Glasgow Warriors V Edinburgh Rugby
Glasgow Warriors continued their unbeaten home record in the Guinness PRO14, as Dave Rennie’s men ground out a 17-0 victory against Edinburgh Rugby in the second 1872 Cup meeting of the season.
In a game in which neither side was willing to give an inch, four penalties from the boot of Finn Russell and a try from Lee Jones guided the Warriors past a resilient capital outfit, as well as a stadium evacuation, to a valuable win.
With the 1872 Cup series on the line, the Warriors made the faster start. Alex Dunbar’s strong burst through the middle of the Edinburgh defence took the home side up to the opposing 22, with the capital side only able to stop Glasgow’s momentum by infringing at the breakdown. Finn Russell duly capitalised from the tee, putting his side into the lead after five minutes.
Both sides were looking to play at every opportunity, despite the pre-match rain. Stuart McInally’s break for Edinburgh almost led to a try for Damien Hoyland, whilst Nick Grigg marked his return to the Glasgow starting lineup with some characteristically hard running lines.
The adventure shown in attack was matched by ferocious defence from both sets of players, though. Neither side was willing to give an inch, with thunderous hits from the likes of Jonny Gray and Kiran McDonald epitomising the Warriors’ physicality.
However, the biggest drama of the half was to occur off the field of play as, with two minutes remaining, the game was suspended by referee Mike Adamson and the stadium evacuated following a fire alarm. After a break of half an hour, it was agreed that play would resume at the beginning of the second half, with Glasgow holding a 3-0 advantage.
With the crowd eager for a return to action, it was once again the Warriors that began the half on the front foot. Russell kicked his second penalty of the match on 42 minutes, doubling the home side’s lead.
In a game of few clear-cut chances, every point was growing increasingly important. It was Russell who once again kept the scoreboard ticking over, his boot taking the score to 9-0 after 58 minutes.
The two sides were continuing to probe for the elusive opening. Blair Kinghorn’s pace and footwork had the Glasgow scramble defence called into action, whilst at the other end it took four Edinburgh defenders to prevent Niko Matawalu from finding a route to the whitewash.
As the game entered the final ten minutes, the home side strengthened their grip on proceedings. With Edinburgh penalised at the breakdown once more, Russell was yet again on target from the tee, taking the score to 12-0 with just seven minutes to play.
The result was all but secured, yet, having been made to endure both the winter weather and a stadium evacuation, the capacity Scotstoun crowd were baying for a try. With the final play of the game, Dave Rennie’s side duly delivered. After dominating at successive scrums, replacement scrum-half George Horne’s pass found Lee Jones on the touchline, with the winger crashing over for the much-awaited score. Russell was unable to add the extras from out wide, but the Warrior Nation were none too bothered, the final score reading 17-0 in the home team’s favour.
It may not have been the prettiest of performances, but with four points extending the lead at the top of Conference A and the 1872 Cup lying all square ahead of the final meeting of the season in April, the Warriors will be bringing in the New Year in the best possible fashion.