Glasgow Warriors 16 Edinburgh 6: Alan Solomons laments Edinburgh errors
Edinburgh head coach left frustrated by turnovers, but believes the Gunners can still win 1872 Cup next week at BT Murrayfield
Alan Solomons lamented Edinburgh’s inability to retain possession as his side lost Saturday’s Scottish derby clash against Glasgow Warriors.
The Gunners could only muster a penalty goal in each half as they went down 16-6 in their fiercly-contested Guinness PRO12 battle that was more of an arm wrestle than the attacking showpiece when the clubs last met in April.
We’ve said before, you’ve got to take your opportunities and give away nothing and, unfortunately, we made one or two costly errors.
Edinburgh were 6-3 down approaching half-time, but a superb team effort from the Warriors produced the only try of the match as a clever cross-field chip kick from Scotland stand-off Duncan Weir found Sean Lamont on the right wing.
The winger ran over opposite number Tom Brown before passing inside to Peter Horne, who fed number 8 Josh Strauss for a free run to the tryline.
Weir, who also landed three of four penalties in the match, added the conversion to give last season’s PRO12 finalists the upper hand in the two-match battle for the 1872 Cup ahead of the reverse fixture at BT Murrayfield on Friday.
“I think the big thing was that we turned over far too much ball, particularly at the breakdown, and the consequence was that we didn’t have field position, which was critical,” Solomons said.
“We missed a first-up tackle on Sean Lamont and then once he got through it was a try at a key point in the game and made a massive difference to the outcome.
“We’ve said before, you’ve got to take your opportunities and give away nothing and, unfortunately, we made one or two costly errors.
“We felt confident that, defensively, we could cope. It’s unfortunate. Tom Brown is a splendid defender. It just happens sometimes, and full marks to Lamont – he got past him; he basically bowled him over.”
Edinburgh last won in Glasgow in 2003 and they haven’t won an 1872 Cup match since 2011, but the Gunners got the first points on the board as scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne slotted an early penalty.
Replacement stand-off Tom Heathcote added a second penalty for Edinburgh to open the scoring after 12 minutes of the second half after Greig Tonks had showed a burst of speed to attack the Glasgow line, but the errors and penalties conceded continued for the visitors.
Solomons admitted that his side contributed to their own downfall as much as the efforts of the Warriors’ potent backline.
“We’ve got to cut down our turnovers,” he added. “We’ll have to have a close look at the breakdown, but there was very little apart from that.
“We suffered with field position because of the turnovers and we were unable to sustain pressure deep in their half.
“We just never gave ourselves opportunity because we were unable to retain the ball, and a lot of those problems were related to what was going on at the breakdown.
“Sure, it was slippy out there because it was moist, but it was equally so for both sides.”
The odds are firmly stacked against the Gunners, but the South African conceded that Edinburgh can still win the 1872 Cup for the first time since 2009 when the Warriors head to BT Murrayfield.
Ten points is not a massive margin. It’s a big enough margin to make it a big challenge, but it’s not an impossible task.
Despite occupying eighth place in the PRO12 half way through the season, Edinburgh have lost just once at home this season and are on a six-game unbeaten run at BT Murrayfield in all competitions since Connacht secured a 14-13 win in round two of the PRO12 in September.
The Scarlets are the only other opposition to leave the Scottish capital with league points this season when they drew 20-20 back in round four in September.
“We can definitely turn it around,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough challenge no question; they’re a very, very good side.
“Ten points is not a massive margin. It’s a big enough margin to make it a big challenge, but it’s not an impossible task.
“We didn’t get an opportunity to play as much as we would have liked, so changing the game plan is not really applicable to us so much.
“Our backs never really got an opportunity. Glasgow had much more ball and they had much more field position, and that makes a massive difference.”