GLASGOW coach Franco Smith labelled last night’s win over Edinburgh as his biggest result since taking charge of the team. The Warriors have now won five games in a row in all competitions, and although the South African insisted he would not waste any time counting the victories, he clearly believes his pre-season plan for the squad is beginning to pay dividends.

“We didn’t count the wins,” Smith said after his team’s 32-25 victory at BT Murrayfield. “It is about getting better every week, but we appreciate having the scoreboard in our favour.

“I’m glad for the club. All credit to the players and coaching group, they have been exceptional in this period.

“There were some decisions made in pre-season on how we want to approach the campaign and they have bought into the philosophy. We think there is a lot to work on but if you have this buzz in the changing room it will help.”

Glasgow were by far the better team in the second half - as they had to be after playing second fiddle for much of the first 40 minutes. “The first half showed that expectation is our enemy,” Smith continued. “There was a lot of expectation around us and I felt that drained our energy, so the quicker we get rid of the expectation around our next performance the better it will be.

“I’m really delighted for the boys. They made some sacrifices over the Christmas period. We had a plan and they stuck to it, and I thought the second half, the energy the boys brought from the side and the way they reacted from the half-time talk, was fantastic. We lacked a little of belief and one or two things said at half-time helped us align again.”

While George Horne enjoyed in a sparking cameo performance off the bench with some late scores, Sione Tuipulotu was once more man of the match after an all-round display which epitomised the fighting qualities that enabled his squad to get on top of the contest. “I’m glad for Sione - he really stepped up,” Smith added. “It was a tough pre-season, as it was for most of the guys, but he kept on going and the continuity he has got with playing a couple of games helped with his performance tonight.”

Besides beating Edinburgh twice to reclaim the 1872 Cup, Glasgow have also defeated Bath, Perpignan and Zebre in their current run of wins. If they are to stretch their winning sequence to six, however, they will probably have to play even better than they have done up to now, as their next match is against the Stormers, the URC champions, on Sunday 8 January.

“We’ve got the Stormers coming – they are the champions of this competition – and it is going to be a tough afternoon if we don’t find our feet immediately,” Smith accepted. “With them being the favourites, it will be good.”

For their part, Edinburgh have now won only one of their last six games in all competitions - the Champions Cup tie against Castres. Mike Blair, who is only in his second season as a head coach, admitted he was feeling some pressure. “I’m feeling challenged in the job,” he said. “I’m obviously pretty new to it with not a huge amount of experience, but I’m also very clear that we are a good side with good personnel.

“So I’m challenging myself, because I’m clearly not getting the best out of players at the moment whether that’s an individual situation or a team situation. So I need to look at what I’m doing and find a way out of this.

“I still don’t believe we are far off, because we are playing good rugby. We need to start looking more at our belief, and psychologically where we are, because we are doing enough good stuff, but we’re having periods where teams are finding it too easy to put points on us.

“The first half we played with confidence then when something went against us we found it hard to get it back. We have discussed how you change momentum of a game, through working on your ‘no talent’ battles, or our communication being more challenging of each other in that period, or producing big moments through a hit or a strong ball carry - but we weren’t able to find that tonight.”