Franco Smith lauds Glasgow Warriors for 1872 Cup with as Edinburgh boss Mike Blair admits to feeling 'challenged in job'

Glasgow Warriors coach Franco Smith heaped praise on Sione Tuipulotu after the Scotland centre played a key role in his side’s 1872 Cup triumph at BT Murrayfield.

The visitors defeated Edinburgh 32-25 on the night for a 48-35 aggregate triumph which saw Glasgow reclaim the silverware on what is the 150th anniversary of the oldest inter-city fixture in world rugby.

The bonus-point win also gave them five valuable league points and they now sit fifth in the United Rugby Championship standings, four points ahead of Edinburgh and with a game in hand.

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Tuipulotu wasn’t among the tries, which were scored by Kyle Steyn, Matt Fagerson, Tom Jordan and George Horne, but the outside centre was outstanding throughout as Glasgow fought back from 20-12 down at half-time.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Franco Smith and Kyle Steyn with the 1872 Cup.Glasgow Warriors head coach Franco Smith and Kyle Steyn with the 1872 Cup.
Glasgow Warriors head coach Franco Smith and Kyle Steyn with the 1872 Cup.

“I’m really delighted for the boys,” said Smith. “They made some sacrifices over the Christmas period. We had a plan and they stuck to it, and I thought the second half, the energy the boys brought from the side and the way they reacted from the half-time talk, was fantastic. We lacked a little belief and one or two things said at half-time helped us align again. I’m glad for Sione. He really stepped up. It was a tough pre-season, as it was for most of the guys, but he kept on going and the continuity he has got with playing a couple of games helped with his performance tonight.”

It was Edinburgh’s fourth league defeat in a row and head coach Mike Blair admitted it was a tough period for the club. “I’m feeling challenged in the job,” he said. “I’m obviously pretty new to it with not a huge amount of experience, but I’m also very clear that we are a good side with good personnel. So, I’m challenging myself because I’m clearly not getting the best out of players at the moment whether that’s an individual situation or a team situation. So, I need to look at what I’m doing and find a way out of this. I still don’t believe we are far off because we are playing good rugby. We need to start looking more at our belief and psychologically where we are, because we are doing enough good stuff, but we’re having periods where teams are finding it too easy to put points on us.”