PRO14 Round 21: Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh Rugby

Date: Sat 27th April 2019
KO: 19:35
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium

Dave Rennie has had a busy week with announcements of new contracts for Rory Hughes, Robbie Nairn, Lee Jones, Bruce Flockhart and Tom Gordon in recent days. Gordon, the Kiwi-born back row who represented Scotland U20 at Age Grade level comes straight into the starting lineup as part of an untested back-row combination for Glasgow, but the Warriors are otherwise at nearly full strength for this crunch game that could clinch a home semi-final.

Calum Gibbins is not yet fit to play but instigator-in-chief Ryan Wilson will return just in time for the knockout stages, having been out since February.

Glasgow also announced today the list of players set to leave the club at the end of the season, with no surprises really:

Glasgow Warriors Leavers 2018/19

Brian Alainu’uese – 22 Glasgow Warriors appearances
Jamie Bhatti – 44 Glasgow Warriors appearances
Kevin Bryce –25 Glasgow Warriors appearances, 1 try
Alex Dunbar – 119 Glasgow Warriors appearances, 15 tries
Stuart Hogg – 118 Glasgow Warriors appearances, 220 points, 30 tries
James Malcolm – 25 Glasgow Warriors appearances, 3 tries
Lelia Masaga – 8 Glasgow Warriors appearances, 1 try
Greg Peterson – 31 Glasgow Warriors appearances, 3 tries
Robbie Smith – 1 Glasgow Warriors appearance
Lewis Wynne – 18 Glasgow Warriors appearances

Hoggy will naturally be a big miss, but as with the departure of Finn Russell last season the salary should free up cash to spend elsewhere (although the ageing Aaron Cruden might not be the best use of it) and a spot to bring some new talent through.

With the contract business out of the way (Edinburgh are still to announce their not-very-secret scrum-half signing and Glasgow fans live in hope of a big name or two), attention turns to the final round of the regular season and the third (non-decisive) round of the 1872 Cup.

Edinburgh come to Scotstoun – the capacity has been increased to 10,000 for this game – with their playoff hopes now dangling by a Zebre-coloured thread. The permutations were discussed on the most recent podcast but safe to say both sides want the win badly. Edinburgh need several large favours to kick in even if they do win, as well as a try bonus.

Hamish Watson will win his 100th Edinburgh cap in a side that also sees the restoration of the Dean/Johnstone centre partnership that has served the club well this season despite both Matt Scott and Mark Bennett now being fit to play. Simon Hickey and Dougie Fife are changes forced by injury while in the pack John Barclay and Magnus Bradbury continue to rotate as the only changes to a settled forward unit.

If it came down to a question of the greater good: a home semi-final for Glasgow with the final to follow at Celtic Park is the result more likely to reap benefits for the game in Scotland as a whole.

The optimum result would be both sides progressing to the knockout stages but that looks increasingly unlikely. Edinburgh have not scored a try bonus against Glasgow since 2008.

There is also the small matter of the Rugby World Cup next year, with both sets of players looking to impress Gregor Townsend and stake their place in the squad.

There are some tasty looking matchups to that end, beginning with the captains and hookers who really just need to emerge unscathed as they’ll both be bound for Japan, as will both the prince and the king of Hawick who line up at fullback.

There’s also a distinct possibility that Ryan Wilson and Magnus Bradbury – both on their respective benches – might end up competing for the same slot in the squad, especially if Jamie Ritchie recovers from his injury. Speaking of which – Scottish qualified Blade Thomson will play his first game for Scarlets since November, and could yet play a part in the Summer Tests.

Let’s hope for a good match.

Glasgow Warriors: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Kyle Steyn, Sam Johnson, Niko Matawalu, Adam Hastings, Ali Price; Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown (capt), Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Tom Gordon, Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: Grant Stewart, Alex Allan, D’Arcy Rae, Tevita Tameilau, Ryan Wilson, George Horne, Pete Horne, Rory Hughes.

Unavailable players: Adam Ashe (head), Bruce Flockhart (shoulder), Chris Fusaro (hamstring), Callum Gibbins (head), Nick Grigg (ankle), Siua Halanukonuka (shoulder), Lee Jones (knee), Oli Kebble (back), Tim Swinson (ankle) George Turner (head) and DTH van der Merwe (shoulder).

Edinburgh Rugby: Darcy Graham, Dougie Fife, James Johnstone, Chris Dean, Duhan Van Der Merwe, Simon Hickey, Henry Pyrgos; Pierre Schoeman, Stuart McInally (capt), WP Nel, Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist, John Barclay, Hamish Watson, Bill Mata.
Replacements: Ross Ford, Rory Sutherland, Simon Berghan, Callum Hunter-Hill, Magnus Bradbury, Charlie Shiel, Jason Baggott, Mark Bennett.

Unavailable players: Allan Dell; Cameron Fenton; David Cherry; Lewis Carmichael; Jamie Ritchie; Jaco van der Walt; Damien Hoyland; Blair Kinghorn

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122 comments on “PRO14 Round 21: Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh Rugby

  1. Big Al on

    Big week for Tom Gordon, signed a new 2 year deal, and starting against a classy back row. Forecast isn’t great so this might be a game that is decided by dropped balls and the set piece. Expect both sides to be ferocious from the start. This one will be a fight.

    Interesting that Huw Jones is nowhere to be seen. Also interesting that Rennie confirmed today that Cruden isn’t coming next year. Will be interesting to see what signings Glasgow make as there are a few spaces now with all those leavers announced.

    • Big Al on

      Turns out Tom Gordon is the real deal putting in a MOTM display!

      With Gibbin’s head still a bit fuzzy and Fusaro injured he could well get some more game time before the end of the season.

      That would give him a very good chance of making the squad for the summer as under study to Watson.

      • Rory Baldwin on

        I would suggest, impressive as that game was from Gordon, Barclay and Ritchie are the next 7s in line and some distance ahead of him in terms of international mileage…

  2. Scotty on

    If Glasgow’s pack can front up like the have the past couple of games, I suspect their backs will have too much in the locker for Edinburgh. With it being such an important game for both sides of the M8, here is hoping it is a cracker and a good advert for Scottish rugby.

    It is a shame Kebble is injured as would be good to see the big South African looseheads going toe to toe again but it is a big opportunity for Bhatti to put a marker down on his future employers

    • Big Al on

      I think you are right. The Glasgow forwards really surprised Ulster and Leinster and I think the coaches have reset the benchmark of what is an acceptable level of performance for the rest of the season. If they can keep it up then they should be good value for the rest of the season.

  3. thebigiam on

    I haven’t managed to keep up with Edinburgh gossip – I may be the only one not to know, but who is the “not-very-secret scrum-half signing” in question, lads?!?

  4. Stu2 on

    If Rennie doesn’t want Jones then he should be free to find another club – he’s an important player for Scotland.

  5. Sam Benedict on

    Head-to-heads:

    15 Stuart Hogg vs Darcy Graham – advantage Glasgow Warriors
    14 Tommy Seymour vs Dougie Fife – advantage Glasgow Warriors
    13 Kyle Steyn vs James Johnstone – even
    12 Sam Johnson vs Chris Dean – advantage Glasgow Warriors
    11 Niko Matawalu vs Duhan van der Merwe – advantage Edinburgh
    10 Adam Hastings vs Simon Hickey – advantage Glasgow Warriors
    9 Ali Price vs Henry Pyrgos – advantage Glasgow Warriors

    1 Jamie Bhatti vs Pierre Schoeman – advantage Edinburgh
    2 Fraser Brown vs Stuart McInally- advantage Edinburgh
    3 Zander Fagerson vs WP Nel – advantage Edinburgh
    4 Scott Cummings vs Ben Toolis – advantage Edinburgh
    5 Jonny Gray vs Grant Gilchrist – even
    6 Rob Harley vs John Barclay – advantage Edinburgh
    7 Tom Gordon vs Hamish Watson – advantage Edinburgh
    8 Matt Fagerson vs Viliame Mata – advantage Edinburgh

    16 Grant Stewart vs Ross Ford – advantage Glasgow Warriors
    17 Alex Allan vs Rory Sutherland – even
    18 D’Arcy Rae vs Simon Berghan – advantage Edinburgh
    19 Tevita Tameilau vs Callum Hunter-Hill – even
    20 Ryan Wilson vs Magnus Bradbury – advantage Edinburgh
    21 George Horne vs Charlie Shiel – advantage Glasgow Warriors
    22 Pete Horne vs Jason Baggott – advantage Glasgow Warriors
    23 Rory Hughes vs Mark Bennett – advantage Edinburgh

    Backs: advantage Glasgow Warriors
    Forwards: advantage Edinburgh
    Replacements: even

      • Sam Benedict on

        I still wouldn’t reconsider. Embra’s forward pack had plenty of field possession – and Duhan probably outplayed Matawalu on balance, though they both did well. Johnstone had a bad game, but on balance he’s been better than Steyn this season (who also took out Bennett with a cheap shot off the ball).

      • pragmatic optomist on

        I’ll reconsider them for you then:

        Head-to-heads:

        15 Stuart Hogg vs Darcy Graham – advantage Glasgow Warriors
        14 Tommy Seymour vs Dougie Fife – advantage Glasgow Warriors
        13 Kyle Steyn vs James Johnstone – advantage Glasgow
        12 Sam Johnson vs Chris Dean – advantage Glasgow Warriors
        11 Niko Matawalu vs Duhan van der Merwe – advantage Glasgow (much more to Niko’s game than one horse pony VdW
        10 Adam Hastings vs Simon Hickey – advantage Glasgow Warriors
        9 Ali Price vs Henry Pyrgos – advantage Glasgow Warriors

        1 Jamie Bhatti vs Pierre Schoeman – advantage Edinburgh
        2 Fraser Brown vs Stuart McInally- even
        3 Zander Fagerson vs WP Nel – advantage Glasgow
        4 Scott Cummings vs Ben Toolis – advantage Glasgow
        5 Jonny Gray vs Grant Gilchrist – advantage Glasgow
        6 Rob Harley vs John Barclay – advantage Edinburgh
        7 Tom Gordon vs Hamish Watson – advantage Edinburgh
        8 Matt Fagerson vs Viliame Mata – even

        16 Grant Stewart vs Ross Ford – advantage Glasgow Warriors
        17 Alex Allan vs Rory Sutherland – advantage Glasgow
        18 D’Arcy Rae vs Simon Berghan – advantage Edinburgh
        19 Tevita Tameilau vs Callum Hunter-Hill – advantage Glasgow
        20 Ryan Wilson vs Magnus Bradbury – advantage Glasgow
        21 George Horne vs Charlie Shiel – advantage Glasgow Warriors (Shiel has the potential though)
        22 Pete Horne vs Jason Baggott – advantage Glasgow Warriors
        23 Rory Hughes vs Mark Bennett – advantage Edinburgh

        Backs: advantage Glasgow Warriors
        Forwards: even
        Replacements: advantage Glasgow

      • Sam Benedict on

        Nope, reconsiderations respectfully rejected. You’ve swung straight over to Glasgow on the basis of the tail-end of Edinburgh’s season. Some ridiculous calls in there, like Matt over Mata (maybe in five years’ time, but not now) and Cummings over Toolis. And that’s just the start of it.

      • Big Al on

        I think the argument goes both ways, it is also the tail end of Glasgow’s season and they’ve both played the same number of games. I would say the main difference this year is that Glasgow’s non internationals have stepped up and filled in whereas Edinburgh’s haven’t and as a result Glasgow look fresher.

        I would say for Scotland a slight concern is that Edinburgh’s internationals look pretty tired and this is going to be a long year. There wont be much time off before Scotland summer camp and then the world cup. It might be a blessing for Scotland that Edinburgh don’t have any more games this season.

        You are also right about Glasgow and one win doesn’t change everything but you can be sure that the Scotland staff will be pouring over the video of this game and one or two Edinburgh players will be less sure about making the summer camp.

      • pragmatic optomist on

        I most certainly haven’t swung to Glasgow based on one game. I may have veered towards Fagerson Jnr on current form rather than overall ability, but Big Bill seems to be trying to run through walls rather than around them at the moment. He could learn a thing or two from Fagersons dancing feet, so avoiding the head on hits rather than taking them (He’s a Fijian FFS and sidesteps are learned at the same time as he’s on the tit). Granted that he hasn’t had much ammunition to showcase his speed, but the problem seems more systemic for Edinburgh rather than individual. Same with WP Nel. He’s a shadow of what he used to be in the loose, while Fagerson Snr is getting involved everywhere. I really do hope that Cockers (who I rate very highly) isn’t trying to turn Edinburgh into ‘Munster Light’, as I don’t think it’ll work. I get it that you give the nod to Ross Ford on a sentimental basis, but Stewart is the fast dynamic hooker that I’m afraid Ross never was. I do hope that Edinburgh find a backs coach and bring allow the backs to join the party. There are some great backs at Edinburgh who are being wasted by one dimensional tactics and gameplan

      • Sam Benedict on

        Actually, I don’t give the nod to Ford on a sentimental basis. He’s been much more consistent than Stewart who has been all over the place this season. Nel’s been decent in the loose this season for Edinburgh (in fact he’s had a few very strong moments in the loose) and Mata has definitely had a stronger season than Matt Fagerson.

  6. Hector McSporran on

    what on earth is going on with Huw Jones at Glasgow? No wonder his form was off during the 6N, he never gets any game time for his club!

    Can someone please explain?

    He clearly isn’t favoured by Rennie despite being one of Scotland best players on his day.

  7. thebigiam on

    Couple of comments about Huw Jones, which I understand. He’s not featured much this term, but he has had a few injuries to contend with. I’d have picked him on the bench again. however, Steyn’s played well in the 13 shirt, and he deserves another go on form.

    • Neil on

      Jones would be better off at Edinburgh lighting up there backline with Bennett going back to Glasgow.

      • Ben F on

        Jones will settle when Hogg leaves and there is less green cheese on the menu at Scotstoun.

        Long term, Huw Jones would be better served in the Top 4 in Premiership or a real wildcard like Bristol who are climbing the table, have the backing., have the coach and seem to be alinged with the Football team coaching ethos . This is one to watch. A decent lifestyle away from the game as well. Ok it is not Glasgow , but it is better than average.

        We just do not love him as much as he loves us. It happens.

        Ooops , it is just an opinion , dont want to start any ‘fake news’.

  8. James on

    Good luck to all those in the SRB Superbru predictor league for the final weekend. Except perhaps Norm as I need +0.25 points on you for the win!

  9. Sotonsaltire on

    Edinburgh might be able to scrum better but that’s it.

    Absorbed the one dimensional pick and drive and then bang. Game over.

  10. TeamCam on

    So, firstly commiserations to Edinburgh. Not just for the loss, but for the loss of form and the loss of key players such as McInally, Graham and Barclay

    But, onto the positives! Matt Fagerson was amazing. Hogg, Hastings, Seymour, Johnson, Bhatti and Brown were also excellent. If Glasgow play like they’ve played since the Sarries match then they should beat Ulster and Leinster (whom they’ve smashed in the last two rounds) and win at Celtic Park. I know it’s insane to dream, but it’s hard not to. If this is Glasgow under Rennie, then long may he reign. This is the Glasgow we’ve been hoping for. Especially missing players like Gray and vdM! Kenny Murray must’ve fired some rockets defence-wise after Sarries.

    Obviously I’ll be cheering on Benetton and Connacht.

    • Neil on

      This could be Glasgows years but i expect they might lose in the final, next year is where they should be peaking with 1/2 Marquee signings.

      Edinburgh are burnt out, still a successfull season in terms of experience for young players but they need to use there full squad when in the champions cup so they dont run out of steam… Kinghorn appears to have been a massive blow for them.

  11. john on

    Tremendous performance by Glasgow, defence, physicality, turn overs, thrilling counter attacking overwhelmed a strong but very limited Edinburgh. Having top class players in Price, Hastings, Seymour and world class in Johnson & Hogg makes stuff look easier (that’s not mentioning the magician that is Niko M). SRU / RC need to have a long look at some signing quality backs (inc. a coach). Brown, Gordon, M.Fagerson, Cummings all played very well too

  12. Busy Little Bee on

    Edinburgh has loads of possession and territory, more clinical sides will punish Glasgow, that was obviously a false result with the big winning margin.

    How bad is Hickey? Impressed with Glasgow’s back row. M.Fagerson must be right in the mix for RWC.

  13. Sotonsaltire on

    What was false about it? Glasgow did the same to Leinster two weeks ago. Soak up the pressure and take opportunities. Clinical is a better description.

  14. john on

    Nothing false about the result, Glasgow can do that to anyone.
    Unfair on Hickey, this is his 2nd or 3rd start this season

  15. Neil on

    To me next season will determine wether Cockerill has the ability to be an elite quality coach or Edinburghs version of Sean Lineen before a Townsend type character takes over.

  16. Matto on

    Disappointed for Edinburgh, though I did not expect a win given the respective recent form of the two teams. Glasgow were much more intense and accurate in defence, and alert, imaginative, skillful and incisive in attack. Looked miles ahead today, which their results this season show they are.
    Edinburgh’s approach is limited and seems to have become increasingly constricted as the season has wound up. A substantial setback in progress and feel good factor not to make Champions for next year.
    The Lineen parallel is an intersting one. RC is certainly not going to be the one to bring the champagne style, and Townsend certainly transformed Glasgow in that regard (along with the rise of some game-changing Scottish players and a couple of outrageously astute signings). However, he has brought improvement to Edinburgh. The season was ultimately defined by those really should win failings. Nail those (Dragons, Zebre, SK?) games and Edinburgh would have been in a happy place – play offs and big boys club for next season. Major banana skins in the end. Think RC deserves another or season or two to see if he can create a Scottish Munster. If the overall vision for Scotland is an NH version of NZ rugby then there will need to be a change at some point, as there was at Glasgow.
    For Glasgow there remains that unsurmounted weakness when faced with very physical, accurate, well-drilled teams, like, eh, Saracens. They’ve yet to overcome that to achieve the very top-flight of European rugby.

  17. Bazz on

    Can’t say i’m that surprised by the result. So much wrong with Edinburgh lately and anyone who thinks their season has been successful needs to reflect a bit more. We will never have such an easy group in the champions cup. Montpellier have won 11/23 and Toulon 9/22 in the top14 and Newcastle are getting relegated in the prem. These opponents flattered us massively.

    In a consolidated PRO14 table Edinburgh came 10th. Beating only Kings, Zebre, Dragons and Cheetahs. That’s a pretty terrible result in my eyes given the squad we have.

    Despite a good squad overall its clear as day that Pyrgos and Hickey are not good enough. The balance in our squad also needs to be questioned E.g. Ritchie and Hamilton can’t get in the 23 but we can start Pyrgos? Pyrgos and Hickey have no attacking flair, are defensively poor, make poor decisions and are error prone. Shiel has got to be the starting 9 now which is a concern in itself despite his potential. VDW is inconsistent and when he is at his best he is good but not great. I see him more as a backup 10. Hickey and Pyrgos however would be better of at London Scottish.

    Rotation – not enough
    Gameplan – severely limited and predictable
    Attack – poor structure and poor execution

    We need a new attack coach, Cockers needs to rotate more, and we need a new halves. I think Edinburgh should have an eye to sign Laidlaw or Hidalgo-Clyne. At 10 we should look to maybe sign Pete Horne, James Lang, Duncan Weir….and if i’m dreaming Finn Russell.

    • Rory Baldwin on

      It wasn’t deleted it was too long which automatically places it into moderation, and it has now been approved. There should be a character count that appears if you get near the limit?

  18. Rj on

    Well done to Glasgow, really hitting form at the right time. It’s hard to see any of the sides in the quarters coming to Scotstoun and winning, and I include Munster in that. With home advantage in the final as well it’s really theirs to lose, Leinsters cup exploits will aid Glasgow’s cause as well. Wasn’t at the game but thought Scotstoun looked much better with the bigger stands behind the goals, had their been any talk of keeping the larger stands permanently? If they win the league this year surely they should be looking to keep the good vibe going with an increased capacity.

    Disappointing end for Edinburgh. Ultimately fighting on two fronts with only one team has been too much. The backs looked completely unthreatening all night and unfortunately that has been the case all too often this season. We have seen glimpses of what they can do, there needs to be more belief next year to have a plan B and C for when plan A doesn’t work. There are good players in the backs, just need to use them better. Hopefully the Fijians can add that bit of flair that’s been lacking at times. The challenge cup needs to be used as a youth/reserve team exercise next year, we need to get the main side out as much as possible to avoid missing out again next year.

    • warriorthruandthru on

      Glasgow cannot keep the increased capacity on a permanent basis because they do not own the stadium. It is owned by Glasgow Life an arms length company who operate leisure and rec facilities in Glasgow on behalf of the city council. Scotstoun is a multi sport centre. It is one of Scotland’s top athletics venues (for both competition and training) and the local authority has a responsibility to its community to provide these facilities. The enlarged stands make it impossible to run events longer than 100m. It is just not going to happen and is totally unreasonable and selfish to think that it should.

      • Scrummo on

        I don’t think its unreasonable and selfish it’s likely just from a lack of understanding so whilst I’d like to thank you for your input I will also request that you get off your high horse. I want to make it very clear that this isnt the way we do things here and a bit more respect is necessary.

        Long term I’m sure Glasgow will be looking at options down the line if gates over 10k look a consistent possibility but that will be a short term challenge anyway with the haemoraging of the star names who draw fans like Nakarawa, Russell and Hogg. Rennie seems like the right man to maintain success though so far so things look positive.

      • NorthI127 on

        Warriort&t: you were doing fine until you wrote “totally unreasonable and selfish.” I can see why Scrummo wrote their reply. Season long enlargement of end stands is not an option. It appears that enlarging/rebuilding a (wrap-around?) North stand may be the only option but will need to keep local residents happy in terms of how much further back and up it stretched. However, I am not an architect, civil engineer or councillor!

  19. Stu2 on

    I have been saying this all season as the media and quite few posters here blew smoke up Cockerills erse, he’s a limited coach who talks a good game.

    Drilling a forward pack is easy when you have 8 test players – devising a coherent strategy to unlock modern defences is another matter. This is not the 90s and Embra are not Leicester – there is more to rugby than bosh, but I am not really sure he knows or cares.

    Embra have stank up the league all season and a good Euro run has masked serious problems.

    Cockerill needs to go back to the classroom and whilst there find himself an attack coach.

    • TeamCam on

      You’re exaggerating a fair bit there. Yes, they could do with a new attack coach and/or backs coach, but let’s not forget that this year they’ve beaten Glasgow twice, Leinster, and Scarlets away. They’re also missing key players (and lost more during the game). But they were a bad refereeing call – and they suffered from many – away from 3rd place. As their squad depth grows, and hopefully they start using excellent players like Pygos, Scott and Bennett more effectively, I think they’ll regain last season’s form. There’s a lot of potential in Edinburgh; let’s hope it’s realised.

      • Bazz on

        I think Stu2 is spot on actually. For every good performance we can point to this season there is a more dissapoining loss we can reflect on. This has been a bad season for edinburgh

      • Sam Benedict on

        You’re forgetting what a bad season looks like! We got to the semis of the Champions Cup and beat lots of good teams, including Glasgow twice. Go back to the Solomons days when we had Burleigh at fly-half and Yapp in the pack, and you’ll find bad seasons galore.

    • pragmatic optomist on

      I think you’re wrong Stu2. Cockerill is a very good coach who has had success with every team he’s been with. He’s turned Edinburgh into competitors rather than ‘also rans’ and I hope he’s given time to develop the team. He does need a 15 man game rather than 10, and a new backs coach.

  20. pragmatic optomist on

    Cockerill is a very good coach, but the tactics at 9 are too predictable and they need to add some variation to their game. Too easy to defend when the opposition know what you’re going to do. Edinburgh did look jaded, but Glasgow won comprehensively and were better at every aspect of the game. Edinburgh couldn’t live with the intensity. I’ve said many times that Edinburgh need a backs coach, as I don’t think Hodge has anything more to offer at this level. The Glasgow pack was very good, and Glasgow may have found a proper 7 in Gordon. MOM for me was Cummings. He did all the defensive chores but was a relevation in attack and made a good open field runner on several occasions, splitting the Edinburgh defence wide open. Convinced the semi will be against Ulster which will be difficult against a side also coming into good form. If Glasgow play well, they win. If not, I’ll need to sell my tickets for the final.

  21. The Fife Finn Russell on

    I think that it’s very easy to forget where Edinburgh were as a team at the start of last season. Cockerill has consistently said this team is a work in progress and that our exploits in Europe were probably a case of overachieving . When Edinburgh get close to our first XV out on the field they are a decent match for anyone. The objective for the team has to be to build a strength in depth, where the team can cope with the loss of Van der Walt, Kinghorn, Darcy etc and still perform well.
    A great clinical performance from Glasgow, what an opportunity now to go on and win the Pro14!

  22. My Cocaine on

    I agree with what David Sole said in today’s Sunday Post – Edinburgh need more help from the SRU. Instead of sticking the cash into some Yank money pit in Washington, give it to Edinburgh, or even the clubs. Glasgow have had a load of money lavished on them over the years, and Edinburgh have always been the poor relation, which is strange, considering Edinburgh’s European record is much better.

    One poster above is slagging off Cockerill, but in his first season, he gets Edinburgh back into Europe, and at the first time of asking, he gets Edinburgh into the QFs. Took Townsend a long time to do that in Europe with Glasgow.

    It’s only going to get worse for Edinburgh. Next season, the team will be gutted of its Scotland stars for the World Cup, the new stadium is nowhere to be seen, the air miles will be racked up in the Challenge cup, and the squad will be down to the bare bones, but still be expected to have a decent league campaign…

    We’ll be up against it from Match 1.

    • Scotty on

      Not entirely sure I agree; Edinburgh signed a lot of big salary players last year in the form of Barclay, Scott, Bennett, Pyrgos etc. Admittedly some of their game time was very limited but that is not down to lack of SRU assistance. They probably have the best back and front rows in the league with plenty of subs in those positions who would likely be starting for Glasgow.

      The Cockerill effect seemed to be paying dividends at the start of the season but it almost seems that teams have figured out the style of play they are going for and they have been unable to come up with a plan B. Often at times they have looked completely lost when they haven’t scored off a couple of phases so just resort to Pyrgos hoofing it in the air and giving away possession. Definitely a new attack coach required.

      I would also look at being in the Challenge Cup in a positive light. It seems that they are a few years off being consistent enough to threaten winning the league but they do have the ability to beat anyone on their day so the Challenge Cup could be a realistic chance of some silverware.

      • My Cocaine on

        Nothing positive about flogging players to death in the Challenge Cup – it’s mickey mouse from start to finish.

        You are right about the forwards, though. Last night’s blip aside, that is a pack to threaten the best of Europe on any given day. Glasgow’s powderpuff lot have been exposed up front in Europe, these past few seasons.

      • sceptic 9 on

        he has flogged his best players for 2 seasons. That’s why they are jaded. The workload on Mata has been stupid – no-one can make 20+ carries every game into traffic and not come out struggling – been poor last few games as a result.
        And when forced to supply a fair share to Scotland (like Glasgow have had to do for years) he has to throw in all the kids at the same time – had no gradual feed in with the big team. And then moans when they lose .

        Not at all convinced he has what it takes to move edinburgh any further forward

      • Sam Benedict on

        The difference is depth. Look at the backs; Glasgow can replace Huw Jones with Grigg or Steyn, Johnson with Horne or McDowall, Seymour with Lee Jones or Hughes, Hastings with Horne or Thompson, Price with George Horne or Frisby.

        Edinburgh’s backline depth is paper-thin. Kinghorn is the only full-back in the squad, van der Walt’s the only fly-half that’s any good, there are only four real centres plus young Taylor and two of those are injury-stricken, only three wings worth their salt, and only Pyrgos and Shiel at scrum-half. Admittedly those latter two areas will be bolstered – but much is still needed.

        vdW, vdM, Dean, Johnstone, Graham, Kinghorn is decent. Scott, Bennett and Hoyland can play a bit as well. But the rest isn’t enough.

      • Warks Scot on

        While some players have put in huge amounts of hours on the pitch e.g. Mata, injuries have been horrendous this season. At one point, I think Barclay Watson Bradbury & Hamilton were all unavailable; that’s 4 internationals back rows plus Scott & Bennett most of the season. That’s a massive dent by anyone’s standards & not sure Cockers had much choice in terms of who to play for a lot of the time.

    • TeamCam on

      To be fair, Edinburgh have the same budget as Glasgow and have nabbed a fair few Glasgow players. If anything, they get a disproportionate amount of help from the SRU already.

      • Bazz on

        ‘Nothing positive about flogging players to death in the Challenge Cup’.

        The reason why being in the challenge cup isn’t that bad is it allows us to rotate our squad more. Its also takes the backseat and allows us to focus more oon PRO14.

  23. Bazz on

    Summary of all that is wrong with Edinburgh. Hopefully this will stop folks from saying Edinburgh are still progressing or that this was a good season.

    1 – We need a new 9 and 10. Pyrgos and Hickey aren’t good enough. VDW is ok but not the long term answer.

    2 – Our gameplan. Way too slow/simple/predictable.

    3 – Lack of adaptability. We were crying out for a plan B which never came.

    4 – Coaching. A new attack and/or backs coach needed (to address points 2 and 3)

    5 – We need to rotate the squad more. We lost 5 of our last 7 games and the last 2 performances have been terrible (63-17 aggregate).

    6 – Our champions cup opponents flattered us greatly. Toulon and Montpellier aren’t doing well at all in the top14 and Newcastle are last in the prem. I doubt we’ll ever have such luck again.

    7 – A consolidated pro14 table has us at 10th…(We came 9th in 2015/16 and 2016/17)

    8 – Edinburgh scored 52 tries all season in the pro14 (59 conceded). Only Dragons and Zebre scored less.

    9 – Cockers needs to take some of the blame and I believe part of his success last season was a payoff from previous investments with respect to inheriting a youthful squad that was coming of age and a few key signings making a big difference (Mata + Duhan). The squad we have now is much better than the squad of 2016/2017 in terms of personnel and experience but recent performances arent reflecting that.

    • sceptic 9 on

      mate, the gameplan is Cockerill’s, not Hodge’s. Even last night, 10 mins to go and needing a small miracle to muster even a losing BP, Shiel box kicks the ball away. Been the same all season. The Cockerill way.

      We’ve no idea how good some of the backs might be – they ain’t Glasgow level, but a few could slot in at Scotstoun and look comfortable – which is way better than they look at Edinburgh

      • Bazz on

        mate, when it comes to the backs its likely a combination. They are both responsible for our lack of attacking threat. I also never said that cockers wasn’t involved with the gameplan…of course he is (hence point 9). There’s a reason i said coaching was an issue in point 4 and not Duncan Hodge specifically. But a better attacking coach could sure address some issues because cockers limits have been found out, he needs someone else to work with to take us forward.

      • FF on

        Cotter has been a miserable failure at Montpellier and word is he has lost the dressing room.

        Edinburgh over achieved last year and underachieved this. Without CL distractions I think they’ll be back up to euro-qualifying slots and need to use RWC and Challenge Cup to build depth in squad. Obviously, they need some new coaching ideas for backs and I’d say bye bye to Hodge, but no doubt this seasons travails we’re down to being spread too thin. They are still 75% of a quality 23, but limited beyond that.

      • Sam Benedict on

        My ideal Edinburgh side:

        1 Schoeman
        2 McInally (c)
        3 Nel
        4 Toolis
        5 Gilchrist
        6 Barclay
        7 Watson
        8 Mata
        9
        10
        11 van der Merwe
        12 Dean
        13 Bennett or Scott
        14 Graham
        15 Kinghorn

        16 Cherry
        17 Bhatti
        18 Berghan
        19 Carmichael
        20 Bradbury
        21 Shiel
        22 van der Walt
        23 Johnstone

        We still need a fly-half to match Burns/Carty/Evans at the least, and a scrum-half who’s not Pyrgos, to become a side who can be league contenders. I like van der Walt but he’s not quite the required calibre just yet.

    • pragmatic optomist on

      What about Brandon Thompson as 10 for Edinburgh? He’s wasted at Glasgow and needs consistent game time. It might leave Glasgow light at cover for 10, but could be a step towards a 15 man gameplan.

    • JohnMc on

      Speaking as an Edinburgh supporter, I’d say Cockerill has improved the team hugely in the last 18 months. We were such a flaky soft touch for some years so it’s good to witness a big turn round. Up front anyway. Behind, he needs more help on the coaching front, because with all that hard-won ball we really ought to do so much better.
      Meanwhile, Warriors under Rennie really do seem to have rediscovered a grunt up front to give their outstanding back line plenty of time and room to shine. Really hoping Warriors can carry this resurgence on to the Pro 14 title.
      My biggest worry as far as the Test team is concerned is that as more players of high quality continue to emerge, the two-club plus reliance on a ‘diaspora’ hinterland does limit the game time for top class players. For instance, Ritchie and Bradbury – two breakthrough 6N players this year. How do they get their chances to play week in, week out at top club level when you look at their competition for starting places at club level?
      I know the Irish protect and manage their top players very well, but with only two pro clubs our protection of players seems to occur more by accident than design.

  24. Sam Benedict on

    None yet. Hope Stuart McInally and Darcy Graham aren’t missing the World Cup, and REALLY hope it’s not Mark Bennett’s knee.

    • Bazz on

      Just re-watched it. Looked intentional from Steyn and I now have reservations about him playing for Scotland. The fact that they are both competing for a spot on the plane to japan makes it more suspect…

      • Bazz on

        Martin, if it wasn’t intentional (which i’m open to) it was incredibly clumsy and dangerous. The fact that they are competing for the same jersey was an afterthought that raises my suspicions but does not confirm them. I hope it wasn’t intentional.

      • Big Al on

        Really don’t believe for a second that Steyn thought he would nobble Bennett for the world cup. He’s playing better in a winning back line and therefore more likely to go anyway.

        When I think back to all the games Glasgow had against Saracens they were at almost every breakdown dangerously tackling beyond the ruck with late take outs and getting away with it. It seems to be part of the game at the highest level at the moment. I don’t like it and its dangerous but its there.

        I would also say that post Saracens the Glasgow boys have all seen it, they’re being coached to be more edgy and far more aggressive so we should expect more of it. I would also say that there have been plenty people on here and other forum calling for Glasgow and Scotland to be more edgy, aggressive and streetwise.

        Of course don’t want to see anyone injured, especially one of our own talents. Best wishes to Bennett in his recovery and hope to see him playing again in the Pro 14 and for Scotland.

  25. Sam Benedict on

    Worcester Warriors (Weir, du Preez, Dodd, Miller) are now safe from relegation. This means that Newcastle Falcons (Hardie, Harris, Gary Graham, Welsh, Guy Graham, Williams, Tait, Atkins, Dawson) will almost certainly be relegated. They only team they can catch now are Leicester Tigers (Denton, Kerr, Grahamslaw).

    • Warks Scot on

      Wee Dunc has ironically been playing some good stuff since heading south & Edinburgh subsequently struggling for a quality 10. He must surely be 3rd choice FH in front of Horne Snr. SHC also seems to be getting a bit more game time & was on the score sheet this weekend. Wonder if Lang will ever be in the selectors thoughts again?

      • Sam Benedict on

        Lang’s still fairly young and can also play at 12. I’d say he’ll be in the selectors’ thoughts again, but I doubt he’ll get many Scotland fans as he’ll be behind Russell, Hastings, Weir, Johnson, McDowall and Dean for the next five years at least.

      • Scrummo on

        Lang has played a fair bit at 10 for Quins this season. Would be ideal if could be tempted up to Edinburgh.

      • Sam Benedict on

        Cockerill.

        The Herald:

        “When it came to the injury to Bennett, however, the coach was unwilling to shrug it off, insisting that it had been wholly avoidable.

        The centre, who actually came on as a first-half replacement for full-back Darcy Graham, injured a knee after appearing to have been taken out at the side of a ruck.

        “He’s had two reconstructions, one on each knee, and you don’t want a bloke injured when it’s not necessary,” the coach said.”

        It looked like Bennett was in agony.

      • pragmatic optomist on

        Really do hope that Mark Bennett injury doesn’t keep him out for a long spell. It would be tragic to see a potential ‘great’ player leaving rugby due to injury. Always thought he was a better ‘all round’ player than the other centres in the Scottish game, including Huw Jones.

  26. Martin on

    I believe there was a lot more on the line for this game than just finishing positions for the league – this was a chance for men to throw down a marker for the world cup. In that regards I think the Glasgow bolters who hae probably secured a spot in the training squad (likely to be about 45 ish) are Steyn, Harley, M. Fagerson & Cummings. From the Edinburgh team I have to say that those on the edges (Dean, Johnstone, Pyrgos & Fife) have probably not done enough and I could quite easily see them miss out for the likes of the Glasgow boys above but also to Hutchison at Northampton and SHC on loan at Quins.

  27. Scott M on

    I saw a stat somewhere which really sums up Edinburgh’s season, they’re the only team to beat the top of each conference (Glasgow and Leinster) but also lose to the bottom of each conference (Zebre and Southern Kings).

    Just hoping for Glasgow to get through to the final so I can see us compete for some silverware…

    • Alanyst on

      I guess, somewhat perversely, that is a better problem to have than the inverse.

      Mindsets and tactics can be changed, concentration can be improved, fatigue can be managed. First XV mediocrity can rarely be turned into quality.

    • Big Al on

      Its been a funny season for Glasgow too. Already beaten everyone who is through to the knockout stages at least once this season.

      Losing away to Southern Kings was a weird one, just got the mentality all wrong and played too many youngsters.

      Lost away at Munster by a point which most people would say is fair enough.

      Then there was the mini slump over xmas with the loss home and away to Edinburgh and away to Benetton. Turns out Benetton are pretty good this year! Then there is the coach killer that is Edinburgh!

  28. Martin on

    Subject to Injuries: 45 man training squad:
    Bhatti, Allan, Dell & Reid
    McInally, Brown, Turner & Stewart
    Nel, Berghan, Fagerson & Rae
    J. Gray, R. Gray, Cummings, Toolis, Gilchrist
    Skinner, Barclay, Ritchie, Harley, Watson
    Fagerson, Wilson, Bradbury, Thomson
    Price, SHC, Horne & Laidlaw
    Hastings, Russell
    Horne, Harris, Johnson, Jones, Hutchison & Grigg
    Maitland, McGuigan, Seymour, Graham & Steyn
    Hogg, Kinghorn

    couple of bolters in there but I can’t really make case for anyone not in the list who hae been involved with other squads over the past couple of years (Dunbar, Swinson, Dean, Johnstone, Bennett, Scott, Fife, Hughes, L. Jones, Ashe, Hamilton, Pyrgos, Lang, Carmichael, Marfo, Welsh, Graham, Hardie, Ford, Fusaro) – Though you could probably get a team together there that would beat the Dragons, Zebre and the Kings !!

    • NotNeil on

      My called up or capped but cast off XV:

      Marfo
      Kerr
      Welsh
      Swinson
      Carmichael
      Hamilton
      Hardie
      Ashe
      Pyrgos
      Weir
      L.Jones
      Dunbar
      Scott
      Hughes
      Fife

      • Sam Benedict on

        And another:

        Sutherland
        Cherry
        McCallum
        Davidson
        Crosbie
        G Graham
        Du Preez
        Shiel
        Lang
        Hoyland
        Burleigh
        Bennett
        D Taylor
        Jackson

        All but Davidson have been involved with Scotland squads.

      • Neil on

        The editors will know the real Neil with my email, I have no issue with other posters called Neil but there was a big issue with people spamming squad lists under my name for those unaware, hence why i requested that the comment be deleted (as it is clearly a troll list) to avoid it becoming a habit & besmirching the good name.

        Lets have abit of respect for the Editors who have to sift through this nonsense (we all know who is doing it) (2)

  29. Stu2 on

    Cockerill is out of order suggesting Steyn deliberately injured Bennet – all he did was drive beyond the ruck as is his right.

    Another good example of Cockerill opening his mouth before thinking – another to the many this season.

      • Stu2 on

        It’s in the heat of the moment at a ruck – the inference is that Steyn should not have done what he did – when all he did was clear out beyond the ruck.

    • Scott M on

      It’s a couple of posters on here who said they thought it was deliberate… not Cockerill. He merely stated that it was avoidable.

      It’s hard to argue with the fact that it was a stupid and reckless challenge, but Steyn will feel as bad as anybody over the injury. No player goes out on the field to try and injure someone.

  30. Sam Benedict on

    Wales have announced their World Cup training squad (Blues’ uncapped Carré and Lane are included); here’s what ours might look like (with 46 players).

    Fraser Brown, Grant Stewart (both Glasgow Warriors), Jake Kerr (Leicester Tigers), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh)

    Alex Allan, Jamie Bhatti (both Glasgow Warriors), Allan Dell (Edinburgh), Gordon Reid (London Irish)

    Simon Berghan, WP Nel (all Edinburgh), Zander Fagerson, D’Arcy Rae (both Glasgow Warriors)

    Jonny Gray, Tim Swinson (all Glasgow Warriors), Grant Gilchrist, Ben Toolis (both Edinburgh), Richie Gray (Stade Toulousain), Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs)

    John Barclay, Magnus Bradbury, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson (all Edinburgh), Matt Fagerson, Ryan Wilson (both Glasgow Warriors), Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks)

    Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Harlequins/Scarlets), George Horne, Ali Price (both Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne), Henry Pyrgos (Edinburgh)

    Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors), Finn Russell (Racing 92), Duncan Weir (Worcester Warriors)

    Chris Dean (Edinburgh), Nick Grigg, Pete Horne, Sam Johnson, Huw Jones (all Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens)

    Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn (both Edinburgh), Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Kyle Steyn (all Glasgow Warriors), Sean Maitland (Saracens), Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks)

    Missing through injury: George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Lewis Carmichael, Mark Bennett, (all Edinburgh), Dave Denton (Leicester Tigers)

    • Big Al on

      I’m interested to see who Toony picks as captain of this lot! Ideally you want a definite starter for the game against Ireland! I think he might go for Barclay over McInally or Laidlaw.

      • Sam Benedict on

        McInally’s a definite starter for all first XV games, but Barclay is too and also has the edge as far as captaincy is concerned. Laidlaw will be a massive figure, though.

        After that triumvirate, Gilchrist is probably the next cab off the rank, having also captained Scotland before. After him, it’s probably Wilson, then Fraser Brown, then Hogg, then Pyrgos (if he makes the final cut. Chris Fusaro, Rob Harley and Swinson are unlikely to travel to Japan as things stand.)

      • Scott M on

        Barclay isn’t a nailed on started anymore, but McInally is. You have to remember Barclays a 7 who can play 6 or a bit of 8. Hamish Watsons a nailed on starting 7, Barclay won’t start at 8 over the likes of Wilson, Fagerson or Strauss. At 6 he has a good chance of starting but horses for courses GT might opt for a Bradbury or Ritchie style for 6. I’d suggest theres a fair chance Barclay starts from the bench as general back row cover due to his versatility.

      • Alanyst on

        In the past few years I’ve noticed distinct “leadership” positions evolving in the international game, hooker in particular, and other positions where captains are rare…

        Leadership positions:

        Hooker (Guirado, Best, Hartley, Creevy, McInally), 6 (O’Mahony, Barclay, Kolisi), 8 (Parisse, Read).

        Non-leadership positions:

        Not too many captains at lock (AWJ) or 7 (Hooper)…no props it seems

        Not many in the backs either…Farrell, Laidlaw, Sexton…can’t think of anyone captaining from centres or back 3…

        So, on position alone, its McInally or Barclay (if he plays at 6), nobody else is very likely

      • Scott M on

        I’d of thought there have been a few more captains who’ve played 7 in the last few years…. Warburton/McCaw/Robshaw(although he wasn’t exactly an out and out 7)

        Back row forwards are generally ideal candidates for it as they get more opportunities to bend the refs ear at scrum time etc…. having your kicker as captain isn’t always ideal as he’s busy lining up kicks whilst the captain can speak to the ref hope to influence future decisions.

  31. pragmatic optomist on

    Can’t argue too much with those choices. Think Scott Cummins might be a bolter, and GT does like a couple of left field choices.

      • ClanFan on

        It’s true mate. Look at CHH, Alex Craig or Davidson or big Ewan Johnson. All these guys are behind Cummings now but will overtake him as they are built much stronger. That’s unless Cummings uses this summer to start packing on bulk.

        I’d like to see Bhatti and Crosbie starting for Scotland at loosehead and blindside. Both have beards and are hard and we need a bit of that.

  32. Gavin on

    Anyone know the situation with D’Arcy Graham’s injury? Also Sean Maitland , who has missed a few games with Saracens. Also how far is Kinghorn on the way to recovery?

  33. Scotty on

    I was listening to the BBC Rugby podcast talking about how Mark Wilson will need to leave Newcastle to keep getting picked for England as they are unlikely to pick a championship player. I wonder if the Graham brothers (although the younger is probably young enough to take a year in the champ and come back up stronger) Harris and Hardie (and Dunbar if he is playing for them next year?) will be having similar thoughts? They are all periphery players as things stand so would this be the final nail in the coffin for their international careers?

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