Red card, sledging and ‘jersey-puller Dave’: Simon Berghan on Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors

Having spent six seasons with Edinburgh, Simon Berghan knows all about the intricacies of the inter-city derby and the Glasgow Warriors prop is looking forward to meeting up with some old comrades this weekend.

As a former Edinburgh player, Simon Berghan is looking forward to facing his old team-mates with Glasgow Warriors.  (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
As a former Edinburgh player, Simon Berghan is looking forward to facing his old team-mates with Glasgow Warriors. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The tighthead made the switch to Scotstoun at the start of the season and has already enjoyed one victory against his former club, playing his part in the 30-17 home win in the 1872 Cup in March.

That set up Glasgow nicely for Saturday’s second leg at BT Murrayfield and Berghan expects a bit of backchat on the field.

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“It does bring a slightly different dynamic when you play against your old team,” he said. “It’s quite fun actually.

Simon Berghan was sent off while playing for Edinburgh against Glasgow in the Christmas 2017 1872 Cup match. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

“I know a lot of the guys at Edinburgh really well and I’m really good friends with them. I’ll be looking out for Dave Cherry, he’s a bit of a jersey-puller!

“But it’ll still be war for 80 minutes. There’s always a lot of sledging goes on in these games. I’ll be getting well involved in that.”

He rates his own captain Ryan Wilson as the sledger par excellence and is pleased that the Glasgow flanker is now on his side. By the same token, Berghan will be up against a few formidable foes he still counts as friends.

“Jersey-puller Dave would be one of them,” he said mischievously. “I catch up with Dave quite regularly. I’m friends with most of the guys who have been there a long time, Hamish Watson and guys like that.”

So is it harder to dish it out against opponents who are your mates?

“No, it’s actually easier. But I expect nothing less from Edinburgh. They’ll be looking to do the same to me when I get the ball in my hands.”

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Berghan has a bit of history in this fixture. He was sent off while playing for Edinburgh in Christmas 2017 for a not very festive stamp to Fraser Brown’s head. The pair are now team-mates and Berghan prefers to dwell on happier derby memories, like the time his Edinburgh team came to Scotstoun and spoiled Gregor Townsend’s final match as Glasgow coach.

“It was a big send-off for Gregor since it was his last game, but we came here and won. We didn’t win many other games that season, so that was a highlight.

“Then, in the game earlier this season, beating Edinburgh 30-17 was massive as well. We’ll go into the game this weekend full of confidence.

“I try and forget the game where I got sent off. It was an accident. But we won the game.”

Having played under Richard Cockerill at Edinburgh, Berghan has been an interested observer as the capital side have shifted styles under new coach Mike Blair. He feels that the two clubs are now a lot closer in terms of the way they play and expects it to make for a cracking game on Saturday.

“I think both teams actually play a more similar brand of rugby now,” he said. “That should make for a good game. I’m still a big believer in games being won up front, so that’ll play a big part.

“Wasps did a bit of damage to Edinburgh last weekend, so they’ll be coming out hard. It should be a great game.”

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