Main RSS Feed Forum RSS Feed


Next Fixture

No Upcoming Fixtures Available

Latest Poll

Caullie Lug 16/17

View Results

Log In

Forgot Password

View Article


Edinburgh Rugby:12 (6) Glasgow Warriors: 25 (15)

I hope you had a fantastic Christmas Day.  I had a great time myself, doing all the usual cheery Christmas stuff.  I ended the day, though, watching the great Kenneth Branagh put in another outstanding performance as the eponymous detective in an episode of 'Wallander'.  That boy can act.  As a result, I spent a restless night in terror of Swedish maniacs with ill intent leaping out from behind picturesque Scandinavian farmhouses.

That was actually pretty good preparation for this afternoon's first match in this season's 1872 Cup at BT Murrayfield. It was a real home horror show.  Glasgow ran out deserved winners in the end, the Gunners failing even to secure a losing bonus point.  If there's one thing you can't argue with, it's a 0-3 try count and Glasgow might even be kicking themselves that they didn't come away with the try bonus.

It wasn't a great game.  Jonny Gray's Man of the Match award was richly deserved, but there were a few other candidates in the Warriors' pack who put in a fantastic shift, not least big Brian Alainu'uese.  The visitors' advantage at the breakdown was a big factor in neutralising what attacking threat the Gunners posed, albeit the home side contributed a fair bit to their own downfall.  They had enough chances to win this one but never really looked like scoring.  They came closest on the stroke of no side, when a barging run from 'Bill' Mata saw the replacement blindside surge over the enemy line but was adjudged to have been held up.  From the stands, one felt it might have been worth a cheeky wee referral to the TMO, but referee Davies had seen enough and blew up.  

That was pretty typical of the Embramen's afternoon.  They were profligate when Glasgow were clinical.  Ultimately, that was the difference.

The Warriors got off to a great start.  The Gunners lost their own lineout throw and Glasgow moved the ball. Dunbar, who had a good game overall, saw acres of space behind the defensive line and launched a smart kick deep into the enemy 22.  The ball got away from the covering Blairhorn and Bulumaku was first to it as it bounced around in the in-goal area.  Just one of those things, but 5-0 down on one minute wasn't the best of openings.

Edinburgh responded well, building field position and possession in the remainder of the first quarter.  They were rewarded with two Weir penalties as Glasgow were repeatedly penalised for offences at the breakdown.  That was effective in slowing Edinburgh ball but came at the cost of a card for Allan on 21 minutes for rolling on top of home ball, which enabled Weir to push the home side 6-5 up.  The penalty count had been mounting rapidly so someone was bound to go.

But the tide started to turn during the power play.  The Gunners should have kicked on, but instead the Warriors coped comfortably.  Edinburgh had good attacking opportunities, but a lack of accuracy with ball in hand cost them dearly.

Immediately after Allan's return, it was Glasgow who were next on the board.  This time, off an attacking lineout, the Warriors' maul - fast becoming a real strength - rumbled rapidly towards the home line.  With the referee playing advantage, the seas parted for Strauss to dive over, his score converted by Russell for a 12-6 advantage.  They added three just before the break after a thrilling Bennet break into the Edinburgh 22 had petered out for want of support.  But an Edinburgh infringement enabled Russell to knock the Warriors into a 15-6 lead at the interval.

The Embramen had had the better of possession and field position, as well as scoring oportunities, but had lacked that cutting edge.  Glasgow, by contrast, had taken the opportunities that had come their way.

Russell missed an early penalty after the restart, then Weir knocked over a scrummage penalty on 53 minutes as the Gunners' pack started to turn the screw in the set piece.  Shortly afterwards, a lovely piece of skill from the Scotland first five-eighth.  The ball fell off the tee as he was in the process of kicking a penalty.  Calm as you like, he picked the ball up and knocked over a beautiful long range dropped goal, the first of his professional career. Young Finn - with all due respect - brings rather more to the party than former Glasgow stalwart Dan Parks, but one feels that this is one aspect of the game where Parks was superior.  Hopefully this will be the first of many now he's got the hang of it.

The kicking duel continued on 58 minutes as Weir scored his fourth penalty of the evening to narrow the gap to 18-12 Glasgow going into the final quarter.  All to play for.

Observers of a black and red persuasion hoped that a crucial play had taken place on 62 minutes.  Glasgow had an excellent attacking opportunity as Gray charged down a Weir clearance and forced TGB to carry over his own line.  Yet Edinburgh's superior scrummage had Glasgow under huge pressure and SHC pounced on a loose ball and broke towards safety.  But the Warriors turned over ball and came right back.  Quick offloading put Dunbar over for the clincher on 66 minutes, 25-12 Glasgow with the conversion.  A losing bonus was now looking like the most that Edinburgh could hope to salvage.

Yet while the Embramen had some pressure in the dying minutes, they failed to convert. Mata's solo effort was the closest they were to come as they sank to a disappointing loss.  On a number of occasions, they failed to execute; on others, they simply played dumb rugby.  It was not difficult to discern which side was in the top six and which the bottom this afternoon.