Danny Wilson breathed a sigh of relief as Glasgow survived a madcap derby with Edinburgh to banish their miserable end to 2020.
Warriors picked up just their third win of the season after edging out Richard Cockerill’s capital side 23-22.
Tries from Matt Fagerson and George Turner – as well as 13 points from 21-year-old stand-off Ross Thompson on his first professional start – were enough to propel the Scotstoun men off the bottom of the PRO14’s A Conference.
But only after two bizarre moments left everyone watching scratching their heads.
The first saw Edinburgh’s Nic Groom blunder when he kicked the ball to touch with 30 seconds left of the first period when he confused the horn from a passing train for the half-time buzzer.
It was a costly mistake as Thompson kicked a momentum-boosting penalty before the interval but Glasgow almost ran themselves into trouble at the end of the 80 minutes when they continued playing in the mistaken belief that this year’s 1872 Cup was a two-legged affair, set to be decided on aggregate points rather than a best-of-three series.
Wilson said: “For this group, it was important to get a win. There were a few frightening moments there towards the end.
“The frightening thing was that, a few weeks ago it was mentioned that this game could be played over two legs. Ryan Wilson got wind of that.
“I took it for granted that everyone still knew it was over three legs. So I’m looking at it thinking: ‘What are we doing?’ I was screaming at them to kick it into the stand while they felt like they still had to go for it.
“But this is a good win for us and we need to use it as a springboard moving forward.”
🚨 TRY 🚨
Two tries in quick succession for the Warriors, as George Turner scores the second ⚔️
— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) January 16, 2021
Cockerill’s side scored first through Jamie Farndale and looked to be mounting a late comeback when Chris Dean and Eroni Sau crossed over.
But Groom’s mistake and a late missed conversion from Jaco van der Walt saw Edinburgh come up short.
“We’re disappointed with the result,” said Cockerill. “But if Jaco kicks the conversion, are we are a better team than when he didn’t?
“There’s no responsibility on Jaco for missing that. We scored the first try but didn’t control the game well enough.
“There were a couple of mad minutes before half-time where we kicked the ball out for no reason. Nic thought the train’s horn was the half-time hooter, which he’s used to from the southern hemisphere.
“It was a bit frustrating. We conceded three points and lost by one. It’s not Groomy’s fault, but it’s those tiny moments, we didn’t do the basics well enough.”