The scoreline tells its own story. This was a 3-0 game at the extended half-time break and it was a 6-0 match deep into the third quarter. And the 17-0 final score undoubtedly flattered Glasgow but, in comparison to last weekend’s implosion, the Warriors boss Dave Rennie was happy enough with the 1872 Cup win over Edinburgh at Scotstoun.
“It wasn’t about being flash tonight,” he insisted, which is probably a good thing. “We wanted to earn a little respect back, we wanted to see some resolve and I think we did that.
“I thought we did a real good job up front, set-piece, played the game at the right end of the field, then clicked the points on to add a bit of pressure forcing them to play from a long way out.
“We were not going to win this game, or win this trophy, by pick-and-go all day, you’ve got to play some footy. So it’s about decision making. I thought we turned over quite a lot of ball today but I thought it was better. We got a bit of ball stripped which was frustrating. We lost a little bit of ball from a couple of clean outs which the referee didn’t like. But overall I thought the decision making was better than it was the other day and we definitely showed more backbone.”
Rennie, whose side lost to a 14-man Edinburgh in the first leg at Murrayfield last weekend, was right on that last count, but his side still make a host of elementary errors with the ball in hand which you simply don’t see from the best teams in Europe; Leinster, La Rochelle and Saracens. It is perhaps a sign of how far Glasgow have to go to compete with Europe’s elite, although they were, thank goodness, a little better after a half-time break, extended by a false fire alarm.
“We had a good chat about that in the changing room,” said Rennie. “We knew it was going to be our kick-off and just going straight in at half-time was the right thing to do [when the fire alarm sounded]. We knew it was our kick with a slight breeze up our backside [in the second half] and the idea was to try and force a bit of pressure down there.”
Glasgow did that to boss the final 30 minutes of the match but Edinburgh clung onto their hosts’ coat tails far longer than they should have.
“In the end, we didn’t deserve to win,” Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill conceded before complaining about the lop-sided penalty count.
“We gave away twice as many penalties [as Glasgow],” he said, “but my personal opinion was that I felt the breakdown was refereed differently and they were allowed to do a lot more than we were, and that’s frustrating. It seemed like the referee was keener to penalise us when we were defending than the opposition.”