Main RSS Feed Forum RSS Feed

Search

Next Fixture

No Upcoming Fixtures Available

Latest Poll

Caullie Lug 16/17




View Results

Log In






Forgot Password

View Article

SUNK AT SCOTSTOUN

Glasgow Warriors: 16 (13) Edinburgh Rugby: 6 (3)



Time was when East coast-based observers could try to rationalise the latest humping at the hands of this afternoon's opponents by casting aspersions about their limited gameplan.  The Embramen, so the delusion went, tried to play rugby; the Warriors turned the Inter-City into, erm, a war.  The Gunners looked to move the ball and play an attractive game; by contrast, the Warriors fielded Graeme Morrison/Andy Henderson at 12. The Firhill pitch was also too small. 

Things have changed a bit in the last couple of seasons.  Now it is the Glaswijians who are playing the groovy rugby, the capital club preferring a desperately limited gameplan.  Now it is the Gunners who do not field a playmaking second five-eighth; meanwhile, the Warriors have so many strike runners across the back division that they barely have room to squeeze all of them into the matchday squad, let alone the starting XV. And Finn Russell has emerged in the last year as potentially the best Scotland 10 we have seen since his head coach, Gregor 'Toony' Townsend pulled on the dark blue jersey (hopefully that endorsement will not have the usual effect that this column's seal of approval tends to have on young first fives).  The Scotstoun pitch still looks a bit small, mind.  Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose, as they say in the Murrayfield area.

It's a bit frustrating.  But Glasgow are also a joy to watch.  Toony is getting well-deserved plaudits nowadays.  But they have been laying the foundations for success for some years.  Their recent double loss to Toulouse in Europe may make it tough to progress to the quarter final slot that they should now be seeing as the minimum acceptable return.  But one feels that they really will learn from the experience and come back stronger.

Embra, well, they're a work in progress. 

And that's probably the best way to see this afternoon's match in front of a capacity crowd at Scotstoun.  The Gunners' defence and scrummage worked pretty well throughout.  They were not intimidated, as has been the case in the past. And if they'd slipped up in defence they could have shipped a big score.  Yet while they pinned the West coasters down for most of the encounter, it was the men in blue who proved clinical when they had the chance in a brief period just before the break.  Strauss' try and Weir's penalty in a five minute burst, which broke the deadlock and gave the home side a handy half-time advantage of ten points, was to prove decisive in a match littered with errors on both sides.

Edinburgh never really threatened and one felt that the game was up once they went more than a converted try behind.  They lacked the creative spark, the ambition to pose much of a challenge in attack.  As a result, at no time did it seriously look like they were going to end what is now a three year run without a win in this fixture.

Yet it was the visitors who took the early lead, a penalty from SHC (CN! CG!) on five minutes after an offside offence nudging them ahead, only for home playmaker Weir to level ten minutes later.  This was a typical Deby match, with physicality having priority over silky skills.  In some respects, this suited the visitors more than it did the home side.

But after Weir's second penalty, on 34 minutes, Strauss' try, converted by Weir, suddenly opened up a significant 10 point margin in a tight match.  Sean Lamont had turned provider, the big winger's offload feeding Horne who in turn put the hirsute No 8 over.

In teh second period, Heathcote knocked over a three pointer on 52 minutes to narrow the gap to a converted try.  Then Matawalu looked to have scored a lovely try after good interplay with DTH only for the score to be disallowed for a deemed forward pass.  Had that one been allowed, the Warriors might have cut loose in the final quarter.

That said, on 69 minutes, Weir's third penalty of the afternoon looked to have put the outcome beyond doubt.  The only question was whether the Gunners might be able to secure a losing bonus.  They failed to do so and, indeed, Weir missed the chance to extend the home lead further with a penalty late on.

Glasgow now sit second in the Pro 12, only one point adrift of leaders Ospreys, two ahead of third placed Munster and a handy seven ahead of fifth placed Leinster.  By contrast, the Embramen are a full eight points behind sixth placed Connacht in the final top tier qualifying spot for next season.  More immediately, the Gunners face a ten point deficit to overturn if they are to regain the 1872 Cup at Murrayfield next Friday evening.  On the basis of this afternoon's match, that looks unlikely.