December 22, 2023
Glasgow Warriors 22 - 10 Edinburgh
United Rugby Championship match played at Scotstoun on Friday December 22nd 2023 | No comments
Kyle Rowe finished off a great Glasgow move for the opening try of the game Glasgow Warriors battled to a 22-10 win over Edinburgh in a tough URC encounter played in horrible conditions at Scotstoun.
Warriors started well and opened the scoring in the seventh minute through a Ross Thompson penalty and stretched their advantage with a well-worked try 10 minutes later as Kyle Rowe touched down on the left following a lovely offload from Josh McKay. Thompson was wide with his conversion attempt.
Warriors were dealt another injury blow when George Turner was forced off holding his arm. Johnny Matthews came on for Turner.
Edinburgh got themselves right back in the game in the 34th minute when WP Nel wriggled over from close range - Ben Healy added the extras.
Healy went wide with a penalty from the halfway just before the break, but the fly-half was on target with his next attempt from a much shorter distance early in the second period, edging the visitors two points ahead.
Glasgow started to enjoy more possession and territory and with just over an hour on the clock Edinburgh lock Grant Gilchrist was sin-binned following a series of penalties.
Warriors took full advantage minutes later when hooker Matthews claimed his ninth try of the season with a trademark finish from the back of a maul. George Horne converted.
Ally Miller stretched the lead in the 74th minute with a nice run in from the left after another great pass from McKay. Horne converted, ensuring Warriors take a 12-point lead to Murrayfield for the second leg of the 1872 Cup next Saturday.
Talking to BBC Sportsound, a delighted Glasgow Warriors head coach Franco Smith said: "Very grateful for the win and the way the boys stuck to the plan. Very excited they're able to have more belief in what we are trying to do here.
"We just had to stick to what we were doing and, unfortunately, we didn't have enough platforms to build from in the first half. Edinburgh were keeping us out well and on the attack as well. As soon as we got on their side of the field we had more opportunities to build on.
"Johnny Matthews sits on the back of a very potent maul and he has the ability to finish it. Really proud of him.
"There is a long way to go and next week is the focus. Edinburgh will be looking to fire back and we will need to be ready for it from the start. We will start the year with two EPCR games and then we will be back focusing on the league.
"Really grateful for the 24th man as we call them, the Warrior Nation, for contributing tonight on defence and attack. We are really appreciative of the crowd tonight."
Smith has had to do without a string of key men, including Jack Dempsey, Kyle Steyn, Ollie Smith, Matt Fagerson, Jamie Dobie and Sebastian Cancelliere.
"We've got 12 injuries, people who probably would have been involved in the game, but the other guys stepped up and that is the plan: to build a strong squad," said Smith.
"I say always, you need a great squad to make a good team."
Smith is hopeful that Scotland hooker George Turner, who was forced off in the first half on Friday, will not be added to the absentee list for next weekend's trip to Edinburgh.
"It was just a shot to his bicep," said Smith.
"We'll assess it but it doesn't look that serious at the moment. It's serious enough but we'll have a better idea when the medical team have done their job."