SOME games are poor enough to be quickly forgettable: others, still worse, are memorable for merely being so bad. For an hour and more on Saturday, the first game of the season between Edinburgh and Glasgow threatened to fit into the latter category before a late flurry of points saw it achieve mediocrity.

There was no faulting the players for effort in the home team’s 10-7 win at BT Murrayfield, and the defences can be proud of the shifts they put in. But there are always factors such as familiarity which tend to prevent these derbies becoming classics, while the fact that both teams had had enforced rests in the previous weeks meant that there was inevitably going to be some rustiness on show.  

Yet if there is a quality that sums up Richard Cockerill’s Edinburgh it is pragmatism, and they showed it here to win just their third PRO14 game of the season. The head coach was candid enough to admit he had not been hugely entertained by the game’s first, scoreless 65 minutes, but insisted that getting the victory was more important than any aesthetic considerations.

“If it had been 0-0 I’d have been emailing Premier Sports to get my subscription back,” the head coach said. “It was going to be tiny margins, wasn’t it? And we managed to win the tiny margins eventually.

“That’s the one thing that we’re learning to do: even when  it’s ugly, we’re winning games. We had lost that a little bit, but the last two games we found ways to win against good sides.

“We did enough to win the game and credit to the players. I thought their attitude all week to training and getting into the mix of everything was fantastic.

“I’m a bit disappointed at letting them in at the end. We can be a bit smarter around the breakdown, and giving soft penalties away allowed them into our half. There’s a bit of improvement to be done, for sure, but I’m not going to be too disappointed when the players find a way to win a game.”

By the time Edinburgh did let Warriors lock Lewis Bean in for a try which Ross Thompson converted, they had got into double figures. First a Jaco van der Walt penalty ensured the game would not be pointless, then Magnus Bradbury came off the bench to touch down, with the stand-off adding the conversion. Repeated viewings suggested to some that the substitute had not grounded properly, but the officials had seen enough to give the score.

Having had to fight back in their last outing against Sale before winning, Edinburgh were on top against their national rivals well before they scored their 10 points. Bradbury interpreted that fact as evidence of improvement, but accepted that his team will have to keep on getting better if they are to record the seasonal double against Glasgow when the teams meet again at Scotstoun.

“That wasn’t the perfect game by any means, but that game which has been rescheduled for Friday is a huge opportunity for us to improve again against the same, difficult opposition,” he said. “There were aspects of this match which were good, but a lot of it wasn’t perfect, so we’ll look at it on Monday and see what we can improve.

“Cockers, in particular, says that 90 per cent of the game is good but 10 per cent is when we lose concentration. So, getting that 10 per cent, or even an extra five per cent at the end, right is what is swinging those games in our favour. 

 “We’re getting the little things right, like nailing our exit strategy. For example, if we don’t nail that, it can really kill us as a team, so we’ve talked about those little things that can help lead us to the right result – and we’ve been getting those little things right more often than not, and that’s what has helped us get these results. 

 “A win is a win – that’s what we always say at the end of the day – so we’ll be quite happy with that. And Cockers has already said all that matters is that we get the result at the end of the day.”