Matt Scott: Edinburgh can make the top four

Dougie Fife, Matt Scott, Michael Allen, Damien Hoyland and Alex Toolis with the 1872 Scottish Cup
Dougie Fife, Matt Scott, Michael Allen, Damien Hoyland and Alex Toolis with the 1872 Scottish Cup
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Edinburgh centre Matt Scott believes they can target a top-four place in the Guinness PRO12 following their double triumph over champions Glasgow.

Phil Burleigh’s late try helped Edinburgh to a 14-11 win over a dominant Glasgow side at BT Murrayfield on Saturday evening.

Edinburgh had previously won their home game 23-11 before the second leg of the 1872 Cup – named in honour of the two sides’ meeting in the first ever inter-district match – was switched from a waterlogged Scotstoun pitch.

The victories have moved Alan Solomons’ side into fourth spot, four points behind leaders Scarlets and five ahead of Glasgow.

Scott admitted recent victories have been a massive boost to confidence.

“We got two wins on the bounce, that is eight points in the league and that has fairly shot us up into the top four which is fantastic. Better than when we won the first game and lost the second last year. We are definitely making improvements and we deserved to win over the two games.

“We knew they would come out at 100 miles an hour, their fans were excellent and I felt they really had the wind in their sails. The defence has been our mainstay and we have conceded the fewest tries in the league so we know if we can keep them out then we would win.

“We nullified all their big threats. They threw everything at us in the first half and they were only two points up at half-time yet we had hardly won a line-out or any possession or territory. I knew if we started winning our line-outs, eventually we won a few near the end, it would make massive inroads to win. The most important thing is the league points and it gives us momentum coming into Treviso and then European games.”

Scott insisted that Edinburgh have shed the “wee team mentality” that has afflicted them these last few seasons and paid tribute to his coach Solomons for helping them do so.

“Since Alan has come in he has done a really great job with the club and we are heading in the right direction,” said Scott. “At the start he built the foundations, and yeah, we were not playing flashy rugby but he was a big believer if we built a strong foundation the club would grow from there and we certainly have got that.

“When I first joined we almost had a new coach every year, new set of ideas, new set of philosophy. Now the team is comfortable with the way we want to play, the way we want to defend. It was not a perfect performance and we are not playing perfect rugby but we are getting these wins. Who knows what could happen? We could finish top four with the squad we have.”

Glasgow found Edinburgh’s defence difficult to break through and their two-point lead at half-time – helped by Mark Bennett’s try – was scant reward for their pressure.

But Warriors have a chance to move on from the smash-and-grab defeat when they return to European Champions Cup action on Saturday when they face Racing 92 in a match originally postponed in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

Head coach Gregor Townsend said: “Obviously, we wanted to play at Scotstoun. We’re just an hour away and the supporters showed what great supporters they are by coming out in numbers and creating a great atmosphere.

“It wasn’t ideal but we’ve had two games already postponed the way the weather’s been and for the next few weeks you don’t know if there are going to be more games postponed.

“We had done enough in the first half to kick on and win back the trophy but we didn’t do that in the second half and that’s what we’ve got to address.”

Scorers:

Glasgow: Try: Bennett. Pens: Weir (2)

Edinburgh: Try: Burleigh. Pens: Hidalgo-Clyne (3)

Glasgow: Hogg, Naiyaravoro, Bennett (Murchie 73), Horne, Lamont (Jones 53); Weir, Price (Hart 68); Reid (Grant 58), Brown (Mamukashvili 68), Fagerson (Puafisi 53), Peterson, Gray (Capt), Wilson, Fusaro (Nakarawa 59), Strauss (Blake 35).

Edinburgh: Cuthbert, Fife, Allen, Scott, Hoyland; Burleigh, Hidalgo-Clyne; Sutherland (Dell 68), Ford (Cochrane 34), Nel (Andress 68), Bresler, B Toolis (A Toolis 58), Coman (Capt), Hardie, Du Preez.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU).

Crowd: 8000.