Richard Cockerill had some issues with the way yesterday’s 1872 Challenge Cup match was officiated at Scotstoun yesterday but relatively few with the way his men set about their work in spite of finishing on the wrong side of what looked a comprehensive 17-0 defeat.

The Edinburgh coach had, he reckoned, seen even more evidence in this performance than when his 14-man side had beaten their neighbours at Murrayfield the previous week, that they are closing the gap on Glasgow Warriors.

“The 1872 is important to some but the league points are more important to me but that was a battle out there tonight,” was his assessment.

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“It wasn’t an easy game for them and they [Glasgow] battled to get their game going and we created as many opportunities as them and if you’d come into these games a fortnight ago you wouldn’t have expected that to be the case.

“So, we’re developing. They are a better team than us, at the moment. We’re only halfway to where we can be and want to be.”

The final margin by no means reflected the nature of a match that was fiercely contested, albeit lacking in real quality, punctuated too frequently by errors and ill-discipline.

“I’m disappointed with the final score and a bit disappointed in the fact we created lots of opportunities, which is a real positive for us in our attacking game and then we threw the ball away. That was frustrating,” Cockerill observed.

“In the end, we didn’t deserve to win. They played well, they put us under pressure at the right times. Considering the evening, the way it turned out with the weather and the long interval, both sides played good rugby and it was very tight.

“They won the small margins because we didn’t hold onto the ball when we created opportunities.”

In saying so he felt that an overall penalty count of 17 awarded to Glasgow and just nine to his side said as much about referee Mike Adamson as it did about his players’ behaviour.

“We gave away twice as many penalties but my personal opinion was that I felt the breakdown was refereed differently and they were allowed to do a lot more than we were and that’s frustrating,” he said pointedly.

“If the referee sees it one way then just referee it that way, but it seemed like the referee was keener to penalise us when we were defending than the opposition, but we’ll look at it and send the clips in. Everyone has to develop – I do, the referee does …”

What particularly pleased him, looking forward, was the willingness Edinburgh showed to play with ambition against a team with a superior reputation in that regard.

“I thought we created more opportunities than they did. We had opportunities both first and second half and that’s credit to Duncan Hodge who is doing a great job with the attack,” said Cockerill.

“Calum MacRae is doing a great job with our defence and we took a step in the right direction tonight, even though we were on the wrong side of the result. My frustration is that when we look back at the video, we’ll know we can play better, which is a good and a bad thing.

“We’re starting to be a tough team to beat, with the ball and without it, and we’re gaining some respect and some credibility.

“No excuses, they were better than us tonight, but a lot of sides have come here and been overrun and at no point did we look like were going to be overrun.

“I’m proud of the performance and the fact we were in the battle the whole way. We’ll dust ourselves off, come in on Monday and prepare for the (Southern) Kings on Friday.”

While Edinburgh have the prospect of seeking to clinch a place in the European Challenge Cup quarter-finals looming next month with back-to-back meetings with holders Stade Francais, their coach has always insisted that their priority is to produce the consistency of performance in the league that will get them into the higher tier Champions Cup next season.

In that context he saw enough against a team that has now won 11 of its 12 Pro14 matches this season, to believe that they are capable of closing the gap on Ulster who are occupying the third of the play-off places in their conference.

“If we play like that for the rest of the season, we’ll win more games than we lose and we’ll put pressure onto Ulster, Munster, Leinster. We’ll be in the fight and that’s where we want to be,” said Cockerill.