How Glasgow Warriors beat Edinburgh with help from the horn of a passing train

Edinburgh's Nic Groom, left, and Mike Willemse cut dejected figures after the narrow defeat by Glasgow. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNSEdinburgh's Nic Groom, left, and Mike Willemse cut dejected figures after the narrow defeat by Glasgow. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
Edinburgh's Nic Groom, left, and Mike Willemse cut dejected figures after the narrow defeat by Glasgow. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
Glasgow Warriors got their season back on track with the help of a passing train driver at Scotstoun.

Home coach Danny Wilson was delighted with his side’s narrow 23-22 win over Edinburgh, even if he was left a little perplexed by the strange endings to each half.

Edinburgh were leading 10-6 with 30 seconds of the first period remaining with visiting scrum-half Nic Groom inexplicably booted the ball into touch.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The South African mistook the horn from a train chugging past Scotstoun’s North Stand for the half-time buzzer, as is used in southern hemisphere rugby.

From the resulting lineout, Glasgow went on to win a penalty which Ross Thompson despatched to reduce the arrears to a single point at the interval.

Three minutes earlier, Edinburgh had taken the lead for the first time in the match through Jamie Farndale’s try and the Groom error halted the visitors’ momentum

“I dropped the train driver a WhatsApp and told him to make sure he smashes that horn when he drives past!” joked Wilson after the game.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Richard Cockerill, his opposite number, was understandably less amused.

“He thought that the train’s horn was the half-time horn, which he’s used to from the southern hemisphere even though he’s been here a couple of years,” said the Edinburgh coach of Groom’s error.

“It was a bit frustrating, because we had managed a good score and were looking to go in further ahead at half-time, but we give them free territory for no reason and end up being punished. We conceded three points and lost by one.

“It’s not Groomy’s fault, but it’s those tiny moments, and there were lots of them in the first 20 minutes after half-time as well, where we didn’t look after the ball well enough and didn’t do the basics well enough.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Glasgow scored second-half tries through Matt Fagerson and George Turner, and although Edinburgh replied with tries from Chris Dean and Eroni Sau it was not enough.

Glasgow’s win levelled the three-match inter-city 1872 Cup series at one win apiece but not everyone realised there is another game to play, meaning the ending to the second half was as bizarre as the first.

Rather than kick the ball into touch, Glasgow continued to attack even though the 80 minutes were up and eventually won a penalty. Thompson, man of the match on his first start for the Warriors, missed and the game was over. But it later emerged that the Glasgow players thought they needed the extra three points to win the 1872 Cup on aggregate.

“The frightening thing was that, a few weeks ago, it was mentioned that this game could be played over two legs,” explained Wilson. “Ryan Wilson [the Glasgow captain] got wind of that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“In his mind it was over two legs. I took it for granted that everyone still knew it was over three legs. It’s always been over three games these last few years since I’ve been in Scotland.

“So I’m looking at it thinking: ‘What are we doing?’ Then we’re trying to play phase after phase and I’m screaming at them to kick it into the stand.”

No harm was done and Wilson was able to savour a victory that takes his side off the bottom of Conference A in the Guinness Pro14.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.