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Extra Edinburgh v Glasgow game would fill stadium

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John Beattie | 14:41 UK time, Sunday, 8 April 2012

What's more important, the Heineken Cup or the RaboDirect Pro12? In other words, who has done better this season, Edinburgh or Glasgow?

Can I make one request? I want Glasgow and Edinburgh to play each other one more time, at Murrayfield, all guns blazing. I'm not sure the argument is settled yet, Scottish Rugby should put on one more glorious fixture.

In life, there are ups and downs, good and bad and yin and yang; not the pandas currently unable to mate in Edinburgh Zoo, but the opposing life forces the Chinese believe exist in the universe.

Edinburgh captain Greig Laidlaw celebrates following the Heineken Cup quarter-final victory against Toulouse

Greig Laidlaw's Edinburgh beat Toulouse in front of a record 37,881 crowd. Pic: SNS

In rugby, the world has exactly the same opposing forces in the shape of leagues and cups. After a dismal Six Nations, one Scottish team, Glasgow, is doing well in the league in fourth place and could well be in a play-off place.

But Edinburgh stormed the barricades on Saturday and beat Toulouse in front of a record crowd to reach the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup.

Can I confess? I didn't go to the game but watched it on TV like a nervous kitten unable to sit still. Arise Sir Michael Bradley as that was a game of sheer magnificence.

Edinburgh have a simple smash-up game that combines pick and go with one out runners and then they move it wide. Sometimes they go wide straight from set piece to get the ball to Tim Visser in two passes, but directness and pride are the orders of the day.

When Edinburgh last beat Toulouse, in 2003 at Meadowbank, a crowd of 3,000 turned up to watch Nathan Hines, Brendan Laney and Marcus Di Rollo do the business. A year ago I would not have predicted that nearly 40,000 would come to Murrayfield to watch the same fixture.

And the bite that was there nine years ago came again as Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford, David Denton and crew bared their teeth.

It was probably the biggest 'club' game in Scottish rugby history. I can't overstate how important that win was.

Glasgow, at the other end of the M8, have shown much more consistency in the league. They have a 'Warrior Nation' of fans and there's a buzz you can see among the players.

There are probably two players for each position but now they have a scrum that destroys most teams and, like Edinburgh, a simple game-plan that deviates from one pass smash-up and then move wide to their three pod system.

Could Glasgow attract nearly 40,000 fans? Not at Firhill as it doesn't have that many seats, but let's just leave that question hanging.

The grass roots of the game are greener in Edinburgh as next year there will be no Glasgow teams in the top flight of our domestic amateur game. Speaking of which, in my opinion, we make a daft mistake in making that top amateur league smaller.

'Amateur' club rugby is about lots of games and beers at the bar and making money, not trying to create six or eight elite clubs.

But back to Glasgow and Edinburgh, both teams play simple rugby. Hand on heart I'm not sure that's what Scotland do at times.

But as I sat there watching Edinburgh I wondered: what is more important? Is a league and its consistency of performance a better indicator of success than the knock-out blows delivered by Edinburgh and their clashes with Toulouse and before that Racing Metro 92 in Paris?

My opinion? Success in the Heineken Cup is more important than in the league and always will be while a Scottish team can come bottom of the league and still qualify for the Cup which will always provide the bigger moments.

A league with no relegation is never as serious as a winner-take-all game in a knock-out cup.

Have Glasgow or Edinburgh been more successful? Come on Scottish Rugby, set up another extra game, pick a sunny day, open the bars and we will fill the stadium for you and winner takes all. Go on.


  • Comment number 1.

    Great idea though not sure how practical. I think that Glasgow would win, being a Glasgow supporter but from Edinburgh.

    There was certainly a great buzz at Murrayfield and the win made up for the 6 nations disasters, although not sure I will buy tickets for next years 6 nations as it's too stressful to watch.

    I was disappointed that Chris Paterson wasn't playing apart from being the water boy as he looks set to hang up his boots at the end of the season.

    It is remarkable that Edinburgh managed to win despite 2 yellow cards with no prior warnings. I wonder what the stats say on that? They were initially naive up against an experienced French side especially at the breakdown as Toulouse slowed the ball down. The scrums weren't great partly due to slow crouch, touch, pause engage by the ref. The backs certainly have some pace though they were knocked aside on a few tackles. Edinburgh gained in confidence and self belief and had a go which paid off. Well done to Edinburgh as I hadn't really expected them to win against a French side especially with recent poor league performances. Counting down to Tim Visser being eligible for Scotland...

  • Comment number 2.

    So why can't this be transferred to the national level? I'm just a daft Hawick-man watching in a weird mixture of despair (national side) and pride (Edinburgh) from a great distance (Oregon. Perhaps "Hawick man speak with forked tongue" applies in this case) and limited access to rugby -thanks to the BBC that I have any access at all- and correspondence wi' old Hawick mates, so maybe I should belt-up and just "bide a wee" -but it's tough to observe the international slide to second-rate status happening from afar. Wonder what Bill McClaren -my high school P.E. and Rugby coach, would have had to say it his quietly erudite manner?

  • Comment number 3.

    A great idea. It's encouraging to see that Scottish Rugby is growing and going places. What I would like to see is some international fixtures in the Summer with tickets at around £5 for any seat, any age. What could be better than a full Murrayfield in the Summer! But seriously, after a dismal 6 nations, Andy Robinson must gut out his previous ideas and tactics and look at Edinburgh and Glasgow's tactics. Encourage Laidlaw to play like he did against Toulouse. Introduce new growing talent such as Alex Dunbar, Ryan Wilson and Stuart Hogg.

    I'd like to say let's start a fresh on the international seen. We know that we have the potential to win a 6 nations. We have beaten teams containing North, Cuthbert, Roberts, Davies, Halfpenny. We have beaten the best team in France. We need to gut out the old squad and mindset and introduce the new face of Scottish Rugby.

    My proposed team for the upcoming international features

    15. Hogg
    14. Seymour
    13. Dunbar
    12. Scott
    11. Visser
    10. Laidlaw
    9. Blair

    8. Wilson
    7. Rennie
    6. Denton
    5. Kellock
    4. Gray
    3. Cross
    2. Ford
    1. Jacobsen

    16. Welsh
    17. Macarthur
    18. Eddie
    19. Harley
    20. Lawson
    21. Weir
    22. Brown

  • Comment number 4.

    The game was an incredible experience. It has to be the loudest I have heard Murrayfield in a long time (though the France match was loud, the noise didn't last as we subsequently lost).

    Laidlaw was great but I am still convinced that Duncan Weir at Glasgow is a more composed and consistent fly half and should really be starting there for Scotland. Maybe Laidlaw should be at 9 to partner up with him?

    Visser was always a threat and I really am looking forward to him getting into a Scotland jersey but also extremely worried as we have gravely seen what the blue jersey has done to some players in the past, and not in a good way (take Laidlaw himself as a recent example).

    A Glasgow v Edinbugh game on a sunny afternoon at the end of the season would be a fantastic day out but I don't know if Murrayfield would sell out. Like you said John the Heineken Cup is a huge event and means a lot. Would people turn up to see a game that didn't give either team European status at the end of the day and was just the same old Scottish bragging rights title?

    Maybe I am just being a grumpy Scotsman looking at the negative points of the arguement. But if there was a good crowd I would certainly go.

    Well done Edinburgh and I have just seen that Ulster have beaten Munster so maybe there is a glimmer of hope of a Dublin rampage for the Black and Reds.

    Glasgow keep pushing for that Play-off spot, its getting tight at the top of the table!

  • Comment number 5.

    What matters more - both of them, but league consistency is harder to achieve. Scotland's national team can (occasionally) produce one off performances, but never anything beyond it as we all know to our cost. Can Edinburgh produce another high level performance - we will find out soon. Let's hope for the best.

    I was there yesterday (I am a Glasgow season ticket holder). Only one comment on Glasgow v Edinburgh. Our 4000+ crowd makes more noise than Edinburgh's 37,000. I thought the crowd took 70 minutes to wake up. If (a big ask) Glasgow could raise 37,000 they would be heard at the other end of the country and beyond.

  • Comment number 6.

    I have been an Edinburgh Rugby season ticket holder for the past few years and I have been impressed at how much they have improved. Michael Bradley has given new players opportunities and this has paid off. I was at the game on Saturday and feel the huge increase in crowd size greatly spurred on the team. I was, however, incredibly disappointed and angry to hear shocking anti-french racism involving references to WW1 and WW2. This is something that has affected almost all lives across many countries and is not appropriate in any situation. I would rather a crowd of 2000 than to hear such horrific comments.

  • Comment number 7.

    Somehow I do'nt think a intercity game would add anything and it might ,just might pull in 8,000.Yesterday was a famous win for Edinburgh ,well deserved ,although there signs that Toulouse have not played well in the Heineken this season.I know it was a one off but heck, they are top of a very competitive league and Edinburgh are one off the bottom of a league without any relegation.I'm confused,logic did not apply yesterday.Good atmosphere but can we do away with the moronic music when Edinburgh are attacking-not necessary ,it takes away the crowd's input.

  • Comment number 8.

    Edinburgh do play very like Scotland in that when it is going well they are good to watch, unfortunagtley they can be a bit lightweight and lack depth (though obviously they were anything but lightweight yesterday)

    Glasgow however play a far more straightforward game which although not as exciting to watch is highly effective, it is much like the Munster vs Leinster debate which has raged for years.

    I dont think it should be beyond the teams to do wel in both, we shouldnt have to choose and if they want a large crowd at every game then Edinburgh need to prform more consistently. Havign been at a few Edinburgh games this year there have been real jekyl and Hyde performances. However if they can play like they have in Europe then I can really see there being 10k supporters at every game, because when they are on form they are good to watch and a match for anyone.

    I dont want to get carried away but it was from a start like this that rugby in Ireland exploded, hopefully we can follow suit.

    The semi is going to be tough though with another strong pack. I just hope enough supporters canmake it to Dublin to give the team support.

    One other point which is good for Eu rugby, no teams from the "best league in the world" or from the grand slam nation made it to the semis which has got to be good for the depth of rugby and also the spread of support for the game. Now if only a team from a country that has never won before could lift the trophy...........

  • Comment number 9.

    The Heineken Cup for excitement will win every time as if you don't win you are out even in the pool stages.
    Glasgow's player changes started last season and Edinburghs mostly this season Dave Denton excepted. This goes some way to explaining the relative difference in league position. What has hurt Edinburgh is that some of the back up players have consistantly not been playing to their potential.
    The league run in married with the Heineken Cup semis have produce some very interesting ties and Glasgow have a very good chance of scoring more league points and ensuring a playoff place. Check out who Glasgow and Edinburgh have to play in the Rabo Pro 12 till the end of the season and you'll see what I mean.
    Hopefully we'll get the time off work for the 28th of April and get over to Dublin. However on 5th May we might just get along the other end of the M8 to Firhill and give the Warriors support as I think they will get the playoff place.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    Having been following several blogs inc 606v2 I would say the following. What a load of old toot by the Glasgow followers! It it really that difficult to give credit when it is due rather than bring up old grudges and constantly show your chip on the shoulder inferiority complexes? Edinburgh won well against a classy opposition but many churlish comments from the Glasgow supporters beggars belief. Glasgow fans would do well to remember 2 Pro sides play in Scotland. Edinburgh fans are generally happy to congratulate good Glasgow performances as they are for the common cause. A little reciprocation would not go amiss. Get over yourselves!

  • Comment number 12.

    Fantastic, tremendous game. First half was Murrayfield the Library, but in the second, the atmosphere, and performance was absolutely brilliant. I would love them to put on another end of season match between Edinburgh and Glasgow, but what bearing would that have on the 1872 Cup?

    Will be supporting Edinburgh and Glasgow wherever they end up. This isn't football, no matter which end of Scotland you are from, if you are not rooting for both our teams, you are a chippy, petty mug. The players are from all over Scotland anyway. Wakey wakey.

    To me the Edinburgh team, have a bit of the nous that Scotland lack. Glasgow have it too. They can win big and close out games. Toulouse just did not get a look in after half time. Edinburgh had the ball and possession and Toulouse looked anything but a 4 time Cup winning side.

    I badly wish I could go to Dublin for the semi, but it's not possible.

    If they make the Twickenham final, my family and I will be there, come hell or high water. I have not been this excited about rugby EVER.

    Cannot wait!

  • Comment number 13.

    Just shows you, give the people something to watch and they will turn up. I'm sure that Tom English has been saying that for some time, given his experience with how the game has developed in Ireland.

  • Comment number 14.

    Firstly, congratulations to Edinburgh on their win. I think we collapse two separate issues into each other is we treat as the same "what is more important the Heineken cup or the Pro 12" with "who is the better team, Edinburgh or Glasgow?"

    The HC is more important, it has the prestige, the reputation, the kudos and presumably the money.

    Would Glasgow be able to draw a 37k crowd for a game? Apart from stating the obvious that they presently, and from next season, do not play in a stadium that can hold anything like that number, then I think not. The other thing to remember about the crowd for Saturday's game is that there were a good number of Glasgow supporters who went through for the game - some to cheer on Edinburgh, others Toulouse! However, by attracting that size of crowd it has shown that it is possible for a Scottish pro team to tap into and attract those who perhaps only go to 6 Nations games. Some of those people can perhaps make a one off game - given they live in say Aberdeen - but practically could not travel to the central belt on a Friday night for a 7:30pm kick off.

    Should Glasgow & Edinburgh play again? Why not, but why at Murrayfield, that would give home advantage to Edinburgh. Would it work to have an additional Glasgow v Edinburgh game at a neutral venue, say in Perth which is easy to get to from both Glasgow & Edinburgh and might tempt some to travel from Dundee, Aberdeen etc?

  • Comment number 15.

    Well done to Edinburgh, I may be a Glasgow man but was delighted to see them take out one of the biggest names in northern hemisphere rugby, creating two bits of history in the process.

    An end of season battle would be interesting, but would be more an exhibition match than anything else. A Richie Gray send-off party perhaps?

    Hopefully the national team can start producing, there is young talent in abundance coming up. Hogg, Lee Jones, Rennie, Denton, and the big man himself, a man who even Kiwis (I've been in New Zealand for 6 months on a working holiday visa) say would be fit to wear the All Black jersey... Richie Gray. One slight concern I have is the lack of front row talent coming through. Locks, and back row we seem to have a conveyor belt.

    Good luck to the Edin-burgers in the semi, I will cheer them on from afar.

  • Comment number 16.

    Great idea John! While we are at it can we also arrange for Celtic and Rangers to play each other every week, that would surely fill the grounds. Perhaps Glasgow and Edinburgh should drop out of the Celtic league and just play each other once a fortnight, then we wouldn't have to face our shortcomings. Brilliant, why has nobody thought of this before? Honestly, have you nothing better to write about?

  • Comment number 17.

    Re #9 ,I was pitch side and did not hear that those comments , very sad ,there's obvious some ex football fans getting in.What I did hear was homophobic bile at ref Owens and abuse against the black Toulouse player when he scored.(I was at that corner then) ,some from young "supporters" encouraged by the adults. not acceptable.
    I have read comments in the sports paper "L'Equipe" this morning ,including Toulouse coach Guy Noves ,fulsome in their praise for Edinburgh ,that's the true spirit of rugby.Question , why there are no teams from the 2 top of the table nations in the 6N and why are Irish teams good but the national side not? Ah the unpredictable joy of rugby. Dublin ,bring it on !

  • Comment number 18.

    Does JB not comment on any blogs any more?

  • Comment number 19.

    I'm a Weegie, had a season ticket for as long as you've been able to get them. I've gloried in victories over the east coast mob, I've been laid low by surrendering to them. But I bought a ticket and went through to support them, same as I'll cheer on any scottish fitba team (even, gulp, rangers. Although I dont have to deal with that for a couple of years) in europe, it's for the good of all.

    However, apparently because I wasn't falling over in my rush to worship Laidlaw (IMHO he's not quite a 10 yet, and he's def not got a long enough boot. But a great wee player), the lady in front of us decided we were "from the dark side" and told all the kids around her this. Then at the end, when I was jumping about daft celebrating an amazing victory, I realised she had turned to face us and was "celebrating" by jumping up and down giving us the Vs. What she'd have been doing to Toulouse fans I hate to think. If thats the attitude I get when I try to support them, sod it, I'm with Ulster in the semi

  • Comment number 20.

    I'd rather watch an old fashioned blues vs reds match than a third game between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

    Play it in the summer with £5 tickets for every seat and promote a carnival atmosphere.

  • Comment number 21.

    What a great day for Edinburgh, A fantastic game of rugby that still needs a tweak here & there but at least they stood up to be counted when down to 13 men.
    Visser didn,t get far at the best of times being taken into touch on most forages forward a good chip & chase sadly slipping away into touch again but on average a decent show , As someone said once he slips on the blue top you still need to get the ball to him.
    John i thought Glasgow was moving to Scotstoun from Firhill, Along with the Rugby 7s , The 7,s are definately their as i will be delivering extra seating first thing tuesday morning, So may take a trip through that weekend and hope for a better showing than we had in the 6 nations

  • Comment number 22.

    Normally I am an admirer of your blogs which stimulate interesting and articulate debate but this topic is unworthy of a normally interesting journalist/rugby commentator.

    Trying to tap into an artificial game for money sake is not what the game in Scotland needs. It needs more of the success currently being displayed by Edinburgh and Glasgow in real meaningful competitions.

    This success should be like a rolling stone gathering the moss of interest in better crowds and more young people wanting to play the game.

    English clubs singular lack of success in this competition is partly due to their greed in wanting to participate in too many competitions. They are diluting their product (Saracens were thumped yesterday despite having a large international contingent of players) and now the English are complaining that their salary cap is too low in that they cannot complete with France on salary levels. Perhaps if all kept their feet on the ground and stopped trying to replicate a Football Premiership and cultivated a more inclusive northern hemisphere organisation then all would be better off.

  • Comment number 23.

    To the SRU,

    What will it take for you, Andy Robinson, to gut out the old Scotland 22 and replace them with young, GOOD, players!


    One of many angry supporters.

    Here is what I propose:

    15. Hogg
    14. Seymour
    13. Dunbar
    12. Scott
    11. Visser
    10. Weir
    9. Cusiter
    8. Wilson
    7. Rennie
    6. Denton
    5. Kellock
    4. Gray
    3. Cross
    2. Ford
    1. Jacobsen

    16. MacCarthur
    17. Welsh
    18. Harley
    19. Eddie
    20. Laidlaw
    21. Scott
    22. Brown
    23. Lamont

    I would appreciate any suggestions.

  • Comment number 24.

    Husby, i suggest you increase your medication. Jacobsen's 35, i assume you define "young" differently to me. Scott starting and on the bench? A 4/4 split on the bench? Jedi straight back from only having a 7s contract to the national team? 2 blinsides on the bench? Which Lamont on the bench?

  • Comment number 25.

    Husby, i suggest you increase your medication. Jacobsen's 35, i assume you define "young" differently to me. Scott starting and on the bench? A 4/4 split on the bench? Jedi straight back from only having a 7s contract to the national team? 2 blinsides on the bench? Which Lamont on the bench? And while I rate Tommy, surely we can actually find someone scottish

  • Comment number 26.

    Fabulous result for Edinburgh on Saturday and to get 35000 through the gates is amazing.

    I firmly believe that there is huge potential at both both pro clubs. Particularly at Glasgow I think the pro12 form has put them on verge of really unlocking the local fanbase. They have a huge catchment population and seem to be growing within the community. Continued success on the pitch will bring people flocking to Firhill

    League football in Scotland is on the slide to oblivion and families are looking for something else get involved in. The atmosphere at rugby is far more appealing to families, than the tribalism and staleness of football (and i go to both). There is a gap in the market and rugby could fill that void.

    All of which for me makes the decision to swap Lineen for Townsend all the more absurd.

  • Comment number 27.

    grumpy247 i was implying get rid of the POOR old players. Also, he may be in his 30's but he is still pretty good and we don't have anyone better. Harley plays at 4/5 as well as flanker. This was just a suggested team - not definite.

    And Seymour is Scottish to a certain extent...

  • Comment number 28.

    As an outsider, the thing I find most odd is a discussion of Scottish Rugby based around Glasgow and Edinburgh. I guess if Bill McLaren was still working at the BBC we wouldn't hear much about them singing and dancing in the streets of Kelso these days.
    Similarly it is sad to think of Welsh rugby with no team representing Bridgend or Ponty, while I guess regional rugby has brought plenty of benefits (particularly in Wales) it is not all positive.

  • Comment number 29.

    Great result for edinburgh. it goes to show that with good young scottish talent and a few quality overseas players it can produce a good team. much like the irish provences. Being a glasgow fan i find that the imports that are being brought into the west are not of the desired quality and mr lineen being put in charge of player recruitment is a bad move by the sru. laidlaw is showing real class and matt scott has been superb this season, but denton is class. watched him in a b&i cup game for melrose in jan 2011 and he was the best player on the park. my new scotland team would be

    15. hogg/ de luca
    14. s. lamont
    13. de luca/hogg
    12. scott
    11. jones
    10. jackson
    9. laidlaw
    8. denton
    7. rennie
    6. harley
    5. kellock
    4. gray
    3. low
    2. ford
    1. welsh

  • Comment number 30.

    Don't do it to us John! I'm a weegie exiled in Edinburgh, and I think my East Coast conversion was completed on Saturday. I was screaming fit to burst cheering the gunners on.

    If there's a big Warriors vs Gunners match I'll be stuck there arguing with myself all day long!

    Wonderful atmosphere, but I can't help feeling we got a bit lucky with Toulouse just not turning up.

    Now, anyone for Dublin?

  • Comment number 31.

    it was a great sign for scottish rugby. just keep on phasing out the old guard and phasing in the new kids. excuse my ignorance on names, but edinburgh had a young 15 playing instead of chris patterson and i thought he equipped himself well. heineken cup is as close to international standard as you can get, so that is a fabulous experience for that lad and more experience for the likes of denton.

    as for a glasgow v edinburgh game-- those games will arrive all in good time. another good showing in next years' HC group stage and the christmas game could pull in one heck of a crowd.

    as a welshman i've long hoped that scottish rugby would pull itself out of the mud like welsh rugby has sort of started to, and i was always pretty confident that it would happen. ok scotland have been a yard of the pace over the past few years, but you dont get results against SA, AUS and IRE at croke park if you are complete mugs. for me, saturday was a real sign. a marker if you will.

    actually winning the heineken cup will be terribly tough, but you must dare to dream. edinburgh are capable of a result against ulster. from there, leinster in the final would be formidable but if they lose out in france to clermont auvergne i would expect edinburgh to get the cheer of a neutral crowd at twickenham.

  • Comment number 32.

    1. Welsh

    2. Macarthur

    3. Cross

    4. Gilchrist

    5. Gray

    6. Brown (until he retires, then Harley) (Captain)

    7. Rennie/Barclay

    8. Denton


    10. Weir (this is starting to frustrate me. Weir is great week in week out for Glasgow. Although Laidlaw was good at weekend and is a good Club 10 I dont think he will ever be as good as Weir as an international 10)

    11. Visser

    12. Scott

    13. Dunbar (A bit early but definetly sometime in the near future we need to be looking to fast track Mark Bennett in)

    14. Jones (Why is everyone chucking out Jones for Seymour?! Jones crushed any doubts about his defence at weekend. Solid)

    15. Hogg

    Cant think of a full reserves bench but here are some other players to consider:


  • Comment number 33.

    A great result for Edinburgh! but PLEASE don't let's bitch about comparing Pro12 with HK, or Glasgow v Edinburgh. Let's celebrate a great performance and look forward to the semi, and roar on Glasgow to the play-off place.

    No more naval-gazing JB, we need to grow up!

  • Comment number 34.

    no navel-gazing either :)

  • Comment number 35.

    Sorry John . Just don't see one good reason to have another ' InterCity' match.
    It's been a long hard season for these guys plus there is a tour coming up
    ' Jedexpat'@ 33 puts it perfectly for me !!!!

  • Comment number 36.

    Congratulations to Edinburgh, fantastic win. Thank god that neither Medard nor Clerc were fit as both replacement wings Toulouse wings were so poor. As Stephen Jones in his article in the Sunday Times said neither could have caught a cold on the day!

    As for another Edinburgh versus Glasgow game, I don't think so. Nor do I beleive that it woiuld fill the stadium. Previous games have attracted nothing like the numbers. I, for one, live near Inverness and only came to the game with my three sons because it was the Heineken Cup quarter final and the attraction of seeing one of the very top European Club sides. Good as Edinburgh were and fully deserving of their victory, Toulouse were very poor and a big disappointment for those "neutrals" wishing to see them at their best.

    Good luck to Edinburgh in their semi final with Ulster.If they play as well as they did against Toulouse then see no reason why they cannot make it to the final!!

  • Comment number 37.

    An excellent game from Edinburgh and a real shot in the arm for the game after a thoroughly disappointing 6 Nations campaign. I felt the lads on Saturday dug really deep especially when they went down to 13 (still think Chunks first card was ridiculous considering there were no previous warnings and Toulouse had been coming in from the side several times previous, no complaints about Rennie but then again it possibly wouldn't have happened had we had 15 men on the field) men to keep themselves in the game before coming back to clinch the win. The crowd were excellent in the closing minutes and helped them cross the line, but it worked both ways. The crowd started off well but after the cards sunk into an almost 'here we go again' Scotland depression but the team showed some real heart which encouraged the crowd to get behind them.

    Which is more important the league or the HK, think most would agree the HK is were the kudos is but that's not to say the league is without merit. Knockout rugby is were the pressure really mounts and is possibly the closest in terms of intensity a club player can get outside of international games. Incidently I feel this year Edinburgh have treated tyhe league more as a blooding ground for the newer/younger players, stand to be corrected not making it to as many games as I'd like but generally in the league games I have rarely seen what you could claim to be a full strength side like the one from Saturday put out week in, week out. Possibly Bradley is looking to get some more experience into the squad for the years to come, not a bad think in my eyes given the one true advantage that Glasgow have is a strength in depth Edinburgh don't at the moment appear to have.

    As for a final Edin vs Glas game? No point to it the crowd wouldn't be big enough and again we've already seen it this year. However why not an exhibition game up north and down in the borders? Or even a select from the League taking on an Edin/Glas combined team. Get more people interested around the country and also guage the posibility of raiseing a 3rd district/ development side in the north. Got to be a consideration with the state Airioni have found themselves in.

  • Comment number 38.

    The cup is clearly more important, as demonstrated with the crowd on Saturday and being part of it I have to say the SRU did well with the entertainment, it had the feel of an international. It was also the first Edinburgh game that I have attended – I generally tend to either be coaching / playing or watching the Junior sides which brings me to my point; summer rugby.

    Why can the armature sides not move over to summer rugby, yes of course we go in direct competition with cricket but do the benefits for increased skill and fan basis not outweigh this?

    On the subject of another Glasgow / Edinburgh game. We seem to have been down this path with limited public interest, how about a state of origin game come the end of the year East v West? Works for RL.

  • Comment number 39.

    As an Englishman who had 3 very happy years working in Edinburgh I was delighted by their great win on Saturday. Just the shot in the arm that Scottish rugby needed.

    @22 Alan Rhead I am a bit confused by your comment that the lack of success of English teams in this tournament is down to their greed in wanting to participate in too many tournaments. How do you define success? Northampton were finalists last year! I think the lack of success this year is simply down to the fact that the English teams were beaten by better teams on the day. The dilution you refer to is in the fact that there are so many English teams as compared to the Celtic teams so the top English stars are spread over a number of teams whereas Scotland's best are in the two pro teams, Ireland's predominantly in Munster and Leinster and Wales' predominantly in Cardiff, Osprey's, Scarlets. With the qualification process as it is the English teams have to slug it out in the premiership every year for the right to qualify for HC whereas the Celtic nations by virtue of their team allowance - Wales 3, Ireland 3, Scotland 2 , will have the same teams (Munster, Leinster, Edinburgh, Glasgow etc.) qualifying every year thus building up plenty of HC experience. This must surely give them an advantage over the English and French teams.

    I find any tournament that pits club sides against Regional teams to be unfair and flawed. Also how is it fair that semi finals are not held in neutral countries! Great rugby in HC but a flawed tournament.

    In the absence of an English team I shall be rooting for Edinburgh!

  • Comment number 40.

    Well done Edinburgh. I see Ulster are already saying they can win the cup before the semi final. Lets make them think again.

    However, Chances of Glasgow winning the league pre play offs, 0. If Aironi weren't there, Edinburgh would be propping up the table.

    There are two issues. For the good of the Scotland team we need both teams in the top have of the Rabo Pro 12 and getting out oftheir heineken cup groups. Ialso believe we need another two regions, as was the original plan.

    Secondly, neither Edinburgh or Glasgow have enough strength in depth. Whe the international players disappear for the six nations or the autumn internationals our sides are horrendously weak. Surprisingly, this affected Edinburgh worse than Glasgow this year, given the teams league positions before the tournament.

    The Ulster side is filled with South Africans so when the Irish international contingent go there is cover. The same is true for most of the teams in Wales and Ireland. The SRU need to put their hands in their pockets and bring in a few ringers, or we need to develop youth fast.

  • Comment number 41.

    38. You answered your own question. Certainly in Edinburgh, and I am sure it is the same in other areas, Rugbly clubs share their grounds with cricket clubs. In Edinburgh all the publuc school grounds are changed over to cricket in the summer (although in three cases not the first team pitch). So does Trinity, Haddington Peebles etc, etc. Smellies pitch is turned into an athletics ground for annual Highland games. There just aren't the pitches to go round. Club rugby isn't just about first teams, it is abouth youth games and reserve team games.

  • Comment number 42.

    @ #39 Numbnuts - In response to your question about the neutral venues for semi finals to my knowledge the venues for the semis & the finals are pre-picked prior to the competition getting underway just the way the draw has worked out that we've ended up with one in France with a french tem in it and another in Ireland with Ulster in it. Always going to be a risk given the nature of the competion with a limited number of nations participating and that have suitable rugby stadiums large enough to host a semi-final or final.

    As an aside I think the English teams this year have struggled in trying to adapt their games accordingly to the European games. Saracens were a prime example in that they have used they're forward dominance in the league to bully teams into submission however against Clermont this wasn't the case and they failed to change their gameplan accordingly. Currently I find Aviva Premiership to be quite an attritional league were teams grind each other down in comparisson to the Rabo12 or French league where it's a little more open and flowing.

  • Comment number 43.

    One off wins, means nothing unless there is a trophy at the end of it (aka Andy Murray how many Grand Slam finals and 0 wins). Same for Glasgow, if they make the playoff's good no them but unless they win it, it means nothing in the end. You don't remember who came second!!!!!! Can you tell me who was runner up in the Scottish National Cup in 2009? Unless it was your team you couldn't!!!!!

  • Comment number 44.

    With no breaks for most of the top players since last season because of the WC an extra club match would be plain Stupid. Not one of your better ideas. But I suppose not your worst.

  • Comment number 45.

    In my opinion the Heineken Cup will always take precedence while Six Nations games are played at the same time as league games, which clearly undermines the league as it's best players aren't available.

    Hopefully Edinburgh's win will give Scottish rugby the shot in the arm it needs and will prove to Glasgow too that they belong among the elite of European club rugby. It has to be said though that Toulouse were poor. Despite their array of stars...they continued to kick the leather out of the ball whenever Lionel Beauxis received the ball. I think Edinburgh might find it tougher against Ulster in the semis.

    There's a dumptackle review of all the Heineken Cup action on the link below!

  • Comment number 46.

    If Edinburgh progress it could, just could be the start of something for Scottish rugby, but there's a long way to go to reconnect the grassroots with the pro game, and to hopefulyl get another pro team going.

    '40.At 11:12 10th Apr 2012, philmus wrote:
    Well done Edinburgh. I see Ulster are already saying they can win the cup before the semi final.'

    Really philmus, who's been saying that? I had heard the Munster coach back Ulster to win the Heineken Cup, but not anyone from the Ulster camp.

  • Comment number 47.

    @42 Midas_child thanks for your response. Yes I had assumed semi final venues were pre determined. Nevertheless I still think it is unfair! I agree with you re Saracens comments entirely and also your comments re Aviva. Pretty turgid stuff some of the time!

  • Comment number 48.

    The cup will naturally generate more hype and if you survive in to the later stages, your season will be seen as a success. Had Edinburgh gone out earlier how would they look now as their league form has been poor. So does being able to get yourself motivated for these big games mean more than a Friday night game in Cardiff. Results gained on a cold December night, in the pouring rain are just as note worthy, just not headline grabbing.
    To that end, Glasgow in my mind have been the much better side all round and Sean Lineen and his team have worked wonders. They look set for a good 2012-13 season and Gregor Townsend must be feeling confident. He should be, someone else has done a lot of hard work before him!

  • Comment number 49.

    Yes BigMouth lets hope Glasgow can have a good next season and get out of the HC group stages for the first time in 2012-2013. Scottish Rugby needs two not one team of winners at this level i.e. considerably higher than the Pro 12. I feel Glasgow aquit themselves pretty well as the second Scottish team and would attract better attendances, particularly from families, if they moved from their current bomb site ground. Also Lineen seems to have been poorly treated unless there is some grand plan we mere mortals have not been informed of yet

  • Comment number 50.

    As the second Scottish team, Glasgow have done very well. It's a pity the first Scottish team haven't done so well - not winning a match since 14th September 2011. It's also good the third Scottish team have had a couple of flukey wins and find themselves in a semi-final in Dublin.


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