1872 Cup was dismissed as ‘gravy bowl’ by Richard Cockerill but Darcy Graham is hungry for success
While disappointed that fans will be absent for the festive double header, Graham stressed that it was business as usual for the Edinburgh players as they look to continue the form that has lifted them to second place in the United Rugby Championship.
URC points are also at stake when the sides meet at Scotstoun on Monday and the DAM Health Stadium on January 2.
For Cockerill, league points always took priority over domestic silverware but Graham holds the old trophy in higher esteem than the former coach, who was replaced by Mike Blair in the summer.
“Cockers called it the gravy bowl!” laughed Graham. “He was never that interested in winning it, he was more for the league but it’s really nice to win. There’s a lot of history behind it and as a club we want to win it.
“It was disappointing to lose it but it’s also league points and we need them - that’s what we’re really after.
“We’ve had a really good start to the season and it’s about building on that. The games we’ve played are past now and it’s about looking forward. We’ve got a huge bloc - Glasgow back to back, Cardiff Blues and then Ospreys, going into the international break. So those four games are massive and we need as many points as we can to put us in good footing going into the rest of the season.”
Graham spoke with typical honesty earlier in the season about how much he hated playing in empty stadiums during the initial lockdown and the news that fans will again be absent has come as a blow to the Scotland international.
“It is very disappointing,” he said. “I thought we were past that stage and we’d overcome it but obviously not. It’s very difficult times we’re in just now and I think everybody’s a bit fed up with it and just want life to go back to normal but for the time being it is what it is and we’re just going to have to get on with it.”