Cockerill - It was a fiercely contested game

Cockerill - It was a fiercely contested game

​Head Coach Richard Cockerill admitted that Glasgow Warriors did enough to win last night’s 1872 Cup opener, but was left frustrated with the number of cards handed out in the 20-16 defeat at Scotstoun.

Five players were shown yellow cards throughout the back-and-forth contest, while the capital side’s Stuart McInally, Bill Mata and Nic Groom were all sent to the bin leaving Edinburgh on the wrong end of the card count come 80 minutes.

“It was a fiercely contested game. It could have gone either way and they’ve probably done just enough to edge the game,” said Cockerill.

“I think Glasgow deserved to win, the scoreboard suggests it, doesn’t it? It was a very tight, niggly game, it could have gone either way.

“I’m going to have to watch it again to see all the detail of what went on. A lot of yellow cards, lot of penalties, and we got the wrong end of the yellow-card count, so frustrating.”

With the match tied 6-6 at the break, both sides swapped possession and leads with Ali Price and Blair Kinghorn trading back-to-back scores.

The hosts capitalised on Groom’s late yellow however to eventually power over for the go-ahead score with just six minutes remaining on the clock.

“It was one of the nicest games physically I’ve been involved in around derby games. I’m not sure what Bill Mata went to the bin for - we were winning the penalty count quite comfortably at that point, but he seemed to go to the bin very quickly.

“Stu McInally’s was probably a penalty only - it’s a rugby incident all day long. You want to look after player safety but I’m not sure what Stu’s meant to do there apart from not get involved, so it’s a tough one. And I’m not sure what happened with Nic Groom right at the end.”

With Groom in the bin, and Pyrgos off after failing an HIA, Darcy Graham was forced to in at scrum-half for the final five minutes of action.

And despite being down a man, the capital side continued to drive for the Glasgow whitewash and could have very easily re-taken the lead had it not been for some heroic last-ditch defence from the Glasgow pack.

“We had the lineout at the end and got the penalty to put them under pressure, but we’ve got no 9 and that affects you from Nic Groom’s yellow card,” continued Cockerill.

“We were in it to the death and we weren’t quite good enough to get over the line to win the game. So, we take the point. We’ve come a long way from two and a half years ago. From the reaction of the crowd it was like a cup final to them.”

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