GLASGOW Warriors number 8 After the crushing 1872 Cup first leg loss to Edinburgh last weekend, Matt Fagerson believes the secret to turning things around is for his team to display once again the attacking flair that was once a trademark but has been noticeably missing in recent weeks.
For its lack of entertainment value, Saturday’s 10-7 loss to their city rivals was mocked from all directions. Winning head coach Richard Cockerill also said that he would have requested a refund from broadcaster Premier Sports on the basis of the first 70 minutes as a fan on the phone.
A few late attempts guaranteed a decent outcome, but those who saw the game won’t ever forget how uninspiring the whole experience was.
Fagerson stresses not to underestimate how difficult it was on the field out there, and says his team can take confidence from the way their rivals were physically matched. Now the intention is for the Warriors to inject even more offensive oomph into their game as they seek vengeance at Scotstoun in the second leg against Edinburgh.
“Maybe it wasn’t a spectacle for the fans, but I thought the scoring and the ruck-clears were pretty brutal and pretty quick,” the 22-year-old said. There was certainly a lot of positive stuff to take away, and hopefully this weekend we will get some hits on the offense.
At Scotstoun, we have a fantastic groundsman, so hopefully he’ll have the pitch sorted and ready to go. He’s very fast, so you’re going to see a lot more of the ball, which is obviously good, and hopefully we’re going to be able to get a little more of our hands on it.
We’ve got some great players on the wing, as well as some great athletes up front, including Scott Cummings, George Turner, and Tom Gordon. We have a lot of risks if we can get the ball into space.
In a game the Warriors won by just three points, Fagerson pointed out that a missed Warriors penalty on the half-hour mark and a dropped attempt with 10 minutes left gave Edinburgh a 10-point lead.
“They didn’t do anything to really put us under pressure,”They didn’t do anything to really put us under pressure.”So if we can get a few more shots off, get into their territory more and get our maul going, hopefully we can make it a more exciting game.”
The slow start of the season in Glasgow has been well recorded, but Fagerson maintains that the success of last weekend showed that progress is being made to ensure that the squad becomes a stronger all-round unit.
We are a great offensive team, but we need to be able to finish well and not position ourselves in our own half in a pit,” he explained. “That’s something we’ve been working on really much now, and in our own half, we’re all having a real feel for the game plan.
“The last few weeks – especially after the Exeter game [which the Warriors lost 42-0]– have been pretty harrowing,” he said. But the team that made the PRO14 final and the quarterfinals in Europe two years ago didn’t make a big difference, so we can’t use the excuse that the guys are gone, because we still have an amazing number of players.
“I just think that maybe we’re not playing together quite yet and we haven’t quite figured out the game plan, but we’re getting there and it’s not for lack of effort.”