Grant Gilchrist has promised Edinburgh will put on a show in front of their own fans at Hive Stadium next week after crashing out of the EPCR Challenge Cup.

The double centurion was frustrated by his side’s second half showing in Durban as they allowed Sharks to build up a lead they were unable to overturn despite their best efforts.

Edinburgh flew back into Scotland on Sunday night on a direct flight from South Africa to ensure their preparations for the URC clash with Scarlets weren’t too disrupted.

Gilchrist took plaudits for his performance and Edinburgh did show some strong fight to claw the deficit back in the second half with the game finishing 36-30 in favour of the Sharks.

But he blamed a 20 minute period at the start of the second half for their downfall as they conceded penalty after penalty and were unable to get out of their own half.

He said: “It’s not what we came here to do. We came here to win and disappointed with the 20 minutes at the start of the second half. We showed throughout the game that we’re more than good enough to have won this game but the 20 minutes after half time we gave away too many penalties and couldn’t exit our half and we played against a quality Sharks side who deserved the victory.

“I thought we stuck to the task in the first half and to go in ahead, I thought we deserved that. But the 20 minutes after half time is where the game was lost. We gave away too many penalties and it cost us because we were always defending and Sharks took their chances.

“We’re fortunate we have a huge game next weekend. URC playoffs are in our own hands and we have a huge game against Scarlets so for us, it hurts tonight because we didn’t come here to be plucky losers, we came here to win. We dust ourselves down but we have to reset quickly. The URC playoffs are in our own hands and next week is a massive game, we’ll give our all in front of our own fans.”

Scotland Rugby News: Sean Everitt

Sean Everitt was also critical of that period of the game and admitted the penalty count is causing them difficulties when it comes to games like this.

He didn’t put the sole blame on that but he believes improvement in the set piece as a collective is vital for their progress under him.

He said: “We’ve got to keep working on our set piece. We know in the URC we’ve got some tough battles up front coming our way. We certainly have the personnel and we haven’t struggled in the URC up front, we’ve got the ascendancy in most of our games.

“You look at guys like Ewan Ashman, WP Nel, Pierre Schoeman, Grant Gilchrist and Sam Skinner and that’s a Scottish tight five. We need to stick to our guns.

“I’m not just blaming the set piece for the penalties, when you come under the pump and the other team has the momentum on you and the offside calls don’t go your way so I wouldn’t say it’s an individual thing but we collectively need to be better at set piece time.”

The South African was back in his homeland for the second time in a matter of weeks and insists lessons need learned on the difficulties of playing away from home.

And that’s why he’s set a challenge to his team to get five wins from five in the remaining URC regular season matches to set up a home quarter final in the playoffs.

He added: “There’s a lot of positives to take out of this game. We knew that we could win and we need to take the positives out of this game into the URC. We’ve got five URC games left and we’ve got a very good opportunity to finish in the top four which is important to give you a home quarter final and I think the guys are really keen to do as well as they can in that competition.

“This is a lesson for us travelling away. It’s never easy travelling away, so it’s more motivation for us to win those five games and cement ourselves in the top four of the competition.”