Edinburgh players 'took ownership' against Glasgow Warriors as Danny Wilson chews over what's gone wrong

Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair attributed his side’s victory over Glasgow Warriors in Saturday night’s inter-city derby at Murrayfield to the players taking ownership of their performance at half-time.
Edinburgh lift the Scottish x Italian Shield - securing their place in next season's Champions Cup.Edinburgh lift the Scottish x Italian Shield - securing their place in next season's Champions Cup.
Edinburgh lift the Scottish x Italian Shield - securing their place in next season's Champions Cup.

Despite leading 13-6 at the break, Edinburgh were a long way off their best, but flew out the blocks at the start of the second period to score the game’s decisive try through No 8 Magnus Bradbury.

“I said to Calum MacRae [Edinburgh’s defence coach] as we walked up to the technical box for the second half: ‘That’s the worst half-time speech that I’ve given’,” revealed Blair after the game. “So, it shows that it had absolutely nothing to do with what happened in the second half because we came out and were excellent.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The players started taking more responsibility in the half-time talk, which is something I’ve really tried to push. I want them running things.

“When I went in, they were already starting to problem-solve and talk about what was important in the second half. Everyone spoke. It wasn’t a rammy, but it wasn’t just one or two people talking.

“These games are difficult, they’re so often nip and tuck, but they’re also about momentum, and I felt that we stole momentum at the start of the second half,” he added.

While the first half did not go as Blair had hoped, he was impressed by the resilience his team showed to not only stay in the contest but edge their way into a narrow lead.

“They had a lot of possession and pressure on us for the first 10 minutes or so and we defended really well and got the first points on the board,” he reasoned.

Last night’s victory means Edinburgh will head to Cape Town in a fortnight’s time to take on the DHL Stormers in the United Rugby Championship’s play-off quarter-finals. It is a daunting prospect against a side who are unbeaten in their last eight matches, and who beat mighty Leinster at the end of last month – but Blair insisted that he and his team believe they have nothing to fear.

“What a great tournament – playing a quarter-final in Cape Town against a really strong team – it’s going to be a brilliant challenge for us,” he said.

Meanwhile, opposite number Danny Wilson pointed said his team had only themselves to blame for the defeat.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The numbers that really stood out were our penalty count and our turnover rate,” he said. “Especially the types of penalty we gave away, that was really unlike us. It’s an area we’ve improved a lot this season in terms of discipline, but that went back the other way in this match. It was a derby and our discipline was poor.

“When we did create some speed of ball and get in behind, we failed to execute. Our turnover rate was too high.”

The defeat means Glasgow will play in the Challenge Cup next season – the second tier of European competition – and leaves them with a near impossible URC play-off draw against Leinster at Dublin.

“I look at our season as a whole and for about 80 per cent we were around the top four in the league, had some massive wins and played some good rugby,” Wilson concluded. “Where we’ve fallen away is the tail end of the year. Five away games on the bounce has taken its toll.”