EDINBURGH coach Alan Solomons expressed delight at his side’s performance as they defeated Glasgow 23-11 in front of a record crowd of 23,642 in the first leg of the 1872 Cup at BT Murrayfield.
However, the South African sounded a note of caution and said a 12-point deficit keeps the destination of the trophy in the balance ahead of the return match at Scotstoun on Saturday.
The Scotland duo of Matt Scott and John Hardie scored the tries which helped Edinburgh off to the perfect start in their defence of the silverware and Solomons said: “It was massively physical out there and we’re pleased with the result.
“But Glasgow are a very, very good side, they’re at home at Scotstoun so the wind is still behind their back in that sense.”
On the man-of-the-match tryscoring display by Hardie, who finished off a perfectly executed driving maul to provide the decisive breakthrough of a tense battle, the coach said: “John had a terrific game, an absolutely terrific game. Apparently he said after that this was harder than any Test he’d played.
“He is a very, very good rugby player.”
Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend said: “It was disappointing not to pick up a losing bonus point.
“We’re playing for a trophy, so 12 points is a gap that we’ll have to work very hard to reduce or get beyond.
“We didn’t play well as a team. I don’t think individually there was any player that played poorly, we just didn’t function well. We lost too many balls in contact, partly through our inaccuracy but also the way Edinburgh targeted the ball in the tackle.”
Townsend, whose side now sit behind Edinburgh in the Guinness Pro12 standings, believes the cup can still be regained but added: “The focus [on Saturday] is on trying to get four league points. Obviously the trophy means a lot to us and our supporters. I believe if we play well we can still win the 1872 Cup but we’ll have to improve a lot after today’s showing.”
Edinburgh captain Mike Coman, who lifted the 1872 Cup last season, was beaming with pride again after the game and said: “It was a brave performance. A great effort, especially in that last ten minutes. It showed a lot of character. Some of the experienced guys were off and younger subs were on and they held it together well – just.
“But it is a job half done, of course. We came away with a loss in the first game last year and ended up winning the thing. We’ve got to be focused and I said in the huddle it’s only half done and we need to get the fire in the belly and head to Scotstoun now.
“We’ll have to wait and see if 12 points is enough but it’s a good start.”