Evergreen Richie Gray
Richie Gray’s Indian summer is extending into mid-winter and the Glasgow second row was outstanding once again in the win over Edinburgh. A worthy recipient of the player of the match award, Gray continued the form that saw him recalled to the Scotland squad in the autumn after a lengthy absence.
Franco Smith called him “a Warrior through and through” and there is no doubt the Glasgow coach is getting the best out of the lock who is a colossal presence in the lineout and a threat in the loose. At 33, Gray is showing no signs of slowing down and is developing into an influential leadership figure at the club during this fruitful second spell.
Home is where the heart is in 1872 Cup
History tells us that home advantage is key in this fixture and it will take something special for Glasgow to buck the trend in Friday’s second leg. You have to go back to Boxing Day 2016 for the last time the Warriors won at Murrayfield in the 1872 Cup. On that occasion, tries by Junior Bulumakau, Josh Strauss and Alex Dunbar guided Glasgow to a 25-12 victory over an Edinburgh side whose points all came from the boot of Duncan Weir, now back at Scotstoun.
Fraser Brown, Ali Price and Zander Fagerson all played that day and the former two are likely to be involved again on Friday.
Edinburgh’s away record is slightly better, with their last win at Scotstoun coming in December 2018, but not losing at home has become a non-negotiable in recent seasons. Mike Blair’s side overturned a 13-point deficit from the first leg last season and have less than half that total to overhaul this time, but Glasgow are a far more dogged unit now than they were last May when the second leg was played.
King Boff is fallible after all
Emiliano Boffelli has been the man with the Midas touch for club and country this past 18 months but the hero of Roseburn and Rosario missed the chance (twice) to give Edinburgh the lead against Glasgow at Scotstoun. With the game still pointless, Boffelli had two penalty attempts at goal from around the 40-metre mark. The first drifted just wide and the second struck the post, the wind moving the ball off-kilter on both occasions.
An early six-point advantage could have turned the game in Edinburgh’s favour but Glasgow quickly gained the upper hand through Jack Dempsey’s try. Boffelli, who was playing on the wing rather than at full-back after Wes Goosen pulled out injured before kick-off, converted Connor Boyle’s try in the second half but Edinburgh couldn’t get their noses in front.