1872 Cup Preview

Rory BaldwinCorrespondent IDecember 24, 2009

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13:  Edinburgh flyhalf Phil Godman in action during the Heineken Cup Pool 4 match between Bath and Edinburgh at the Recreation Ground on December 13, 2009 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

It’s the first leg of the 1872 Cup this weekend, as matters turn parochial.

Brother on brother, blood on blood; Chris on Chris, Thom on Thompson, Brown vs Blair, DTH vs DC, Vernon vs Visser, Cross, Ross and Ross vs Dan, Dan, John and Johnnie, that sort of thing—basically civil war.

That sentence would have been a lot easier with Welsh names.

The first leg is in Glasgow, the second in Edinburgh, and it’s hard to see past the home teams in each fixture. Still, I have a sneaky suspicion that Glasgow will come out the better over two legs.

Edinburgh are struggling (as always) to find a cutting edge, and their attacking form seems to revolve around Godman, who is treading water at the moment, while Glasgow now seem to play all right, even when Parks is having one of his duff days—and even those have been rare recently.

While Edinburgh seem to be building a team based on familiarity and combinations, Glasgow seem to be building a team based on leadership (Barclay, Kellock, Cusiter, Thomson, Gregor, McMillan and Grey have all captained Scotland at age group, sevens or international level), and the team seems to be coming together from the increased confidence that brings.

Sean Lineen had seen the improvement in Edinburgh, and maybe realised he might be under threat if his team didn’t start living up to the promise of the squad he was building, having changed from a policy of duff foreigners to promising youngsters, and this season they seem to be repaying him.

The “inconsistent” tag still rears its ugly head every so often (second half at Gloucester) but this season they have started winning away, and they just look a lot more confident when their top lineup takes the field. Gallus, you might say.

More importantly: Who will the commentators be? Andy Nicol summarises for the Beeb, while Scott Hastings summarises AND commentates for Sky.

Given they both present on the STV highlights show, I would imagine they will be present, but as pundits, commentators or both? I would imagine it will be the two of them running back and forth between pitchside and commentary booth.

Let’s face it, STV is short of cash these days, so I doubt they can afford to draft in the legendary Runrig soundalike Andrew Cotter (just listen to that tune Murrayfield play at half time—you know, the one about Scotland), and he is probably manacled to the BBC.

Unless STV feels the spirit of Christmas past and signs up Doddie Weir’s all-conquering trousers…