Grant: Edinburgh will go toe-to-toe for 10-point task

Guinness PRO12 Editor

26 Dec 2012


While the nation’s children are counting the hours to Christmas Day, Edinburgh Rugby back-row Roddy Grant revealed he would like his big wish granted four days later.

This Saturday (29 December, kick-off 4.05pm) the club host Glasgow Warriors at Murrayfield Stadium for the decisive leg of the 1872 Cup, seeking to overturn the nine-point deficit inflicted at Scotstoun in the opening game of the aggregate cup clash (23-14).

PRO12 points are the priority, which pits the 8th and 4th placed clubs (as of today 24/12/12) against one another for the second time in a week, before the push for the play-offs intensifies in the New Year.

Speaking in the build up to the big match, Grant explained that, despite being separated by a festive spell commonly associated with eating and being merry, all party plans are off and it’s all about Glasgow this week.

He said: “We’re used to playing these games around Christmas and New Year, it’s a big part of the professional rugby calendar and it doesn’t phase us at all.

“All the players can’t wait to get back out and play the second leg at Murrayfield.

“It’s a fantastic surface and venue and suits the way we want to play, especially when it’s in front of our fans who, like us, are desperate to win this game.”

The club endured a torrid first-half in Glasgow, conceding 17 unanswered points in a half hour spell, before a gritty response in the second got them back within touching distance of their inter-city rivals.

Grant believes there is much the club can take from the improved offering after the interval, and plans to use the hurt from the opening leg as a motivational reminder as the days tick down to the Murrayfield rematch, in front of what is traditionally the country's biggest club rugby crowd of the season.

“Losing is an awful, awful feeling, especially in the manner that we did – to go down by so many, so soon and so cheaply,” added Grant.

“Personal and team pride takes a big dent but we showed a lot of spirit when we rallied together when our backs were against the wall.

“The first half deficit made it really difficult to come back from. It was a really poor first 40. Missed tackles cost us three tries and, ultimately, the game. It was unacceptable.

“But, in the second half, we at least had some positives to take away from the game.

“We tightened things up in defence, improved our tackling, and were more together as a unit, and that allowed us to get back into the match.

“For our confidence going into the second leg, it’s good that we came together and came back into the game in that way.

“We stuck in there and improved over the course of the match and that at least is a positive to take from the defeat.

“We’re just desperate to get out there and play this game again at Murrayfield, because we know we’re much better than we showed in the majority of the game in Glasgow.

“It’s a must win match for us in terms of the league. There’s a lot at stake for both teams, and we’re all well aware of that, so there’s plenty of motivation going into the game.”

For the sake of their league standing, eighth-placed Edinburgh must overturn Glasgow to keep their aspiration of a place in the play-offs alive.

They must do so by a margin of ten points if they are to enjoy a double celebration, and secure the silverware that has resided in Glasgow for the past three seasons.

The match marks the 140th anniversary of the fixture between the two sides and Grant was quick in his assurance that Edinburgh are capable of reclaiming the deficit.

“Absolutely,” he declared.

“If we play like we can there’s no issue with our belief going into this game that we can win the match and the 1872 Cup.

“They’re tough games and very physical, and that’s where I think the key is for us, to go toe-to-toe and win the collisions and the contact area up front.

“We’ve got some smart, smart footballers in this team and, given the opportunity and the platform, they can create and put away the try scoring chances we’ll need to carve out a victory against Glasgow.

“We’re all counting down the days and can’t wait to get back out there.”


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