Gregor Townsend: My merry gentlemen could rest before capital crunch

I AM pleased for the players that, as a result of our 23-14 win over Edinburgh last Friday night, we had no need to cancel Christmas.

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Peter Murchie signed a new deal at Glasgow Warriors this week
Peter Murchie signed a new deal at Glasgow Warriors this week

The guys came in for a review of the match and a recovery session last Sunday and we trained again on Monday.

But the boys then had a couple of days off on Christmas Day and yesterday to be with their families. They deserve it.

I was really pleased with the way we started the first leg of the 1872 Cup at Scotstoun. We brought a level of physicality that was pleasing and was exactly what I was looking for.

But there are definitely parts of the game we can improve on – taking our opportunities when we are in a position to score, for instance.

On a couple of occasions last Friday night we were on their line and ended up turning the ball over. In the third quarter of the game, too, we let our standards go down.

Apart from a couple of minor things, though, I was pretty satisfied with how we acquitted ourselves and we will go into the next game with our RaboDirect Pro12 rivals at Murrayfield on Saturday confident of getting another result and retaining our trophy.

We want to select a team on its merits at the same time as rewarding players who show effort and form.

There is a lot of competition at the moment and we are going to have to think long and hard about who should be playing, but that is an enviable position to be in.

To be honest, I absolutely love having these big games to look forward to at this time of year. I like the British culture of having a lot of matches, whether it be in football or rugby, over the festive period.

People aren't working and they come out to games in large numbers to see us play. I am sure there will be an even bigger crowd at Murrayfield on Saturday than there was at Scotstoun.

Hopefully, we can produce an entertaining spectacle that will encourage them to return to see us in the future.

Moray Low sat out training earlier this week. He went over on an ankle in last week's match and also has a slight knee strain, but we are expecting him to be fine for Saturday.

As I say, we performed very well, by and large, in the first leg of the 1872 Cup. But I would expect Edinburgh to be better in the rematch through in the capital.

They are a dangerous team and I am sure they will look to take advantage of the wide open spaces at Murrayfield.

The national stadium has one of the best playing surfaces in the country and it is perfect for expansive, running rugby

Having said that, we are no slouches in that department either, and will be looking to use the width of the pitch to our advantage as well. I would hope we can be more than competitive.

Elsewhere, I am delighted Peter Murchie has put pen to paper on a new deal. He has enjoyed an excellent season and has been involved in most of the games.

He has worked really hard in the last few months and has improved most areas of his game, and increased his physicality out on the park.

His kicking and running game have come on and his passing has been very consistent. It is positive for Glasgow Warriors that he sees his long-term future here with us.

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