Barclay looks forward to derbies

Guinness PRO12 Editor

27 Dec 2010



Glasgow Warriors back-rower John Barclay is hoping his side can make a surge for the Magners League play-offs with two victories over Edinburgh in the Greaves Sports 1872 Cup double-header.

Glasgow lie tenth in the league table and take on Edinburgh tonight in the first of back-to-back games with their Scottish rivals.

And Barclay is hoping the Warriors can bounce back from a difficult week in Europe and get their Magners League campaign back on track.

"We've had quite a frustrating, surreal week with those extra days in Toulouse," Barclay told the Scotsman.

"Hopefully, it will make us a bit stronger as a group, but thankfully it's gone now and we have the Edinburgh games to look forward to.”

Barclay anticipates a full-blooded encounter but also sees the game as an opportunity to impress Scotland head coach Andy Robinson ahead of the RBS 6Nations.

"Edinburgh had a good win last week against Castres, and whenever I've played these games they've tended to be up there, as physical as Test matches,” added Barclay.

“So if you can win that physicality battle and contact you put yourself in a pretty good position."

“It's the same as any other game though in that each player has to do their own job. They are seen as trials, but in terms of the bigger picture they're part of 30 games or so over the space of the year, but obviously they're two games we want to win.”

Sean Lineen’s men recorded the double over Edinburgh last year and reached the Magners League play-offs after finishing third in the league table.

They have endured a more testing start to the season this year but Barclay insists they can still make a push for the top four if they can repeat their feat.

"It put us in a really good position last year. I was looking at the table last year and thinking if we could win those two games it would put us right up there.

“It is slightly different this year in terms of where we are in the table, but back-to-back wins can really put you up there. So we need to try to gain some momentum this week going into the second game."

“We had a really good year last year and then people moved on, injuries happened, so it's been quite a tough year, but guys are coming back, we're coming into a bit of form and we've got to win these games.

“It's not just because it's Edinburgh. At this point in the season you've got to start winning games; going into the New Year looking to turn things around, two wins would be good for any team.

"We had a frustrating week in France, but now we've parked that which is easy with two such big games now. There is a lot more interest in these games, more media, and bigger crowds.

“They are really exciting games, physical and fast, and tend to be battles of attrition throughout. There is more emphasis on the individual match-ups in this game, but one-on-one we have to make sure we end up on top in most of these."