Being separated from your local rivals is hard to take at the best of times but with so much riding on the match at Murrayfield, the defeat has caused an outpouring of anxiety and anger on social media.
In losing 28-11, Glasgow saw their 13-point lead from the first leg overturned as Edinburgh regained the 1872 Cup. Worse for the Warriors was the fact that the result meant the capital side finished above them in the United Rugby Championship and thus claimed the Scottish-Italian Shield and a place in next season’s Heineken Champions Cup.
This will be the first time since 2006-07 Glasgow Warriors will not take part in the main European club rugby competition.
Danny Wilsonthe Glasgow coach, who found himself in the cross of supporters, says he appreciates why they were upset, but believes he is still the man to promote the club.
He has a year left on his contract and insists that progress is being made despite some convincing evidence to the contrary.
“I understand that social media will respond to a derby loss when so much has been in the game,” he said. “I take responsibility as head coach that that was their game [the fans] and us [the squad] everyone is very disappointed to lose.
“But I also look at the fact that for 80 percent of this season, we’ve made some big strides and we’re in a really good position.
“The league is getting harder and harder with the South African sides in it, and we were the top four most of the year. The only two sides that beat us at home are the two sides that competed in the European Cup final, so our home record was outstanding this year.
“Where we need to improve is obviously to make games on the road – we do well in parts of games on the road but we don’t win those games consistently enough.
“And we had some good wins along the way – like Newcastle and Connacht in bad shape – but we just didn’t have enough of them.”
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Glasgow have won just three away games all season – the other was against Zebra – and the vagaries of fixed programming mean they have been traveling for almost two months.
The Warriors have not played at Scotstoun since April 1 and will have a sixth consecutive away game when they face Leinster in the URC quarter-final on Saturday.
With travel sickness such a thing, a trip to Dublin to face the four-in-a-row champions is not exactly what the doctor ordered. Wilson admits his team are underdogs but points to Glasgow’s victory over Leinster in the Rainbow Cup a year ago as proof of their opponents’ error.
“Leinster is quality clothing,” said the coach. “They wouldn’t be in the European Cup final and top of the league if they weren’t. And they have more depth than anyone else in the league.
“But I would also say we’ve beaten them and we’ve beaten them lately – the last game of last season here.
“So I think we have the squad and the ability to go there as underdogs and throw everything into that game. The boys have trained well this week and I know they will be happy to show that on the weekend after we may not have shown it against Edinburgh. . “
Wilson is in his second season in charge of the Warriors and believes he is on the right track. Elements of the club’s support remain convincing and it is impossible to move away from the fact that Glasgow – Pro14 finalists as recently as 2019 – is now a midfielder.
Asked if he felt confident that there would be an increase next season, Wilson said: “Yes, 100 percent. Right now we’re concentrating on those last 20-25 percent of the season when we didn’t get the results we needed to start. and become the top four team.We made the top eight after the 70-80 percent of the season when we played well and got some really good results, especially at home.
“I think we’ve seen Jack Dempsey, Sione Tuipulotu and Josh McKay add to the younger players and Rory Darge’s first full season with us. You have Murphy Walker and some of the younger guys getting started and we have another crop of recruiting done. It’s a stepping stone effect, you’ve been doing it for a period of time and I think our squad will be stronger next year.
“Ollie Smith is someone else who has established himself this year, so I think there are a lot of positives and we’re going in the right direction. But I also appreciate and accept that the last five games away from home have not given us the results and that is frustrating for us and the supporters. I understand that.
“I’ve been here for another year. Post that, we’ll obviously have to wait and see.
“The top end of the league is tight and difficult to get into. It means that any side in their day that is in those top eight can be dangerous. That goes for us as well.
“We have had some great victories in the past where we were subordinates. Defeating Exeter this season would be an example. We took La Rochelle close enough away from home as well. We beat Leinster at home last season when we were underdogs. So we proved that we can do it.
“But we’re not hiding from the last four or five games. We have to come back from that action against Edinburgh because it was not up to our standards. “