David Denton has compared Edinburgh Rugby’s 1872 Cup win over arch-rivals Glasgow to the pleasure taken from a 2012 European Cup quarter-final victory over Toulouse.
Until last Friday’s 20-8 triumph which enabled Edinburgh to overhaul a first-leg deficit and take the silverware on aggregate, Scotland No.8 Denton had never been on a winning team against the men from the opposite end of the M8.
But that all changed thanks to a couple of Tim Visser tries and some accurate goal-kicking from Sam Hidalgo-Clyne at BT Murrayfield last Friday and Denton said: “It is a special feeling that ranks right up there with the Toulouse game and one I won’t forget for a long time.”
The pain of having to watch Glasgow step up and receive the accolades every year since 2011 was explained by Denton, who said: “I can’t tell you how many memories of them lifting the cup at the end of these games I have had to endure.
“Too often we have been competitive and then they have got away from us at the death.
“That’s what makes this particular win all the sweeter.”
Denton insisted there was no shortage of motivation.
“Winning the trophy is something we have focused on for the past year, if not the past few years,” he said.
“Solly (coach Alan Solomons) really emphasised how important this game is to the team.
“A lot of people who have been writing us off shouldn’t have and it was nice to prove them wrong.”
Edinburgh lost the first leg 16-6 at Glasgow and Denton, still finding his way back to match fitness after a delayed start to the campaign followed by a shoulder knock, admitted: “It hurt us that they were thinking they came out on top physically in the first match and we came out to set that right.”
The fixture brought a record crowd for an Edinburgh league game of 15,810 – surpassing the previous best of 13,246 for the same fixture in 2011-12.
The attendance was also well in advance of the 10,125 who turned up last season and Denton feels there is plenty to build on.
“For us to have a crowd like that and repay them for their loyalty is an incredible feeling,” he said. “We want to get as big a crowd as we can, to tap into the rugby city that Edinburgh is.
“You see the hoo-ha in the Six Nations and other Scotland games and there is an opportunity for this club to get into that.
“We have got to get the performances on the field and the guys can do the marketing behind the scenes.
“The crowd number was outstanding and the fans have been brilliant in a really up-and-down season.
“It must have been hard for them to see the inconsistencies in our selections because of the injuries we have had.
“We have not been able to field a team consistently and that has affected our results.”
Edinburgh led 20-3 at half-time and Denton acknowledged that a balance had to be struck between protecting a lead and going all out to secure the spoils.
He said: “We tried not to think about the margin too much, but it does creep into your head.
“There is a risk of coming out and playing too conservatively but our half backs, Greig (Tonks) and Sammy (Hidalgo Clyne) managed the game really well.”
After a couple of days being allowed to savour the result, Edinburgh returned to camp yesterday and are firmly focused on overcoming Connacht in Galway on Friday.
“Connacht are going to be tough to beat especially after defeating Munster recently, but we have momentum and a happy camp.”