Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill not worried that 1872 derby ref is a former Glasgow Warrior

Edinburgh coach wants players to carry out gameplan

Saturday, 28th December 2019, 6:00 am
Richard Cockerill was in a relaxed mood when facing the media

Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill has played down the fact that the referee of the pivotal second 1872 Cup clash is former player of Glasgow Warriors.

Mike Adamson, now Scotland’s top referee, may be a Stirlingshire boy but the former stand-off attended Glasgow University, played for Glasgow Hawks and had a two-year spell attached to the Warriors while mainly playing sevens and only made one competitive appearance for the pro team.

He takes the whistle for this afternoon’s match in front of a bumper BT Murrayfield crowd as Edinburgh look to level the three-match series following last weekend’s close 20-16 loss to Glasgow at Scotstoun.

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That first game was refereed by rookie 31-year-old Ben Blain, who brandished five yellow cards, and Cockerill insisted he was as relaxed about Adamson’s Warriors past as he was about Cumbrian SRU ref Blain being given the job last week despite only having a handful of senior professional matches under his belt.

“If you’re an inexperienced referee, it’s a bit like an inexperienced player, you have to have your first game somewhere,” said the Englishman.

“You can debate some of the decisions around the game last week but it’s a tough game to referee. It’s the nature of it. I’ve got no issues with either referee. If our bits were better, you take that bit of influence that the referee has out of it. It’s as simple as that. If we do that, we’re more than capable of winning.”

As for Glasgow counterpart Dave Rennie, the Warriors coach felt that Adamson’s past may have a flipside. “I actually think that works against us,” said the Kiwi. “It’s not easy for a ref when you’ve got an affiliation with one side. That’s why I prefer neutral. But, anyway...”

Edinburgh make three changes and Glasgow four from last weekend, with WP Nel back at tighthead for the home side.

“He’s got huge experience around the set-piece, both lineout and scrum and he tackles well, he cleans rucks well, he does the nuts and bolts very well,” said Cockerill.

“He’ll be 34 in the summer. Like all older players, we always want to manage the player so they can play.

“He’s come back from the World Cup with a calf issue, bizarrely from training away from us, he was just keeping fit and ended up pulling his calf. Last week he probably wasn’t ready an artificial surface.”

Edinburgh team to face Glasgow (today, 3pm): B Kinghorn; D Graham, M Bennett, G Taylor, D van der Merwe; S Hickey, N Groom; P Schoeman, S McInally (c), WP Nel, B Toolis, G Gilchrist, J Ritchie, H Watson, V Mata. Replacements: M Willemse, J Bhatti, S Berghan, L Carmichael, M Bradbury, H Pyrgos, J van der Walt, M Scott.