Glasgow Warriors: Gregor Townsend content with derby win

James Eddie, DTH van der Merwe and Ruaridh Jackson celebrate
James Eddie, DTH van der Merwe and Ruaridh Jackson celebrate

Glasgow Warriors coach Gregor Townsend was happy simply to establish a healthy lead over Edinburgh after the first leg of the 1872 Cup at Scotstoun.

They failed to gain a bonus point for a fourth try in the 23-14 victory.

But Townsend told BBC Scotland: "There was stage when Edinburgh got to within six points. We just wanted over that seven-point cushion.

"I didn't think there would be three tries in this game and to get them in the first half was something special."

Townsend thought the heavy, wet conditions in Glasgow would prevent try-scoring.

"We saw the weather yesterday and the work they've done on this pitch is fantastic," he said before contemplating next Saturday's second leg in Edinburgh.

"We are really looking forward to playing at Murrayfield.

Townsend was delighted with the three tries scored by his side at Scotstoun
Townsend was delighted with the three tries scored by his side at Scotstoun

"Let's hope it's a dry night as we want to play rugby at the pace we showed in the first half."

DTH van der Merwe scored two tries, with Rob Harley grabbing the other, as a Niko Matawalu-inspired Warriors threatened to ensure the retention of the trophy after the first half of the first leg.

Edinburgh struck back after the break, but Townsend was pleased with the performance in a victory that also moves Glasgow into third in the Pro12 table ahead of Leinster and Munster.

"I thought our intensity was really good from the start of the game but also the pace on the ball, recognising space," he said.

"The try where Nico kicks it for DTH was an outstanding try and vision from DTH, calling that kick and then precision in the kick.

"I thought we defended really well at the end of the first half and we had two sequences where Edinburgh played a lot of rugby and we put in good tackles.

"We didn't defend as well at the start of the second half and Edinburgh got a bit more confidence, but I'm glad that the reaction in the last 20 minutes was positive when we were looking for that fourth try."

Townsend stressed that Edinburgh, who are seventh in the Pro12 after a disappointing first half of the season, were capable of a fightback in the second leg.

"I thought Greig Laidlaw was outstanding for Edinburgh and what a class player he is, playing at nine for the first time in a while," added Glasgow's coach.

"He made things tick and he saved them with a great tackle on Sean Maitland and almost scored himself.

"They were a dangerous team. They were certainly up for the game and came back well in the second half."