Hooker Ross Ford frustrated by Glasgow dominance

Ross Ford has urged Edinburgh to turn the tables on Glasgow in Friday's return leg. Picture: SNS
Ross Ford has urged Edinburgh to turn the tables on Glasgow in Friday's return leg. Picture: SNS
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ROSS Ford has been feeling somewhat aggrieved this week after reading a match ­report from last Saturday’s clash with Glasgow Warriors that ­described him as “crotchety” after his bad tempered altercation with Al Kellock.

Perhaps the long-serving ­Edinburgh and Scotland hooker should look upon the description as a back-handed compliment.

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The 30-year-old has often been criticised in the past for not being able to match his ­undoubted physical prowess with a level of belligerence which would allow him to fully realise his potential. Maybe now some recognition that you don’t last more than a decade as an ­international front-row forward unless you are in possession of a healthy mean streak is finally ­beginning to come his way.

Ford will never be a Dylan Hartley type character and, given his English counterpart has spent a grand total of 50 weeks since April 2007 suspended from playing the game, everyone in Scotland should be thankful of that.

Hartley is serving a three-week ban for elbowing centre Tom Smith whilst playing for Northampton Saints against Leicester Tigers, while Ford ­explained yesterday how he ­deliberately resisted the temptation to land a blow on Kellock when he took umbrage with the way the Glasgow skipper was manhandling him off the ball.

“I didn’t connect. If I had hit him I would have got sanctioned. There is no point. It’s silly. The best you can do is make a meal of it and draw the ref’s ­attention,” he said.

So, while Hartley is taking an unwanted festive break, Ford is available to pull on the ­Edinburgh No 2 jersey for their return match against Glasgow Warriors in two days’ time.

There is no doubt that Ford is a nice guy off the park, but as he spoke about his frustrations at the way Edinburgh have flattered to deceive in recent seasons, you couldn’t help but sense that this “crotchety” description may be pretty apt after all.

“It is frustrating. For a number of years we were top dog and had a settled squad. Now Glasgow are there and doing very well for themselves, so it is up to us to turn that around,” he said.

“Glasgow are maybe further down the track than us. They have had a settled squad and coaching set-up for a while. But we have that now and we need to kick on from here. We have had some good performances but we need to speed it up. There is no good waiting for it to ­happen next month, or a month after that – we just need to be a lot quicker in getting into that position.’

“We can only do that as a squad, as Edinburgh Rugby. We can beat anybody on our day but we need to find consistency. It annoys me – that we can do it sometimes and then other times we drop off. It does frustrate me not being the top team in Scotland and really performing well in the league.” A victory of any sort for Edinburgh over the Warriors when they play the second leg of their 1872 Cup double-header at Murrayfield on Friday evening would provide the biggest hint yet that the capital club are on the way back, and on a personal level it would provide Ford and his team-mates a much needed self-esteem boost after five years of playing second fiddle to their nearest and bitterest rivals.

“It does get joked about in the Scotland camp when they come in they say they’ve won the cup again and all that,” agreed Ford. “But we have to look at the big picture as well. If we can win this game it gives us impetus going into the new year which will hopefully take us through to the end of the season.”

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