Dynamic Mr Darcy can give Edinburgh an edge in 1872 derby return with Glasgow Warriors
Winger’s pace and all-round skills can tip the balance
He may have ended up on the losing side but after Saturday’s 1872 Cup clash at Scotstoun young Edinburgh wing Darcy Graham preferred to look for the positives rather than the negatives.
Another hot young prospect, Glasgow tighthead Zander Fagerson, may have been official man of the match, but Graham must have been mighty close after a dynamic display.
The 22-year-old has had a whirlwind few years in which he has gone from his home club Hawick to the Sevens set-up, established himself at Edinburgh and made a dazzling impact for Scotland on the Test stage, scoring five tries in 11 caps.
Picked for the World Cup squad, like many he went to Japan with high hopes, even talking about laying down a statement that he could be a future British and Irish Lion. It never quite clicked in the Far East. He featured in all four games but scored no tries and was exposed defensively at times.
That bruising experience seemed to have been well and truly put to bed going by his Scotstoun showing.
“I felt I was back to my old self out there. Looking for the ball and although I am disappointed with the result I enjoyed the game,” said Graham of Edinburgh’s 20-16 defeat in the first of the festive 1872 Cup double-header.
A man who can also cover full-back even added a new position to his CV when he filled in at scrum-half for the closing minutes after the yellow card – a fifth in the game for both sides – to substitute Nic Groom.
“It came on the radio for me to check in to scrum-half and that was a bit fun,” explained Graham. “My lungs were going in those last ten minutes. I’d never played there before, though I suppose I did at sevens.”
Graham was involved in the first yellow-carding of the evening when he was impeded by Glasgow full-back Ruaridh Jackson after skinning opposite number Kyle Steyn and chipping through.
“His leg got me pretty quick, one of those things,” he said.
“I was getting abuse [from the stands] after Jacko’s yellow card but I just laughed it off. There is a difference [for Edinburgh players at Scotstoun] but Glasgow’s Scotland boys know what it’s like to play at Murrayfield.”
So a positive evening in some ways but the ultra-competitive Graham never likes to lose.
“I am gutted,” he said. “Both teams went out hard and it was very close. It was pretty even the whole game but fair play to Glasgow. We have this week to put things right and we are looking forward to that challenge. Our game was going very well. Nothing is going to change going into this week.
“We get Christmas Day off and back in on Boxing Day. We knew what we signed up to!
“On Christmas Day I am going back down to Hawick to see the family and travel back up on Boxing Day.
“We have them again on Saturday and hope to put things right.”