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December 22, 2006

Glasgow Warriors 34 - 27 Edinburgh Gunners

Celtic League match played at Hughenden on Friday December 22nd 2006 | 13 comments

Dan scored an impressive try for Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow delivered a mighty dent in the hopes their Edinburgh rivals held of winning the Magners League last night and underlined to their own support that they are indeed a team on the way back.

Victories over Narbonne in the European Challenge Cup, the competition they fell into after a poor last season, has provided a new confidence for Sean Lineen's side and they finished this sixth home win on the trot with the swagger of a team intent on seriously challenging Edinburgh's pre-eminence as Scotland's top side.

They essentially beat Edinburgh at their own game, moving the ball well from wing to wing, keeping the ball moving out of contact and showing a clinical ability to finish which has been lacking from Scottish sides this season.

Despite the dank conditions around Glasgow, and the week's rain, the pitch was firm and given to more fluid rugby than one imagined would be the case earlier in the week. So, it was perhaps no surprise when Edinburgh launched their renowned wide attack in the opening minutes.

They failed to exploit good sweeping runs on the counter-attack when both Chris Paterson and Mike Blair made great intrusions but failed to find Hugo Southwell on the right touchline. Paterson still claimed the opening points with a fifth-minute penalty, but Thom Evans then awoke Edinburgh to his stunning talent by slicing through the Edinburgh defence, and though caught by Blair, no mean feat, Dan Parks took possession from the ruck and dropped a cute goal to level the scores.

A minute later a great dummy show of the ball by Dave Callam, one of Edinburgh's best performers, fooled the home defence and the Edinburgh No8 was only denied a score by a great last-ditch tackle from Hefin O'Hare. However, the first try came 11 minutes in.

Scott Murray and Alastair Kellock were enjoying a rare battle in the lineout, not stealing much opposition ball but disrupting plenty, and when Graeme Beveridge, the Glasgow scrum-half, cleared one loose ball upfield, Ben Cairns, the Edinburgh wing, swept on to the counter-attack. He neatly chipped and caught the ball, found Marcus Di Rollo and the centre sent Southwell diving over the line, Paterson converting. This opening spell set a great tone for the match, players moving on to the ball at pace, attacking space and dummying. The battle of the Scotland locks was mirrored in hookers Scott Lawson and Dougie Hall, and the back row, where Alasdair Strokosch, Ross Rennie and Callam took on the even younger duo of John Barclay and James Eddie and experienced Jon Petrie. Lawson won the man-of-the-match award and it was the home trio who gained the upper hand as the match wore on.

Similarly, Mike Blair had a great fight with Beveridge, making his 150th appearance, and Parks and Phil Godman revelled in facing their main rival for the Scotland jersey, but while the scrum-halves were evenly-matched, Parks took the honours at stand-off.

Into the second quarter, Parks and Paterson swapped penalties and Parks hit the target again after Edinburgh were adjudged to have brought down a scrum. In truth, these were two well-matched sides with little between them last night, until the 39th minute, when Edinburgh were reduced to 14 men, Cairns being yellow-carded for deliberately knocking-on when he broke up a dangerous counter-attack by Glasgow.

The hosts immediately took advantage with a sweeping attack, although they made hard work of it when O'Hare ignored a four-man overlap on the right to go for the posts. The ball came back right and Parks, on his knees, just managed to fall over the line when the ball came back right, but he could not convert and the teams headed into the break with Glasgow holding a slender 14-13 advantage.

The interval did nothing to dampen the spirits, however, as the sparkling continuity and width, with great efforts to keep the ball alive, continued from the first whistle. Glasgow were first to take advantage, Parks slotting another penalty, made easier by indiscipline in the form of a push by Rennie.

Buoyed, Glasgow pressed the foot to the pedal and flew at their scrambling visitors. Edinburgh could not get a hand in to slow the momentum and paid the price when an attack whizzed right and then back left, Parks at its epicentre, and ended with Dan Turner diving over the line. Parks further lifted the home support, and opened up an 11-point lead, with the touchline conversion. With their front row slipping in the set-piece battle and the defence beginning to creak, Edinburgh's grip in the game was sliding. Parks spotted an opportunity as the Edinburgh pack were driven back in a maul, and slotted a drop-goal, and the hosts started to swagger.

The icing on the cake came in the 61st minute and left Paterson, the Scotland captain, holding his head in his hands. The skipper was clearly desperate to fire up his team, driving into a ruck minutes before he took a quick tap-penalty and fired a pass along his 22. It was gleefully picked up by Andy Henderson, the Glasgow centre, who raced to the posts, Parks converting to put the seal on a stirring victory.

Edinburgh responded with two tries by Marcus Di Rollo, converted by Paterson, the latter coming five minutes into injury-time. It was not enough to spoil Glasgow's celebrations, but Paterson's conversion did at least grab a bonus point.

Report from The Scotsman

Referee David Changleng (SRU)
Attendance 2,613
Man of the Match Scott Lawson
Justin Va'a
Scott Lawson
Moray Low
Dan Turner
Alastair Kellock
James Eddie
John Barclay
Jon Petrie
Graeme Beveridge
Dan Parks
Thom Evans
Hefin O'Hare
Andrew Henderson
Rory Lamont
Colin Gregor
Fergus Thomson
Kevin Tkachuk
Andy Newman
Steve Swindall
Sam Pinder
Colin Shaw
Sean Marsden
Match Substitutions
Off On
Rory Lamont Colin Shaw
Off On
Dan Turner Steve Swindall
Off On
Moray Low Kevin Tkachuk
Off On
Dan Parks Sean Marsden
Dan Parks Drop
Dan Parks Penalty
Dan Parks Penalty
Dan Parks Try 
Dan Parks Penalty
Dan Turner Try 
Dan Parks Conversion
Dan Parks Drop
Andy Henderson Try 
Dan Parks Conversion
Posted by warrior_dave on December 23, 2006 01:19 AM | Reply to this comment

Excellent display from the team. Was proud to be a warrior tonight. I admit to being worried in the first half but those fears were dispelled as soon as Dan Turner scored. There was only going to be one winner after that. Specially mention for Bevvy. 150th game and I thought he played really well. One concern would be when we were so far ahead we should have tightened up but seemed to let Edinburgh run at us constantly resulting in two late tries. Obviously it didn't cost us but on another day it could do, as it did against the Dragons. Still well played boys, keep up the good work.

By the way who calculates the attendance? 2613? Not a chance!! Either the are stating low attendances for tax purposes or more worrying in an attempt to prove that the Warriors aren't viable but something is afoot. I would have said there was 3500-4000 there tonight. If Hughenden can hold 6000, God knows where the other 3387 could be go.

Posted by Maths Teacher on December 23, 2006 10:31 AM | Reply to this comment

Have to agree re the crowd. At least last night we were shown as being over 2,ooo. Wonder who is counting.? Would hate to be there if 6000 were in the ground.

Great game, exiting play and superb result. Of opinion t5hat is the way to get spectators back.

Posted by vicki on December 23, 2006 10:38 AM | Reply to this comment

I would LOVE to be there if we had a crowd of 6,000! And if the team keep performing like this, there is nothing more they can do to attract suporters.

What a game - we have come to expect derbies to be close, low scoring, slug it out to the death style matches, but last night's match was a thriller!

Scott Lawson had a great game, and deserved his MOTM award, but it must have been a tough decision to select only one player!

Posted by Gordon on December 23, 2006 12:54 PM | Reply to this comment

Best thing about it is how the guys are playing as a team - we're not just looking to our "stars" to produce the goods. Dan Turner summed it up last night - when he came off he'd left nothing on the pitch - he'd given everything he had.

Posted by vicki on December 23, 2006 01:00 PM | Reply to this comment

And another good game from Moray Low - he had Jacobsen rattled.

Posted by Alistair on December 23, 2006 09:40 PM | Reply to this comment

I have been there when 6000 have been in the ground at it was fantastic, back when we drew 25 all with Ulster during the first iteration of the Celtic League.

There is no way there was only 2500 the ground looks sparesly populated with under 3000 people in it yet sections of the ground were packed on Friday. I go with other people and say there were about 3500 there.

Cracking game of rugby, hope there's as good a crowd for the next home match.

Posted by gnasher on December 23, 2006 11:13 AM | Reply to this comment

Agree about the crowd - 3,500 more like it. But it was a great atmosphere. Credit to both sides for putting on great entertainment. Terrific performance from Glasgow after what sounds like a difficult week for preparation with a fair amount of re-shuffling having to be done. Great performances from Bevvy, Dan, Ally Kellock, Scot, Thom etc. etc. in their one on one competitions. Lots of food for thought for Frank Hadden.

Thanks guys, a perfect start to Christmas - bring on the panto.

Posted by CR on December 24, 2006 05:45 PM | Reply to this comment

that crowd was around 2600 which was what was stated. i go to watch partick thistle who play to that size of crowd week in week out and i know what 2600 people look like, and they look like that. 6000 people in hughenden would be a safety hazard. no idea why the capacity is set as that...

Posted by behindtheposts on December 24, 2006 07:34 PM | Reply to this comment

Sorry but the group I stand with have been discussing this for the last couple of seasons and have constantly said that the numbers are under-played. This was even more obvious at Firhill where the stand held 6000 and was certainly nearer capacity than was often stated. Maybe this is some kind of SRU plot to show how little a pro team is appreciated in Glasgow - if so at least the Borders' crowd are keeping us ahead!
And by the way I too can remember that Ulster game and it certainly wasn't a safety hazard - jumping, great atmosphere, real rugby crowd, but not a safety hazard. And I hate to think what the crowd was years ago when the All Blacks played a combined Glasgow/ Edinburgh side!

Posted by hugh on December 25, 2006 12:25 PM | Reply to this comment

When the All Blacks played Glasgow/Edinburgh at Old Anniesland there was c 10,000-you even got that at some club matches at Anniesland in 1920

Posted by Big Blue on December 25, 2006 12:06 PM | Reply to this comment

I was at that game. From memory, the attendance was c11,500!

Posted by Big Blue on December 26, 2006 12:22 PM | Reply to this comment

With special trains running from Edinburgh for the Heriot's match, I believe.

Posted by hugh on December 26, 2006 12:40 PM | Reply to this comment

And on at least one occasion when Accies played Heriots because of the clash of colours both being blue/white theAccies played in the colours of the Jambos maroon--yes special trains were laid on to carry the many Nails supporters weho made the journey west

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