Edinburgh Rugby V Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow Warriors travelled to BT Murrayfield on Silver Saturday for the 1872 Cup decider against Edinburgh Rugby on the final weekend of the regular season.
Canada international DTH van der Merwe led the Warriors out on his 100th appearance for the club and the men in white started brightly on a sun-drenched stadium.
Glasgow had made four late changes to their line-up with Tommy Seymour, Sam Johnson, Jonny Gray and Pete Horne dropping out. Into the starting XV came Lee Jones, Alex Dunbar and Scott Cummings, while Adam Hastings and Ruaridh Jackson came onto the bench.
The home side saw plenty of the ball early on but the Glasgow defence held firm and when Sam Hidalgo-Clyne put a box kick straight into touch Glasgow were able to build some phases from inside their own half. Stuart Hogg put a long kick up field which Edinburgh had to clear to touch.
This gave Glasgow an attacking line-out inside the Edinburgh half and several phases later Glasgow won a penalty. They opted for the scrum and when the ball came out to Finn Russell he chipped to the far touchline and the ball landed in van der Merwe's hands.
The winger sped up the far touchline bouncing off tackles to score the opening try of the game. Russell's conversion went over off the post and Glasgow led 7-0 after 12 minutes.
With 18 minutes on the clock Edinburgh scored their first try of the evening. The home side went through phase after phase inside the Glasgow 22 and eventually the ball was thrown wide to James Johnstone who went over in the corner. Hidalgo-Clyne's conversion was good and it was all square at BT Murrayfield (7-7).
Glasgow scored their second try of the evening just two minutes later and it was a fantastic team try. Nick Grigg broke through in midfield, he found George Horne who passed to Finn Russell. Finn then danced around a tackle before passing to Callum Gibbins who powered his way over. The conversion by Russell made it 14-7 to the Warriors.
It was end-to-end action at BT Murrayfield much to the delight of the 25,353 supporters inside the stadium at the end of a busy day of cup finals.
Edinburgh got their second of the night five minutes before the break when Jordan Lay burrowed over after several phases of Edinburgh possession with Glasgow camped on their own line. The conversion was good and the scores were level once more (14-14).
The home side had the last say of the half. Hidalgo-Clyne put a chip in behind the Glasgow defence and Duhan van der Merwe collected the ball and powered over. The conversion was good and Edinburgh led for the first time in the match right at the stroke of half-time (21-14).
Edinburgh were awarded a penalty after 47 minutes which they kicked deep into the Glasgow 22. The home side continued to look for a way through but the Glasgow defence held firm. Edinburgh were then awarded a further penalty which they kicked to the corner.
Edinburgh continued to attack as chants of 'We Are Warriors' rang out around the stadium and Glasgow continued to work hard in defence and eventually turned the ball over and cleared to touch.
With 56 minutes on the clock the Warriors won a free kick and Stuart Hogg put a lovely kick into the corner which rolled into touch.
From the resulting line-out Edinburgh almost had a clearance charged down but were eventually able to clear to touch.
The momentum seemed to have swung Glasgow's way and with 20 minutes left of the match they won a penalty on Edinburgh's 22 which they kicked into the corner. However, this time when the ball was brought down referee Nigel Owens gave the scrum to the home side and they then won a penalty which replacement fly-half Duncan Weir kicked to touch.
Ednburgh eventually won a penalty in front of the posts which Weir kicked to stretch the home side's lead to 24-14.
Glasgow weren't finished and that man van der Merwe got his second with 10 minutes remaining. Siua Halanukonuka with a rampaging break and the ball was eventually recycled to the Canadian flyer who crossed in the corner. The conversion went wide and Glasgow now trailed by five (24-19).
Moment later the Warriors thought they scored their fourth and van der Merwe thought he'd got his hat-trick. When the ball popped out of a ruck five metres from the Edinburgh line he picked it up and touched down but Owens brought play back for a Edinburgh penalty.
The clock was ticking down and with just over five minutes remaining Glasgow needed something to stop Edinburgh from lifting the 1872 Cup.
The Warriors had a lot of possession in the final few minutes and won a scrum penalty with 90 second remaining which they kicked into the corner, but once again Edinburgh defended well and won a penalty which Weir kicked to touch.
That was that and Edinburgh had won the 1872 Cup with a 24-19 win, with Glasgow now looking forward to their home semi-final in 20 days’ time.