IT MUST SEEM like a lifetime ago for Michael Bradley that he was posing with the Heineken Cup on the Aviva Stadium pitch.
Back in April, the Edinburgh Director of Rugby (or head coach), talked up his underdog side as genuine cup prospects. Ulster saw to that two weeks later and another Irish province looks to have ended their 2013 hopes.
Edinburgh have lost their first two Pool 1 games 45-0, against Saracens, and 33-0 to Munster.
Asked to reflect on his team’s second heavy loss in succession Bradley could only muster, “Embarrassed again I’m afraid.”
When asked about his side’s European prospects, the Irishman replied, “It’s certainly not looking good anyway.” He added:
At this stage you won’t get me saying ‘No’ because we could win the last four games with bonus points and scrape in at eighth in the Heineken. Losing your first two games and getting no points is a recipe for being out of the competition and we have to acknowledge that.
“We’re not so much concerned with winning the Heineken or the Amlin it’s about winning the next match at this stage.”
The Scots have won two games from eight this season and have Scarlets at home next in the RaboDirect Pro12.
Bradley admitted that the 6-0 scoreline at half-time on Sunday did not flatter Munster and rued the fact that his side was dominated at the breakdown as the game wore on.
Tim Visser and Greig Laidlaw, Edinburgh’s top point accumulators, were both ruled out of the loss with injury but Bradley felt they would have had a minimal impact on proceedings up front.
He told TheScore.ie, “Munster compete much more in the breakdown that Saracens. Sarries only put two in where Munster would put in three or four if they get a sniff. They dominated us there.
“I don’t think Greig Laidlaw or Tim Visser would have made a difference (up front). Tim may not have got a pass in this match.” He added:
What I like about Munster this year is they are putting the ball more and more wide and are getting confident with it. They’ll be even more confident in six weeks’ time (when they play Saracens). The change of management has given them an extra dimension in attack.
“It’s good for Munster because they really needed to move on.”
With Bradley’s Edinburgh contract expiring next summer, the former Ireland scrum-half may be moving on too unless he can effect a massive turnaround in his team’s fortunes.