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December 28, 2004

Edinburgh 18 - 12 Glasgow Warriors

Celtic League match played at Murrayfield on Monday December 27th 2004 | 3 comments

Glasgow couldn't convert pressure into points against Edinburgh at Murrayfield
There is something about the stale environs of Murrayfield Stadium on Celtic League day which almost seems to draw the excitement, drama and warmth out of a game and leave in its place an insipid rugby match.

In the cold, windy bowl, the game bore all the dispiriting hallmarks of recent error-strewn Scottish affairs and was heading towards another tight finish, when an awkwardly-bouncing ball let Craig Joiner steal in for a late try.

There was no way back for Glasgow, and their coach Hugh Campbell admitted afterwards that he was at a loss to explain why the derbies are drab affairs, especially after his side had demolished Connacht 35-0 in their last outing.

Campbell said: "We had lots of opportunities to score points, especially in the first half, and didn't really take them. The Edinburgh defence dug in to be fair and didn't give us opportunities, but it was not a great game of rugby - in terms of a spectacle it wasn't up there. We seemed to lack composure, I don't know why; players lose their focus in these games and don't play the way that they can play. If we played the way we played against Connacht we could have won easily."

Clearly, there was more pleasure to be felt in the home camp, where the lack of great threat in attack was outweighed by the teamís ability to defend well, especially when down to 13 men midway through the game, but to be honest but, despite the great industry in defence from both sides of most frustration had to be the fact that these players were capable of providing a better spectacle had they been able to master elementary skills better, kept the ball in hand and shown a bit conviction in attacking space.

Glasgow started brightly and a Calvin Howarth penalty earned reward, but they couldn't find the precision to match the work-rate, while the optimism generated by good driving lineouts and swift counter-attacks from Edinburgh was sunk by a fluffed pass, nervous kick or simple ruck disappearing trick, though Brendan Laney did land a penalty.

The Glaswegians even had two extra men for almost the last ten minutes of the first period, Alastair Kellock yellow-carded for pulling back a supporting runner, and Derrick Lee following him having twice entered rucks from offside positions.

The early moments of the second half promised much with Howarth, the Glasgow fly-half, taking play to within five metres of the hosts' line with a mazy run - evidence perhaps of why he is keeping Scotland's controller Dan Parks on the bench - and though no try materialised he took another three points with the boot.

Only a few more minutes passed, however, before Edinburgh broke the monotony by showing what can happen when a simple attack progresses through more than two pairs of hands. A lineout on the right side of the field was the spark, but Glasgow's defence was opened up across the field and Hugo Southwell used his power and pace to squeeze into the corner for the game's first try. There was hope that this might ignite the daring zeal for tries in both sides, clearly solidified by the winter chill, but no, rather a Howarth penalty and another which struck a post were the best scoring chances.

It came as no surprise, therefore, when the match-winning try came from high farce. Closed out on the left, Southwell launched a speculative high kick, but when it bounced away from Colin Shaw, players tumbled over each other to leave winger Joiner to bounce onto the ball and convince referee Dave Pearson a try had been scored.

Glasgow's world then caved in with Donnie Macfadyen, their busy openside, being yellow-carded and Godman adding to his conversion with a penalty to turn a one-point deficit into a barely credible nine point-lead.

Parks was now on for Glasgow, and his side did at least secure a bonus point for a spirited final salvo with a penalty from with the final kick, but the quicker this game is locked away in some deep, dark vault the better for all concerned.

Report by David Ferguson from The Scotsman

Referee Dave Pearson (England)
Attendance 3,932
Man of the Match
Kevin Tkachuk
Gordon Bulloch
Lee Harrison
Andy Hall
Dan Turner
Andy Wilson
Donnie Macfadyen
Jon Petrie
Graeme Beveridge
Calvin Howarth
Rory Lamont
Andrew Henderson
Graeme Morrison
Sean Lamont
Colin Shaw
Scott Lawson
Andy Kelly
Joe Beardshaw
John Beattie
Sam Pinder
Dan Parks
Gareth Maclure
Match Substitutions
Off On
Andy Hall Joe Beardshaw
Off On
Graeme Beveridge Sam Pinder
Off On
Graeme Morrison Gareth Maclure
Off On
Scott Lawson Gordon Bulloch
Off On
Lee Harrison Andy Kelly
Off On
Andy Wilson John Beattie
Off On
Calvin Howarth Dan Parks
Calvin Howarth Penalty
Calvin Howarth Penalty
Calvin Howarth Penalty
Dan Parks Penalty
Posted by Gordon on December 28, 2004 02:07 PM | Reply to this comment

Disappointing result, but it was good to see such a big travelling support from Glasgow. Good as well to see the players applaud the fans after the final whistle.

Posted by ballinj on December 28, 2004 04:32 PM | Reply to this comment


You have to be amazed as Glasgow's ability to contrive a defeat out of what should have been a fairly easy victory. It is understandable on the performance yesterday why Edinburgh are second bottom, as for Glasgow .........

The only decent piece of decision making by Glasgow in the whole game was when the crowd threatened to invade the pitch at the end to make sure we took the penalty to give the bonus point.

Posted by hugues on December 31, 2004 06:51 PM | Reply to this comment

I enjoyed my day and the Glaswegians gave me a friendly welcome (I was on holliday for Xmas). Disapointed about the game, I think the Glaswegian back-line was to static, and not deep at all for attacks. No inspiration either. Maybe the "derby" is something which stuck the guys.

For the support, the fans have to find a song to help the players,
I liked come on Glasgow, but a special song would be good. Actually the French are very poor with "Allez les Bleus". I like the "I belong to Glasgow" from Will Fyfe but not appropriate to support a team.

Thanks for your welcome, and Come On Glasgow!

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