David Denton hopes home record can count in derby

David Denton
David Denton
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In at least one respect, Edinburgh go into Friday’s return 1872 rugby cup clash against Glasgow at BT Murrayfield on an even footing.

It is a fact that both teams, for all their contrasting fortunes – second and eighth in the table respectively – have a record showing just one home defeat this season.

All right, Glasgow’s was against three-times European Cup winners Toulouse and by the slimmest of margins, while Edinburgh slipped up against traditional Irish makeweights, Connacht, and are playing in the second tier of Euro competition.

But close examination of respective records also shows that at the halfway stage of the Guinness PRO 12 campaign Edinburgh had scored more points at home than Glasgow – 133 as opposed to 118.

So, despite the vagaries of their performances and the growing criticism of an unadventurous style of play, there is cause to hope that Edinburgh might post their first victory in the fixture since 2011, even if prospects of overturning the 6-16 deficit from the opening leg are more forlorn.

Certainly, No.8 David Denton believes that familiarity breeds contentment, as told to Talksport rugby’s latest Full Contact programme.

“Home advantage makes a massive difference to us as players,” said Denton, adding: “In my experience, you feel more comfortable when you are at home because routines are the same as we have every other week leading up to a match.

“Our home crowd is always great too.

“It is always a bit different when you are at Murrayfield which is a 68,000 seater stadium but in the last few games the crowd has been outstanding.

Add in that Glasgow supporters will come in numbers and we expect a fierce fixture.”

Denton also believes that a shortening injury list will finally help Edinburgh’s team do justice to their talents.

“It has been tough for us. You don’t want to be involved in a squad that has an excuse culture but it is fair to say we have had a number of injuries.

“A month and a half ago we had 24 players unavailable due to injury and I have not been involved in a team with anything like that before.

“It’s been important for us building a squad and to lose by ten points to the number one team in the league is something we have taken forward.

“We put in a great performance against Treviso and did make a statement taking a lot of pride from that.

“(Now) we have almost all or our players back from injury and it’s nice to be out there with guys you see week in, week out.”

Friday’s match has huge significance for Denton who, despite 23 caps, has yet to play in a World Cup.

Last time round he made a Scotland debut in a warm-up match but failed to make then coach Andy Robinson’s final cut.

This time around he knows the first match of a World Cup year will offer a chance to put down an instant marker.

“The Scotland squad is looking very strong. I was coming back from injury in the Autumn so my involvement has been fairly limited.

“But strong competition for places breeds a winning environment.

“Vern Cotter is a world class coach who will make a big difference to this team and there is a confidence around the squad.

“It is a team that has been building for a long time and similar to my first involvement with a crop coming through aged around 24 and a lot of older players bringing that wealth of experience.”