Edinburgh win second-leg but Glasgow Warriors lift 1872 Cup
Edinburgh Rugby snatched a late 19-14 win over Glasgow Warriors in front of a record crowd at Scottish Gas Murrayfield yesterday thanks to a late Duhan van der Merwe try.
However, it was the Scotstoun side who lifted the 1872 Cup thanks to a better aggregate score over the two legs, with Glasgow coming out on top 22-10 at home eight days earlier.
The game was played in front of record crowd for a Scottish club rugby fixture, with 37,904 in attendance at Scottish Gas Murrayfield.
After beginning with a high-tempo attack in which Tom Jordan came close to breaking through, Glasgow took an early lead when Edinburgh offended and the penalty was sent to touch deep inside the home 22.
Johnny Matthews, always a potent threat from such situations, finished off from the lineout maul and George Horne added the conversion.
Edinburgh hit back thanks initially to Darcy Graham. The winger tapped and ran with a penalty, getting close to the Warriors goal line.
Then, when play went left, Mark Bennett floated a superb pass to his fellow centre Matt Currie, who dived to score in the left corner. Ben Healy was wide with the conversion attempt.
Inside the last five minutes of the half, another Glasgow penalty was sent to the corner.
The lineout drive was held up but Edinburgh offended again and the ball was sent back to touch – only for Matthews’ throw to be ruled not straight.
Ten minutes into the second half, a Healy penalty, awarded for a ruck offence, put his team ahead for the first time.
But it did not take long for Glasgow to regain the lead thanks to Stafford McDowall, who powered past three defenders before stretching out to reach the line.
Horne added the two points to put his team 14-8 ahead but with quarter of an hour left Healy halved the deficit with his second penalty of the day.
Then, inside the final 10 minutes, Darcy Graham robbed Glasgow of the ball inside his own 22 and broke before passing to van der Merwe.
The winger just had the stamina to reach the line before the defence closed him down, putting his team 16-14 ahead.
Healy’s conversion attempt missed but with time running out he made it 19-14 with another penalty before Edinburgh replacement Marshall Sykes was yellow-carded for foul play in the last minute.
Edinburgh senior coach Sean Everitt praised the improvement in his side’s defensive performance and discipline.
He said: “We are happy with the win, I spoke to the guys during the week and obviously the 1872 Cup means a lot to everyone, the rivalry is fierce between the two clubs. At the end of the day we are in the URC and we are happy to get the league points.
“I think our discipline has improved from last week even though we gave away a few soft penalties. I thought our scrums functioned a lot better as well.
“The guys must be commended for their defensive efforts, we prevented a team notorious for scoring from short range from doing so. The defence won us the game I think.
“I think the guys can take a lot of confidence from their defensive effort going forward. We got into an arm wrestle on the pitch, they stuck to the plan tonight and reaped the rewards.”
Glasgow Warriors head coach Franco Smith credited Edinburgh for taking their chances after his side fell to a five-point defeat at Murrayfield.
He said: “It is bittersweet. I’m disappointed, we had a lot of opportunities we didn’t convert. I think they made the most of their opportunities. Well done to them for fighting back this week.
“There were one or two opportunities that I thought we breached their defence but we couldn’t convert those opportunities into points.
“Credit to both teams’ defences, that’s what tonight was about, wearing your heart on your sleeve and going all out.
“We’re coming to the end of a 12-week block now, it’s been tough on the guys’ bodies.
“We are going to use this week to reset our bodies and come back fresh, we’ve got a few guys coming back from injury in the next while.”