Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors

A player-of-the-match performance from Fraser Brown on his 100th appearance for the club helped Glasgow Warriors finish the 2019/20 season in style, earning a deserved 15-3 victory over Edinburgh.

Tries from Brown and Ratu Tagive saw the visitors take their first win under Danny Wilson, in front of 1,000 people at a socially-distanced BT Murrayfield.

With last week’s encounter still fresh in the memory of both sides, the intensity levels were high in the opening exchanges. The first opportunity for points went to the home side, but Nathan Chamberlain’s fourth-minute shot at goal sailed wide from 35 metres out.

Instead, it was the Warriors who struck first under the Friday night lights. An early scrum penalty was followed up by an infringement by Pierre Schoeman at the ensuing lineout, and from the second attacking lineout Glasgow made their move. With the maul making slow progress, Brown peeled off the back to barge over the line on his 100th appearance for the club, Adam Hastings converting to make it the full seven points with 10 minutes played.

With defences on top, attacking opportunities were limited for both sides. A break from Duhan van der Merwe saw Hastings and Huw Jones scramble to deny Hamish Watson an immediate response by the capital outfit, but only at the expense of a yellow card for Jones. Chamberlain was on target from the resulting penalty, narrowing the gap to 7-3.

Jones’ period in the sin bin allowed Edinburgh to exert pressure for the first time in the match, yet time and again they found themselves foiled by resolute Glasgow defence. Repeat five-metre lineouts for the capital side were masterfully disrupted by Rob Harley, whilst Oli Kebble’s turnover just as Jones was set to return to the field was cheered loudly by those in Warriors colours.

It was then over to the visitors to pile on the pressure as the half drew to a close. A decimation at scrum-time by Kebble and Zander Fagerson saw Hastings kick to the corner, before the pack charged at the Edinburgh defences. Only the TMO could deny Fagerson a close-range score, whilst Brown’s last minute loss of control denied the hooker a second try of the evening with the clock in the red.

There was no let-up in intensity a the start of the second stanza; if anything, the physicality was ramped up a notch by both sets of players. The Glasgow front-row were once again inspired in the early stages of the second half, as both Fagerson and Kebble made themselves known at the breakdown and in the loose.

The attacking impetus was all coming from those clad in white, with Stafford McDowall and Hastings combining well in midfield. Only a scrambling Blair Kinghorn prevented a Glasgow try from a McDowall grubber, as the Warriors continued to press for a second try.

Eventually, Glasgow’s pressure told – albeit from an unlikely area of the pitch. An overthrown Edinburgh lineout and subsequent Glasgow penalty saw Ali Price tap and go, scampering into Edinburgh territory with aplomb. With advantage in hand, Nick Grigg sent Brown through a gaping hole in the Edinburgh defence, before McDowall carried on the forward momentum. The centre’s break and basketball-style offload found Jones, who in turn allowed Tagive to finish well in the corner. Whilst Hastings couldn’t add the extras from the touchline, the 12-3 lead was rapturously received by the Warriors as the hour mark came and went.

Hastings made amends for his errant conversion attempt just six minutes later, as the Glasgow fly-half punished Edinburgh for collapsing a maul to extend the advantage to 15-3.

From there, the Warriors defence took centre stage. Every forceful Edinburgh carry was met with an equally impactful Glasgow tackle; the Fagerson brothers and Scott Cummings made their presence felt in and around the breakdown, repelling all attacks from the capital side.

Even when the ball was whipped wide, Danny Wilson’s men were up to the task. McDowall and Grigg were immovable in midfield, whilst every high kick was taken with conviction by Jones at full-back.

It was left to Seymour to have the final touch in Glasgow’s season, kicking the ball into touch to herald the final whistle on the match and on the 2019/20 campaign – a season unlike any other in the history of Glasgow Warriors.

live commentary 7:35 PM Friday 28 Aug 2020

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Kick-off 7:35 PM

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