Gregor Townsend: Edinburgh had the edge over Warriors at key areas
Glasgow Warriors head coach disappointed to leave Edinburgh empty handed after derby defeat
Gregor Townsend admitted that Edinburgh had the edge as they defeated his Glasgow Warriors side 20-8 at BT Murrayfield.
The Warriors head coach saw his charges outfought at the breakdown, as well as being second best at the set-pieces, as they gave up a 10-point lead from the reverse fixture last week to cede the 1872 Cup with a 26-24 aggregate loss to their rivals for the first time since 2009.
Last season’s PRO12 finalists have been out of sorts since the bulk of their star players were raising eyebrows with impressive performances in the Scottish capital against Argentina and New Zealand in November.
I’m disappointed, like the players are. We didn’t show the required effort in the first half compared to our opposite numbers.
Defeats at the Scarlets in November, as well as Toulouse home and away in Europe, have deflated somewhat the sense that this could be the season that the Warriors finally win something more than the 1872 Cup.
At Murrayfield, Gunners wing Tim Visser pounced on two Warriors mistakes to grab a brace of tries in five first-half minutes, while scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne was accurate off the kicking tee when it mattered.
The Warriors briefly countered with a superb solo try from Niko Matawalu two minutes after the restart, but that would be the last scoring play of the Scottish inter-city derby.
“They fully deserved their victory; took their chances well in the first half, and had the edge over us in a few key areas,” Townsend said.
“The first three scrums we got penalties from then they seemed to get the edge in the scrum in the last 20 minutes, so that’s something we have to look at.
“Whether it’s personnel, whether it’s the eight scrummaging as a unit, or working out what the referee is asking of you and making sure you do it, but they were better in the scrum definitely.”
The scrum has been an area where the Warriors have struggled in recent months, notably against the Scarlets, and there is little time to turn it around before their next outing in the PRO12.
The West Walians’ scrum has caused plenty of problems for other teams this season, including Leicester Tigers and the Ospreys, which will make getting back to winning ways no easy task for Townsend’s men as the Welsh region travel to Scotstoun next week, possibly off the back of a famous win over the league-leading Ospreys.
The result, and more so, the performance left the Warriors head coach disappointed to leave the home of Scottish rugby with few positives.
“I’m disappointed, like the players are,” he added. “We didn’t show the required effort in the first half compared to our opposite numbers.
“It was better in the second half, but half an hour of the game was played in a 10-metre period.
“Last week we got a good picture of where they are. They’re physical in defence, and maybe hit a bit harder in defence.
“They turned us over a few times. They have a different tackling style to us – they tackle high and if you don’t get to deck it can lead to mauls and to scrums.
“We need to make sure when he have the ball we create quick ball, we create chances and score.
“It’s a blow to us as a group and the squad. To have so many supporters come through for a game like that, when a trophy is up for grabs; a key game to get us to the top of the league and we don’t take our opportunities, it’s obviously disappointing.”