1872 Cup victory delights Wilson
“It’s a happy changing room.”
Danny Wilson was all smiles after tonight’s dramatic win over Edinburgh at Scotstoun, having seen his side turn in a determined collective effort to earn a 23-22 victory over their cross-country rivals.
The result not only evens up the 2020/21 1872 Cup series at one win apiece, but sees Glasgow Warriors lift themselves firmly into contention for Heineken Champions Cup qualification in Guinness PRO14 Conference A.
“To win a derby after a few weeks without a win is really pleasing for all involved,” said the Glasgow Warriors Head Coach.
“It was a properly gutsy performance. If I’m honest I feel we deserved to and should have won by more, but that’s nit-picking really. I’m delighted with the effort tonight.”
A player-of-the-match-winning performance from 21-year-old fly-half Ross Thompson was one of many facets to an impressive Glasgow performance, the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy prospect fitting in seamlessly on his first professional start.
Rufus McLean’s efforts on debut also earned the winger plaudits from the Premier Sports punditry team, whilst Ollie Smith’s late introduction from the bench made it a trio of talented young Scottish backs making their first appearance at Scotstoun.
𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗚𝘂𝗶𝗻𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗣𝗥𝗢𝟭𝟰 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝘆𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝗰𝗵 𝘙𝘰𝘴𝘴 𝘛𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘴𝘰𝘯 👏 pic.twitter.com/TSkSGfwHDt
— Glasgow Warriors (@GlasgowWarriors) January 16, 2021
“To come out of the academy and make your first start in a derby is pressure enough as it is, and I thought Ross was outstanding tonight,” said Wilson.
“You need your goal-kicker to step up in tight games like tonight, and he was nearly flawless. The way he played generally was also really pleasing, and he stood up in defence really well – Edinburgh sent big Mata at him a couple of times and he chopped him down. Credit to him, and it’s really pleasing and promising looking long-term.
“I also thought Rufus stood up really well tonight – he went looking for work and showed up well. It’s a real positive to have these young Scottish talents coming through the system.”
A much-improved scrummaging display was also key to Glasgow’s victory, as the Warriors pack proved too strong time and time again for their cross-country counterparts.
“I want to give massive credit to the boys up front,” said Wilson.
“The way we turned our scrum performance around from a fortnight ago is a testament to how hard they’ve worked. We went from holding our own at BT Murrayfield to completely dominating the scrum in that first half.
“I also want to give credit to Fraser Brown – even whilst he’s been injured he’s done a lot of coaching work with the boys in order to get them ready for this match. The performances from Aki [Seiuli] and Zander [Fagerson] were immense, and everyone in the pack stood up tonight.”
With no match scheduled for next weekend, Wilson’s men are set for a rest week following tonight’s victory before the international calendar and the 2021 Guinness Six Nations loom into view.
For the Glasgow boss, though, tonight is about savouring a well-earned result.
“A lot of our boys will likely be moving on into Scotland camp over the next couple of weeks, and we wish them all those who get selected the best of luck,” said Wilson.
“It means another big shift in terms of our playing group, but we’ll be ready for that.
“The win was so important tonight – it was a reward for the effort the boys have put in and the performance deserved it.”