Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors: Richard Cockerill admits it was turgid but delighted to claim back-to-back wins
It wasn’t pretty but Richard Cockerill didn’t seem to mind as his Edinburgh side made it back-to-back wins for the first time since early November with a hard-fought 10-7 triumph over Glasgow Warriors at BT Murrayfield.
At one point it looked as if we might be heading for that rarest of rugby oddities, a nil-nil draw. But late tries from Magnus Bradbury for the home side and Lewis Bean for the visitors added a late flourish to a match which will not go down as a classic.
Jaco van der Walt kicked his one penalty attempt for Edinburgh while Brandon Thomson missed his for Glasgow and, ultimately, that was what decided the outcome.
“It was tough and gritty from both sides,” said Cockerill. “I thought they played really well. Our set piece was very good, certainly scrummage wise. We battled hard but, look, these contests are always tight. We just about deserved to win and I am happy with the points and we move on to Friday now.”
Scotstoun will be the venue on Friday as the sides meet again in the second installment of the 1872 Cup.
These festive derbies are usually close but this was particularly tight. It took over an hour for van der Walt to put the first points on the board with his 40-metre penalty.
“I was saying up in the coaches’ box, when was the last time there was a 0-0 draw?” Cockerill added. “It was a little bit turgid wasn’t it? The conditions were good but it was wet and greasy on the field and that affected both sides. These games are for winning, ultimately, and that is the most important thing.”
The win comes on the back of an excellent away victory over Sale in the Heineken Champions Cup. Small steps but Cockerill will look to build on the momentum.
“It is a good habit, isn’t it?” he said. “We won at Sale and won again so that is two good sides we have beaten. We will come in on Monday and look at things because we can play a lot lot better.
“Ben Toolis had not trained all week [due to a foot injury] and turned up and played a full 80. I am pleased with the result but we can play a lot better. It was two sides that have not been on great form and it is all about four points tonight.”
Edinburgh opted for scrums rather than kickable penalties on a couple of occasions as they chased the opening try and Cockerill refused to criticise his players for the tactic.
“I thought the boys were brave to keep going for the corners and taking the scrums,” he said. “I felt we did not get the reward that we deserved. I thought we were positive with the ball, positive with our mindset and if you are positive and keep having a crack then you end up with a win.
“It wasn’t very exciting. If you like scrums and fierce defence it was OK. It was a bit turgid at times. I felt they were lucky not to have a bloke in the bin as we were good at scrum time.”
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