Double delight for Murray on Harley's historic night
“Sometimes you’re playing for something more than yourself and it brings out the best in folk.”
On the night Rob Harley wrote his name into the Glasgow Warriors record books once more, there could be no doubting the determination of his team-mates to ensure that the occasion was marked in an appropriate style.
For Kenny Murray, yesterday’s 31-24 victory over Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield was a fitting way to honour the club’s most-capped player.
“We talked a lot this week about Rob and what he’s done for this club and we wanted to make sure we performed in a way that marked the occasion in the proper manner,” said the Glasgow Warriors Assistant Coach.
“We wanted to repay some of what he’s given to this club and it was a really emotional end to the night when we came off the pitch and back into the changing rooms.”
Four tries, allied to the boot of Ross Thompson and some sterling defensive performances, ensured that the Warriors would be returning along the M8 with a second successive bonus-point victory from the home of Scottish rugby.
It was a performance that showcased the best of Glasgow rugby both with the ball and without, something that was especially pleasing to Murray.
“I thought Edinburgh played well and threw a lot more at us than they did last week,” he said.
“BT Murrayfield is always a tough place to come for us and I thought we stood up really well.
“Doing the double over Edinburgh isn’t something we’ve done a lot in recent years so we’re really pleased with the boys. They stepped up really well and got the result they deserved.”
At the other end of the experience spectrum to Harley, two of the newest Warriors were also singled out for praise by Murray following an impressive outing under the Saturday night floodlights.
Tom Lambert and Rory Darge each impressed on their first outing in the starting XV, the latest young talents to make their mark for the club in a rollercoaster campaign.
“I thought they turned in two really good performances tonight,” said Murray.
“Tom was obviously up against an international tight-head in WP Nel and he showed up really well, it’ll be a great experience for him. He got caught on the wrong side of the breakdown a couple of times, but he showed how physical a ball-carrier he is and he’s only going to keep getting better and better.
“It would have been great to see Rory get that try [ruled out by the TMO] against his old team, but again for a young guy he was outstanding tonight. His footwork going into contact was excellent and he’s got a big future ahead of him.”
Neither man was able to wrest the Player of the Match medal away from George Turner’s grasp, however, as the hooker capped off a monumental display with the second Glasgow try of the evening.
It was just one of several carries on a typically physical night for the Scotland hooker, frequently to the fore of many a short-range drive for the line.
“George just wants the ball in hand at all times, doesn’t he? He probably should have been a 10!” quipped Murray.
“That close to the try-line there aren’t too many players you’d rather have on the ball. He’s such a dynamic ball-carrier and he’s a hard man to stop – Edinburgh tried to smash him a few times and he bounced a couple of guys.
“He thoroughly deserved the Player of the Match award.”
The double over Edinburgh elevates Glasgow Warriors into a share of second place in the Guinness Rainbow Cup standings, something that few on social media were predicting just three weeks ago.
Whilst Murray and the coaching team are only focused on the next match, the Glasgow assistant underlined his pride at the way the squad has responded to defeat in Treviso.
“Everybody knows that the Benetton game was a low point for this team,” said Murray.
“To come back and do the double – and with two try bonus-points for good measure – over our cross-country rivals has been the perfect response from this group of players.
“We’ve obviously got a rest week next weekend, then it’s into the final two games against Dragons and Leinster, two games we’re looking forward to immensely.”