Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


PRO14 Round 20: Glasgow and Edinburgh win

Pete Horne
Peter Horne takes a penalty kick for Glasgow Warriors- pic © ALASTAIR ROSS | Novantae Photography

Both the pro teams had a winning weekend. Glasgow overcame Connacht with help from a few starry moments from their backline and Edinburgh blasting the Scarlets second string into next week in an 8 try demolition.

Glasgow 35-22 Connacht

On Friday night, Glasgow welcomed Connacht to Scotstoun and after a sticky start where the pack conceded a try in under 2 minutes, Stuart Hogg put them back on track and into an early lead.

In midfield, Alex Dunbar looks to have gained a yard of pace and formed a dynamic pair with Sam Johnson. How Rennie fits Huw Jones and Nick Grigg into this team is anyone’s guess.

In the absence of the more adventurous Finn Russell, Pete Horne ran a steady show at 10, kicking the goals and distributing strongly. A Henry Pyrgos try just after half time was Glasgow’s last score. When the house party twins did appear just after the hour mark it added the expected injection of pace to Glasgow’s play, and while it didn’t bring points, it was enough to keep Galway’s wolves from the door. Discipline was still poor: Glasgow had two yellow cards in a game refereed by former (very recently) Connacht scrum half Frank Murphy. I’m saying nothing.

Also worth noting this may have been the last hurrah for Friday night rugby on BBC Alba which has seen us through since the dark days when BBC Wales was the only Pro-whatever we saw.

Thanks Hugh Dan, it’s been real, and enjoy the Blue Ribands.

SRBlog Man of the Match: Sam Johnson

Edinburgh 52-14 Scarlets

Edinburgh got off to the best possible start with early tries from Kinghorn and the increasingly impressive “other” Van Der Merwe (now that DTH is back in Scotland) giving them an early cushion. After just 23 minutes, Edinburgh had the bonus point tied up with further scores from Hidalgo-Clyne and Magnus Bradbury.

Even absent almost all their first choice XV, the Scarlets proved they were still dangerous with a fightback in the closing stages of the half but when Duhan scored another try minutes after half time the game was all but over. Luke Crosbie took one of his own before a late interception by Duncan Weir (who else) put Mark Bennett clear – Meatball didn’t have the legs this week – and Nathan Fowles took the ball at the front of the lineout to streak away for Edinburgh’s eighth.

It leaves Edinburgh within a hair of knockout rugby – and the Champions Cup. If Ulster, with a game in hand, fail to win their remaining games with bonus points, one of which is against Glasgow, then the capital side go through. Even if Ulster go on a hot streak there are still ways Edinburgh can make it so Saturday went a long way to counteracting the gloom of the last couple of weeks when Edinburgh had matters more within their own control. It leaves Cockerill’s men looking at most likely a quarter-qualifier against Munster to progress into the semi-finals. As Treviso showed at the weekend, beating Leinster in Dublin would be an easy semi final, right?

SRBlog Man of the Match: didn’t see all of this one, but Magnus Bradbury picked up the sponsors award.

In the other half of the knockout competition Dave Rennie will be hoping that this particular version of the Scarlets turn up when Glasgow meet them next, possibly in a playoff at Scotstoun, but it’s unlikely it will be that easy.

26 Responses

  1. Two things jumped out at me from the Glasgow match – the pack will never be capable of winning enough possession to win the title and Price is the SHC – his form is woeful.

    1. I don’t know what’s happened to him. His first couple of passes were as bad as anything I’ve seen this year at any level. Looking forward to young Horne coming back from the 7s.

  2. CdP made 25 tackles and had a great assist for Crosbie’s try. Where’s that been all year?

  3. Well said about Hugh Dan and the Alba coverage. For those of us not in the Central Belt and not able to attend games as often as we’d like BBC Alba has been a blessing.

    1. Have to agree. It’s good coverage when we get it, and better still available in the ‘Sarf of England’ . It has a regular following including a number of English I know. The fact the commentary is in Gaelic passes most of them by.

    2. Absolutely agree about Hugh Dan and Alba. Informed and thoroughly enjoyable – Hornee furra linee !

      Is there yet a definitive statement on next years coverage other than the Premier Sports rumours ?

      1. Pretty sure Premier Sports is not a rumour, they’re tying it up when Sky drop out, although TG4 in Ireland have some coverage too (in Gaelic) I think…

  4. Will certainly miss the coverage on Alba next year. Hugh Dan does a great job and would far rather listen to his Gaelic commentary that Scott Hastings talking pidgin English!

  5. Tidy results for both teams. Glasgow finally confirming their home semi, and Edinburgh taking it right to the wire for a play off place.

    Ulster have been pretty inconsistent this season – almost like Edinburgh previously – so I’m struggling to see where they can get 2 BP wins from, even if Munster are still in Europe and decide to rest a few players as Scarlets did this weekend. Glasgow could also rest a few for the 1872 decider so I’m backing Edinburgh to book their spot with a losing BP.

    What a season for the Pro clubs if they both make the play offs. Going forward this has to be the minimum benchmark. The next step up should be regular participation in European knockout stages. Edinburgh have managed this in the Challenge Cup, but both sides need to be pushing in the Champions Cup. This will test players at a higher level, making them better options for Scotland.

    Making the trip to Dublin for the final and is it wrong to dream of 1872 Part 4?

    1. I think a more likely scenario is that Glasgow will use the Ulster game to bring in some of the fringe guys to have a last look at them before settling on a squad for semi.

      Expect the team put out against Edinburgh to be as close to full strength as possible to give them another run out together – our returning Scotland boys are not quite at the races yet.

  6. Slightly off-topic but hopefully Glasgow and Edinburgh and trying to sign Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding on the cheap, two quality players in positions (Flyhalf and Fullback) we could use some strength in depth and they would be available the whole season.

    1. Never mind the culture issue, I think they both have HUGE legal bills, so I doubt the ‘on the cheap’ bit as well. I think the word bargepole comes into this somewhere.

    2. It is not a wind-up they were both cleared of the crime and have had their international careers ruined because of it, they may have sent some stupid messages to each other in private but that was it really, surely they could contribute and with Horne and Hastings likely to be included in international camps, somone of quality to cover would go a long-way. Both had excellent disciplinary records before this and one mistake should not mean everyone looks down on them.

    3. No, nope, never in a month of Sundays.

      I want my kids to grow up loving rugby because of the positive role models it can provide. Olding and Jackson are not those role models at this point in time and have to make a lot of effort to redress their behaviour.

  7. O’Halloran blog

    Very interesting indeed, could partially explain the home / away thing, the implosion(s) at Twickenham last year & Cardiff this year, the inexplicably poor plays in Dublin this year.

  8. Just watched the games now, where was that Edinburgh performance when Ulster came to town the week before? We could have had the playoffs sorted.

    Is it just me or are Scottish refs the only ones that seem to favour the opposition in an attempt to not look like homers? Chip Samson gave Edinburgh nothing and let Scarlets away with so much.

    Some cracking tries in there and if the two teams play like they did at the weekend Edinburgh will have a bp win over the Weege next weekend.

  9. Does anyone know when Glasgow’s Semi is yet or when it will be announced? I have a minefield if commitments that weekend and the window of opportunity to plot a path (and pass) for the game is closing……

    1. Best ask Sky Sports – they’ll decide. I doubt council telly will get a look in at the SF / Final stage

You might also like these:

The Scotland team to face Chile this weekend has been announced and features 10 changes from the side that beat the USA last weekend.
Rory watches as Scotland reach the half way point in their tour with victory over the USA in Washington.
Craig is joined by Rory and Iain to look at the latest news including Scotland's win over Canada and the upcoming test against the USA.
Gregor Townsend has picked the strongest XV possible from his touring squad for the visit to Washington DC to play the USA, writes Rory.

Scottish Rugby News and Opinion