QUIETLY reflecting on Edinburgh's latest stuttering performance over a quick beer on Friday night, a colleague and I mused upon the possibility of Glasgow upsetting the odds and winning in Swansea.

My, how we chuckled as we considered the unlikelihood of our hapless countrymen coming up trumps at a ground where the average number of points conceded by Scottish sides over the last couple of years was just below 50.

The colleague in question had worked for many years in Wales and reckoned that, of all clubs, Swansea were traditionally toughest to beat at home.

That was odd, we thought, given their ground's unimposing nature, with the famous cricket square from which Gary Sobers launched his six 6s leaving one end open, far from the intimidating environment at the likes of Stradey Park, Llanelli, or The Gnoll, in Neath.

That Swansea had already lost at home this season, to Bridgend in their opening match, merely reinforced the unlikelihood of a Glasgow win.

I had spoken to Dennis John, the Bridgend coach, shortly after that, though, and had the result placed in true perspective as he pointed out that it was only the third time, man and boy, that he had won there in a 25-year playing and coaching career. In any case, that was in August when Swansea were still depleted. On Saturday the big guns were all back.

Furthermore, was it not an impeccable home record upon which Swansea based their Welsh/Scottish League title win last season, that and the fact that they alone won on both their visits to Scotland? Following upon the 59-point Hughenden defeat of Pontypridd then - a club which, incidentally, is highly unused to suffering that kind of thrashing - Glasgow's win at St Helen's will have reverberated around the valleys.

After two years of mocking of their efforts down there, expect the whingeing about the fact that Scotland are fielding representative sides to start again any day now.

The reality is that Glasgow are beginning to play like a club side, having formed a real sense of identity with a tight-knit squad over the past year or so.

Having set out to make Hughenden a fortress, they have lost only two competitive matches there - one of them to Edinburgh - in the past year.

Phase two was to become more formidable away from home and in this calendar year alone they have won at Llanelli, Newport, and now Swansea, as well as, perversely, across the country in Edinburgh.

It was Frank Hadden, Edinburgh's coach, who inadvertently put his finger on the difference between the two sides when saying before and after Friday's lacklustre performance against Caerphilly that lack of confidence was holding his team back. It is the latest manifestation of what is a national problem.Underneath the often gallus exterior, an inferiority complex is the Scot's worst trait.

I remember speaking to John Rutherford about it some years ago as one of the finest players ever to grace the dark blue admitted that, until the Grand Slam season of 1984, that great group of players did not realise how good they were.

What made the difference was the 1983 Lions tour, when several of them were able to measure themselves in training against their rivals from the three other countries.

This season follows another Lions tour which has seen the quality of Scotland's players questioned, yet in one of their few inspired moments the Lions management did recognise that Simon Taylor is the brightest young talent in British rugby.

Gordon Bulloch, meanwhile, was in the Lions Test dressing room and knows that even the supposed giants suffer from self-doubt and can be beaten.

Also contributing to that syndrome is players' portrayal on television.While English sportsmen, in particular, are boosted by being made to look heroically larger than life, our lads struggle to get a mention, though television coverage of the Scottish sides is at last improving.

Then again Hadden also made another valid point last week when suggesting that, with the facilities and technical support available to them, the Scottish teams are now making more rapid progress than their English and Welsh counterparts.

It will take time for that to come through, however, because they fell so far behind amidt the political maelstrom which saw Scotland dabbling with full-time professionalism while the English were throwing all the resources at their disposal, and quite a lot beyond their disposal, at the situation.

Of course, a win tomorrow night at Cardiff Arms Park, where they conceded 80 points last season, to keep their Celtic League hopes alive would be just the injection of confidence necessary to lift Edinburgh's game to a new level.

Once again, however, we are sceptical and wait in hope rather than anticipation, while also fearing that Glasgow are likely to revert to Scottishness by blowing their chances of qualification for the quarter-finals by losing at home to Ebbw Vale, Llanelli, or both this week. It would be lovely, though, to be proved wrong once again.