1872 Cup: Grant Gilchrist calls for fairer contest at scrum time

Edinburgh lock believes set piece could be key for his side as they bid to hit back from last week's defeat

Grant Gilchrist
Grant Gilchrist is expected to retain his place at lock in the Edinburgh side to face Glasgow on Saturday. Image: ©INPHO/Craig Watson.

EDINBURGH lock Grant Gilchrist believes that his team could gain the upper hand in Saturday’s 1872 Cup match provided they are allowed to scrummage properly. Glasgow appeared to have the edge in the set piece last week, when they won 20-16 and tighthead Zander Fagerson was named man-of-the-match. But Gilchrist thinks there was not an entirely fair contest in the set-piece, and urged the match officials to take a closer look at what is going on this week.

“I don’t know what happened, but I felt frustrated,” he said. “We wanted to scrum, but we spent all day on the ground. We didn’t get a scrum battle all day.

“I wouldn’t exactly call it dominance,” the second-row forward continued when asked to assess Fagerson’s performance. “He was just flopping to the ground every time and the ref was having to guess, or it certainly looked like that’s what was happening.

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“If you watch our games in the lead-up to this, we don’t have many scrums go to the ground. We wanted to scrum and we feel frustrated that it was going to ground.

“It takes two to tango, I know that as much as the next person, but we need to get it sorted out. We want a battle, the crowd want a battle – they don’t want to see scrums going to the deck every time.

“We wanted a contest – we feel like we didn’t manage to get that. We’ll look at ourselves first, we’re not going to go complaining and crying to anyone. We’ll look at what we can do to stop that. I think that will be important.”

Accuracy key

Having expressed that dissatisfaction, Gilchrist also accepted that some of the things that went wrong for Edinburgh at Scotstoun were his own team’s fault. “We need to be more accurate on the whole,” he continued. “You can’t fault the effort – we were right in the game. At key times we made errors, whether that’s dropping the ball or not being strong in contact.

“For us it feels like one that got away – we were right in that game and we’re bitterly disappointed we didn’t come away with the win, because we back ourselves to be better than that. I think it’s clear that if we tidy up a few things we weren’t a million miles away.

“We work hard at our set-piece and I thought we were strong at the line-out. We’ve got a great hooker and we’ve got some really good jumpers – we put them under pressure as well which was pleasing, but the only thing that matters to me is coming away with the win and we didn’t manage to do that, so across the board we need to be better.”

Home comforts

More than 20,000 tickets have now been sold for Saturday, meaning the crowd will be at least three times bigger than at Scotstoun, a factor which Gilchrist hopes will be in his side’s favour.

“We just hope that the Edinburgh public see enough in us to come and support us next weekend. I’m sure they will and I’m sure they’ll create a great atmosphere for us to play in. We love playing at Murrayfield – that’s clear by our form – we’ll take on anyone there.

“We took a point [last week]. It’s not what we [hoped] for, but it could be important come the end of the season. If we win on Saturday, we’re still right in the hunt. We’ll be working hard this week and making sure that we’re in the best possible shape to go and do that.”

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About Stuart Bathgate 1038 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.


  1. Gilchrist knows fine what was happening, he was just being polite by not outright calling Fagerson a cheat. By the end of the first half the ref had finally caught on to what was going on and the scrums became more of a contest. Second game with the refs fully in the know it was a very different story.

  2. Gilchrist is thick as well as stupid. Doesn’t know what happened, but feels clued up enough to comment. Can’t accept that Fagerson mullered the fat Yarpie

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