Glasgow Warriors 15-30 Edinburgh

Two tries in the final quarter condemned Glasgow Warriors to defeat in the 1872 Cup decider this evening, as Edinburgh claimed a 30-15 victory at BT Murrayfield.

Pete Horne and Adam Hastings crossed for the Warriors on their first outing for six months, with the result officially eliminating Glasgow from Guinness PRO14 semi-final contention.

A frenetic start saw the first points of rugby’s return go the way of the capital outfit after just three minutes, as Jaco van der Walt punished Matt Fagerson for not rolling away by striking from 35 metres out for the first points of the evening.

The South African fly-half doubled his side’s advantage just moments later, as an over-eager Glasgow defence was penalised by referee Mike Adamson. Van der Walt made no mistake from close range, taking the score to 6-0 after as many minutes.

With both sides taking some time to make themselves accustomed to the new breakdown laws, the battle for the breakdown was fierce in the early stages. Yet while enjoying the bulk of the early field position, Edinburgh were unable to unlock the Glasgow defence as the Warriors to a man stood tall.

When Glasgow’s first scoring opportunity arrived, it was grabbed with both hands. A scrum penalty won by Zander Fagerson gave Hastings the chance to halve the deficit from 40 metres, the fly-half duly obliging to get his side on the board.

Then came the game’s first try, a madcap passage of play breaking the way of Wilson’s men. An overthrown lineout saw Zander Fagerson come away with the ball, before a high kick from Hastings was batted back by Tommy Seymour and hacked ahead by Horne. A fumble from Blair Kinghorn saw van der Walt pick the ball up from an offside position, handing Glasgow a penalty.

With a shot at goal expected to be signalled, Fraser Brown took matters into his own hands by tapping and charging to within a matter of inches. As Edinburgh scrambled, Horne remained cool, calm and collected to take a short pass and stroll over, Hastings converting for a 10-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

A hotly contested breakdown continued to be a key battleground, with the set-piece providing opportunities for both sides. An attempted front-peel to Brown saw the final pass drift just forward, whilst an Edinburgh drive was well defended by the Warriors.

It would be Edinburgh that would be the next to trouble the scorers, as phase after phase of possession eventually led to their opening try of the match. Nic Groom was the man to touch down, ducking under a tackle to dot down from close range. Van der Walt converted, and Edinburgh led 13-10.

Yet there would be an immediate response from the Warriors, and one that would see them lead at the interval. Ali Price picked the pocket of Groom from the restart, before the Glasgow pack set to work hammering away at the Edinburgh defensive line. Impressive charges from Oli Kebble and Ryan Wilson took play to within five metres, before Hastings backed himself from five metres to crash over under pressure. Whilst the conversion attempt struck the post, it was enough for a 15-13 lead as the half-time whistle sounded.

The intensity remained at the start of the second period, as the kicking duel between the two sides picked up after the restart. Seymour and Ratu Tagive both excelled under the high ball against Duhan van der Merwe and Eroni Sau, with Tagive also producing a terrific try-saving tackle on the latter with 50 minutes on the clock.

Hastings had the chance to extend Glasgow’s lead on 53 minutes, as Simon Berghan’s infringement at the ruck gave the fly-half a shot at goal from 40 metres. However, the kick sailed just wide, agonisingly so for the Warrior Nation watching from home.

Instead, it would be Edinburgh to strike first in the second stanza. A break from van der Merwe saw the winger race into the Glasgow 22, and whilst George Horne did enough to snare the South African-born speedster, there was nothing he could do about the inside ball to Groom as he crossed for his second of the match. Van der Walt’s conversion made it 20-15 on the hour mark, before extending the lead with a penalty five minutes later.

As Glasgow pressed for a route back into the match, the Warriors would be undone by a solo special from Edinburgh replacement Charlie Shiel. Turnover ball saw the scrum-half pop up in the wide channels, evading a couple of would-be tacklers to dive over for the score. Van der Walt converted once more, handing Edinburgh both the victory and the 1872 Cup.

live commentary 5:15 PM Saturday 22 Aug 2020

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Kick-off 5:15 PM

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