Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Glasgow Warriors 23 – 22 Edinburgh

Glasgow vs Edinburgh - graphic © Scottish Rugby Blog

1872 Cup: Part 2, eventually took place at Scotstoun, and although Richard Cockerill had suggested going to the theatre if you wanted entertainment, Danny Wilson would be forgiven for standing on the middle of the pitch like Russell Crowe in ‘Gladiator’, asking: “Are you not entertained?”

Ross Thompson’s kick-off saw Glasgow put early pressure on the Edinburgh exit and despite Nic Groom’s boot to touch which took Warriors back to near half-way, some rapid-fire play won Glasgow a penalty which Thompson thumped over.

A big issue for Warriors’ in the first encounter between the two sides was Edinburgh’s dominance at the set-piece, but Glasgow won the penalty at the first scrum which Thompson put into the 22.

George Turner’s arrow was a bit sloppy looking, and although Matt Fagerson tidied it up, Edinburgh showed good line speed to force Robbie Fergusson into a knock-on.

Edinburgh’s scrum held up solidly only for the giant limbs of Richie Gray to block Groom’s clearing kick and the rebounding ball was knocked on by Edinburgh. It led to another penalty win for Glasgow, Aki Sieuli – who had been crushed in the last encounter by WP Nel – again getting pats on the back for his contribution, and Thompson, in squalid kicking conditions, hit the target.

Huw Jones knocked on the wind-affected restart, and a few phases later Sieluli was caught offside for Jaco van der Walt to half the deficit.

Some tight scrum battles in the midfield ended with a glorious bit of booting from van der Walt which stuck Glasgow back in their 22, but when there’s the giant Richie Gray in the line-out – whom George Turner had admitted during the week “If I do a crap throw, he saves me sometimes” – it helps.

That danger was cleared but Edinburgh gained a bit of ascendency over the next few minutes. The Burgh boys could’ve equalised with an easy looking penalty, but they went to the line, albeit with premier line-out jumper Ben Toolis being a late injury withdrawal for Charlie Hodgson.

The maul went nowhere, van der Walt flung a nice pass out wide to Farndale who was snaffled by Huw Jones, but Ali Price and George Turner held their man (think it was Watson) up with a choke tackle to win the put-in for Glasgow.

A few minutes of nothing happened until Grant Gilchrist went to charge down an Ali Price box-kick, which Turner blocked by taking a step and dipping the shoulder in, which saw the Glasgow hooker take a 10-min seat and Edinburgh win a penalty just inside the Glasgow half.

Edinburgh went to the corner, as they had done frequently in the first encounter, but as had happened in that game, the giraffe-like limbs of Richie Gray went up and nicked it.

Although Gray had managed to knock it back, Lee Jones was hauled over his own line by Rory Sutherland, and eventually Farndale found a bit of space on the right to weave into the corner.

Van der Walt converted magnificently into the wind to give Embra a 10-6 lead with 90secs left, which was followed rather hilariously with Nic Groom assuming that a passing train’s hooter had called for half-time, so he booted it out under no pressure in his 22.

A quick line-out led to a penalty which Price tapped and went with, Edinburgh were caught offside and Thompson knocked over another penalty to reduce to the slimmest margin as the half ended.

Half-time: Glasgow Warriors 9 – 10 Edinburgh

Kinghorn’s kick-off felt the full force of the wind and barely went 7m, but the bounce of the ball nearly turned into their favour when Glasgow were forced to play it and Mata took a belter of a Garryowen which had held up in the wind, only for Kinghorn to then fling the ball into touch with a possible overlap wide left.

Mata then got pinged for a high hit on Thompson, Turner came back on of the bin and made some metres off the back of the maul, and with penalty advantage Matt Fagerson bundled over after a solid incursion from Sieuli had got Warriors to within 5m.

Youngster Rufus MacLean showed how wingers should enter rucks; take note Liam Williams, to force an error at the breakdown from Magnus Bradbury, and off the set-piece play Huw Jones straightened up and took Warriors deep into the Edinburgh 22.

Van der Walt saw yellow for slowing the ball down, and Turner showed his prowess from the back of the maul by latching on and diving over, and Thompson’s trustworthy boot extended the lead which gave Richard Cockerill the chance to shore up the Edinburgh scrum by bringing on Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel.

Edinburgh responded within seconds, a fantastic break off a line-out by Dave Cherry was taken on by Hamish Watson and Chris Dean was on his right shoulder to score a lovely try which had started on the halfway line, which former Warrior, Mark Bennett converted with van der Walt on the naughty step.

Although down to 14, Edinburgh started to dominate and thought they had scored again only for Schoeman to be pinged for a double movement just after the hour mark.

Another tidy shift from Richie Gray was then ended by the return of another former superstar and club legend: Leone Nakarawa.

He got involved as Glasgow chucked it wide, Fergusson hacked ahead with little on, and Kinghorn’s lackadaisical attempt to clear was charged down by the all-action Thompson, but Glasgow knocked on when within 15m of the try-line.

With Schoeman and Nel now on, Edinburgh knew they had the upper hand at the scrum, won a penalty and started to motor upfield, only for the mulleted-monster Hamish Watson to knock-on as they swiftly moved forwards.

Almost unfathomably, Sieuli won the penalty against Nel, Huw Jones and Bennett traded darting runs, and from Bennett’s line-break, Huw Jones saw yellow which meant Glasgow would see out the game a man down.

Edinburgh went to touch with 4mins to go, and Dean crossed the line on the opposite wing but Lee Jones had shoved him into touch with penalty advantage to Edinburgh.

Centre-field position, Edinburgh had a choice to make: they went for the scrum 10m out. Schoeman v Zander; Nel v Sieuli.

Somehow, the Glasgow props who had been on since the beginning held up, but Eroni Sau fended off Ollie Smith to cross in the corner, leaving van der Walt with the chance to win it from way out wide.

He missed, but there was enough time left for the restart.

Thompson, who was excellent, put a high one up, and it was grabbed by Jonny Matthews of all people. Time was up, but Glasgow couldn’t find space to safely boot it out, so they saw through another few phases until awarded another penalty.

Thompson went for another go at the sticks but missed his first one of the evening, albeit the ball went dead and the game was over.

As crap as the last game had been, this one was its opposite. Some damn good tries, some real drama, some questionable calls, but 1872 Cup: Episode 2 finished with the narrowest of margins and some moments from the youngsters to be pleased with.

Full-time: Glasgow Warriors 23-22 Edinburgh

SRblog Player of the Match: Thompson earns a lot of plaudits and was given it by Al Kellock on Premier Sports, but I’m dishing it out to Aki Seiuli.

He’s tidy and effervescent around the park but his bread and butter at the scrum has often let him down, but not today. He combined both to good effect.

Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU)

39 Responses

  1. To clear up the extra time play. Glasgow thought that the 1872 cup was played over 2 games and not 3. So thought they needed the points to win.

    1. Cheers, Neil, one of my mates had suggested same.

      Will we get a leg 3? Rainbow Cup is highly unlikely to happen.

  2. Thompson looks a find for Glasgow. That game will have done his confidence a lot of good. He’ll get quite a bit of game time now and has a great chance to establish himself over the six nations.

  3. Interesting comments from Wilson in the post match interview about how much help Brown has been in coaching the pack recently. Makes you wonder what the coaches have been doing at Glasgow? Any way its good for Glasgow that they seem to have their set pieces working against one of the best set piece teams in the Pro 14.

    Would be good to see Brown moving in to coaching with Glasgow when he eventually retires.

  4. Train whistle at 39 mins was the turning point. One of those wonderful, comedy, absurd moments in sport. As a depressed Glasgow fan, I will enjoy this win as the one that a train got us. Toot, toot.

  5. Aye Edinburgh were ‘honking’ from that point on, ha ha, do you think it was a mis ‘carriage’ of justice that he thought it was all over when he kicked for touch ! Glasgow just rail roaded them ha ha, a great ‘Platform’ on which to build.

      1. Aye Cockers will need to get off pitch distractions into his ‘Train ing’ routine.

        I overheard he is conducter ing a lessons learned session on Monday.

    1. I felt Edinburgh ran out of steam a little bit after that incident, but at least the game wasn’t as much of a sleeper as the first one.

  6. Good and entertaining game but questions have to be asked of Wilson for bringing on Smith for his professional debut…two and a half minutes left to play, a man down, 6 points ahead with the opposition in your 22. Of course they’re going to let their powerful Fijian run straight at him! I hope that missed tackle doesn’t haunt him. Entirely his coaches fault.

    Also the fact that Glasgow were risking an incredibly precocious (and rare) Pro14 win to try and win a cup that they themselves said they’d outgrown a few seasons ago (but now presumably shrunk back into) shows real lack of leadership in the squad. If they’d given away a penalty/interception and lost the game after the clock had gone red it would’ve been deemed as one of the most comically stupid decisions in sport.

    1. To the lad’s credit he stood up an took the next high ball , cleanly and showed good confidence.
      I was arguing for the young lads to get game time , and those were hard yards , hopefully lessons learned and in the bank.

  7. Hearing Rambo slipped a disc and may miss whole 6N.

    We have three very good test hookers but who on earth is going to be promoted to the bench behind Turner?

    Quite a blow for our 6N campaign, but big opportunity for Turner. He’s great in loose but drop off in scrum and not so reliable throwing in. Discipline also a little suspect like Brown.

    1. He was fine in the set piece last night. No issues for me if he starts for Scotland in the slightest.

      I’d probably go for Cherry on the bench, I think he’s very underrated and would be solid enough to do a job from the bench for the last ten minutes or for Turner’s yellow card/HIA periods!

      Isaac Miller recently returned from an injury lay off for Worcester. Kerr has been seen sporadically for Leicester but actually rather than Cherry I’d stick Ashman on the bench, an unreal prospect and important he’s capped by us and not England.

      1. I would have Turner starting and rotating the Bench spot between Grant Stewart, Ewan Ashman and Dave Cherry… get a feel for who can step up.

        Perhaps there is some Kiwi or South African who is Scots qualified.

      2. Cherry is the best shout for bench imo.

        He consistently shows up when he gets the opportunity in pro14 and has a decent amount of game-time under his belt.

        Stewart I think still has a bit more to prove. Kerr can’t get any game time for leceister and Ashman’s only focus now should be to prove he can cut it at pro level with Sale.

        I believe Ashman will play for Scotland one day. But he’s at least 12 months away imo.

    2. Im not so sure that is a big blow…neither Rambo or Brown have played particularly well for Scotland for a while.
      Would like to see Turner and Cherry get some game time.

  8. Sounds like I made a mistake switching off after half time.

    The amount of excessive stoppages/time outs drove me mental.

    knock on, scrum, scrum resest, penalty, time-off, kick, lineout, knock on, time off.

    What happened to building pressure with attacking phases, making metres with good passing/running and ball retention?

    I haven’t had a satisfactory dose of that since we played France in the 6N.

    Off to watch the 2nd half now…hope its decent

      1. I tried to post a link to a youtube channel which posts the racing games (among other top14 teams) in full.

        Since i suspect it will not be allowed i will simply say this.

        If you want to watch the racing games, search: Le Grand Ovale
        In youtube channels.

  9. Nel still retains his place in the Scotland 23 for me.

    Huw Jones still the best back playing in Scotland

    Ritchie Gray a bit slow but looks a very canny line out operator.

    Dave Cherry may be getting Scotland caps

    Ross Thompson looked very capable

    Mark Bennett still a very good player if not as good as he used to be.

    Jaco VDW in my Scotland 23 (maybe @ 12)

  10. Forgive my possible ignorance, but commentary about “no space to kick” didn’t make sense for Glasgow playing on…they can stop the game by running or passing the ball out, or just knocking it on!

    Is it a rule now to kick it out? Or just ingrained habit?

    Seen a few teams take dodgy kicks from their tryline, when all they maybe had to do was run away over the dead ball line.

    1. The ref can play advantage for a knock on and if the opposition have recovered the ball , the game will not stop until the ref sounds his whistle and calls ‘no advantage’. If in the passage of Advantage play a penalty arises, the game will continue even if it is beyond 40 minutes. So it is best to avoid handling if you want a stoppage and the ref to call ‘no side’ . Hence a kick that cannot be charged down. You cannot pass it into touch as that breaks rule 10.2 and results in a penalty.

  11. Jamie Lyall says Huw Jones close to signing sea with Bayonne.

    Fair play to him, his form has been looking up and I hope he gets back to the extraordinary player he can be and force his way back into the test side.

    1. Leaves Glasgow’s backline next season looking decidedly pedestrian, possibly one of the least inspiring in the league.

      Glasgow must be hoping McLean, Smith and Thompson come up big and McDowell delivers on his promise.

      1. This makes me wonder about Bryce’s departure too. It makes sense if Jones is staying but 0 sense if he’s leaving.

        McLean and Smith will need some game time to develop but that reaches a point of diminishing returns and I’d rather they have a mentor/ experienced fullback to learn from. At least that way they can each be rotated in pockets for the season.

        This reason is also why I think Keatley will be good news for Ross Thompson/ Glasgow.

      2. Think Glasgow are fighting hard to keep Jones but honestly, if you were Jones what is there to stay for???

        Missed the World Cup, outside the Scotland 23, playing out of position. Or move to south of France, get paid more, live by the beach and play in the sun.

    2. I would wish Huw Jones every success. He needs to get away from Glasgow and probably Scotland. I think he will be a great success. For whatever reason the arrival of such a rare talent in Scotland was never embraced/encouraged IMO.

      1. Good squads are made of ‘middle of the road’ players in the pro14. Players like McGuigan who are just not quite good enough to be regulars for Scotland are the reason you win games in the international windows when everyone who is good enough is unavailable.

  12. More gloomy news for Glasgow Warriors fans: Zander Fagerson in The Sunday Times: “ “I’m definitely not going to be a one-club man. I love Glasgow, and have a strong emotional attachment to the club. They gave me my first crack in pro rugby, and it’s a real privilege to play for the club I watched growing up. But I’m out of contract next year and I want to experience some different things. I’d love to play in the [France’s] Top 14 if possible.”

You might also like these:

Craig is joined by Jonny and Iain to look forward to Glasgow's huge URC final in Pretoria, after the win against Munster and skirt around the latest news of the week.
Craig is joined by Jonny and Rory to look back at the disappointing end to Edinburgh's season and Glasgow's march towards the semi finals.
Gregor Townsend has named a largely experimental squad for the summer tour of the Americas. It's not a question of who misses out, but rather who is actually going, writes Rory.
Iain is joined by Jonny and John to discuss the penultimate round of URC fixtures as well as the recent Scottish Rugby Writers' Awards

Scottish Rugby News and Opinion