Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh: ‘If you want entertainment, go to the theatre,’ says Richard Cockerill
“If you want entertainment, go to the theatre,” suggested Cockerill, blithely ignoring the fact that the nation’s playhouses remain closed during lockdown.
The first act of this inter-city derby finished in a 10-7 win for Edinburgh in a match so tight it took over an hour for the first points to be scored.
It was no classic and the Edinburgh coach quipped afterwards that he’d be emailing Premier Sports for a refund.
This evening’s game is the only top-flight professional rugby match in the UK this weekend so a few more than usual are likely to be tuning in. This is of little concern to Cockerill and nor should it be as he chases Pro14 points and the win that would see Edinburgh win the 1872 Cup for the fourth time in a row under his stewardship.
It was during Williamson’s time in charge of Hibernian that he told fans to go to the cinema if they wanted entertainment. The perception at the time was that Williamson was an overly cautious tactician who was too keen to rein in the free spirits in his Hibs side.
Cockerill would bristle at such a description but he’s happy to poke fun at his reputation for putting practicalities ahead of flair. Asked if he had warned his players to refrain from hugging each other during try-scoring celebrations, he replied drily: “You know us, we don’t score tries so that solves that problem doesn’t it?”
In truth, Cockerill’s overhaul of Edinburgh is such that they have emerged from Glasgow’s shadow during his reign, as their 1872 Cup record shows.
Substitute Magnus Bradbury got the try that mattered when the sides met at Murrayfield on January 2 and the Edinburgh back-rower has been elevated to a starting berth for the second leg of the three-match series.
Bradbury slots in at blindside in place of Jamie Ritchie who suffered a head knock in training. There are two other changes in the pack from the side selected for Scotstoun last week before the match was postponed. David Cherry comes in at hooker for Stuart McInally who misses out due to a neck strain sustained in the gym, and Ben Toolis returns in place of Andrew Davidson and will form a second-row partnership with Grant Gilchrist who is making his first appearance after three months out.
Edinburgh dominated the scrum in the first leg while Glasgow had the upper hand in the lineout but Cockerill expects a different contest on Scotstoun’s plastic pitch.
“Our lineout will be better and their scrummage will be better,” he reasoned. “It’s about fine margins on the day. We didn’t expect the dominance in the scrum we got in the first game and I think they probably felt the same around the lineout.
“It’ll be physical and tight, a quicker surface because it’s a synthetic pitch. I think both sides will try to play when the opportunity arises but in big games and [when] teams need points…generally it’s the team that makes the least mistakes and pounces on the others that wins the game.”
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