Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh: Matt Fagerson grateful for swift rematch after ‘harrowing few weeks’
The Warriors No 8 said the aftermath of the heavy European defeat by Exeter was particularly tough to take but last weekend’s narrow loss at Murrayfield in the first leg of the 1872 Cup was also hard to bear because it felt self-inflicted.
A sloppy pass by Glasgow stand-off Brandon Thomson allowed Edinburgh to score a late try through Magnus Bradbury and although the visitors replied through Lewis Bean’s touchdown the home team held on to win 10-7.
The sides meet again at Scotstoun on Friday and Fagerson is hoping home advantage can swing the balance back in Glasgow’s favour as they look to speed things up on the artificial surface.
“There aren’t an awful lot of times in rugby when you lose one week and get the opportunity to rectify it the next,” said Fagerson. “So we’re massively excited to get them here at Scotstoun and hopefully put in a performance to make the fans proud.
“We have a great groundsman at Scotstoun so hopefully he will get it fixed and ready. It is really fast so you will be seeing a lot more of the ball which is obviously good. Hopefully we can get our hands on it a bit more.
“We love playing at home. Obviously, without the fans it is a bit of a different story but we have been working hard to try to create our own atmosphere - whether that is in the scrum, the lineout, wherever.”
Players have been geeing each other up to generate more atmosphere, celebrating small victories on the park. It is not always appreciated by the opposition and one such mini-celebration by Edinburgh last Saturday raised the hackles of the Glasgow pack.
Fagerson was pleased to note that the Warriors - including his older brother Zander - just about kept their cool
“Fair play to Edinburgh,” said Fagerson junior. “They were pretty good at the scrum at the weekend so they were whooping and hollering. But fair play to us too for not reacting - in games gone there would maybe have been some fisticuffs! Or chat back to the ref. But the boys handled that well, Zander included.”
The Murrayfield match was Glasgow’s first outing since the crushing 42-0 defeat by Exeter in the Champions Cup, a result which prompted much soul-searching at a club more used to challenging for honours. It has been a tough first campaign in charge for coach Danny Wilson who has been dealt a lousy hand in terms of key men being unavailable through injury, international commitments and Covid-19. Fagerson knows it’s up to the players to turn it around
“The last few weeks, especially after the Exeter game, were pretty harrowing,” he said. “It is not that big a change from the team that got to the Pro14 final and the quarter-finals in Europe. We can’t be using the excuses of boys leaving because we still have an unbelievable crop of players. I just think that we’re maybe not clicking just yet and maybe not understanding the gameplan. Obviously the results have not gone our way but it is not due to lack of effort. Danny has stressed that quite a lot.”
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