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ROUND TWO TO GLASGOW IN THE 1872

Glasgow Warriors: 17 (3) Edinburgh Rugby: 0 (0)



After the excitement of last weekend's great escape at BT Murrayfield, this afternoon's second Inter-City of the season was a rather lower key affair.  Once again, it was a closely contested, scrappy match.  This time, though, the result was put beyond doubt before the final minute, when Finn Russell knocked over his fourth penalty of the afternoon on 74 minutes.

Glasgow dominated possession and territory in both periods.  Although Edinburgh's tackle success was significantly higher than the Warriors', the pressure led to the visitors coughing up 17 penalties to Glasgow's nine.  Ultimately, it was that indiscipline that enabled Glasgow to get their noses in front in a pragmatic but effective performance that got them back in the winning habit after three straight defeats in all competitions.

It was a pretty dour match, dominated by both defences.  The Warriors played an uncharacteristically tight game for the first hour or so, but it was effective.  Their pack answered a few questions from last weekend and, reflecting that, Zander Fagerson was awarded the man of the match.  While I love watching Glasgow in full flow as much as the next observer, dogging out a win like this is another skill that they will need to refine if they are to win the PRO14 this season.

It's well known that the Gunners are struggling for fit props at the moment - Samoan international Jordan Lay and Scottish qualified Elliot Millar-Mills (or EM2 as he will be known henceforth) both debuted this afternoon and held their own well enough.  But it was at the breakdown, where the Gunners should have had a distinct edge, that they struggled a bit in the eyes of referee Adamson.  That said, they still won nine turnovers to Glasgow's eight.

Russell had the home side on the board early with his first penalty after a good break to the enemy 22 by Dunbar.

Later on, an excellent run from Stuart 'Rambo' McInally saw the hooker surge towards the Glasgow 22, but the ball went forward in the offload.  That was to be the story of the half on both sides.  The odd half-break here and there, but poor handling let them down.

What excitement there was in the first period was provided by the Scotstoun facilities themselves.  A fire alarm in the North Stand led to the stadium being evacuated on 39 minutes.  In the end, both coaches sensibly decided to take the half-time break then.

After the restart, Russell again kicked a penalty on 43 minutes to stretch the Glasgow lead to 6-0 in a tight encounter. The first five-eighth took the lead beyond a converted try just before the hour with his third and there was a sense that this one was starting to get away from the Gunners.

Following Russell's fourth three pointer, former Embraman Lee Jones crossed in the corner off an attacking scrummage late on to add a bit of a gloss to the margin and leave the final score 17-0 Glasgow.  Happily, there was still time for a bit of a barney. McKenzie and Fusaro were carded in injury time for their part in it.

Afterwards, 'Jarvis' Cockers was pleased with the performance in defence and felt that his charges' attitude was good.  Four points from the festive brace may be one less than the realistic target, but it sets up the final match in the series, on 28 April at BT Murrayfield, very nicely.

But the loss was nonetheless disappointing.  The visit of the Southern Kings to Mon Repos next Friday evening surely gives the Embramen a chance to get back in the saddle quickly with a comfortable home win.  That would be good preparation for their crucial home European tie against Stade Francais the following week.