’re not a good enough side yet, clearly.

“We’ve got to become a better team. We have the basis of a very good team. We need to keep adding depth to that and keep players improving.

“It takes time or money... we haven’t got money, so we’ll take time.”