Edinburgh 10-7 Glasgow Warriors

Glasgow Warriors were edged out in the opening match of the 2020/21 1872 Cup this afternoon, as Edinburgh claimed a 10-7 victory at BT Murrayfield.

Despite offering more attacking threat for much of the match, the Warriors take home just a losing bonus-point from their first match of 2021 after Lewis Bean’s late score.

On a perfect – if bitterly cold – afternoon for rugby, both sides emerged onto the BT Murrayfield pitch looking to put an early stamp on proceedings. A soaring take of a cross-field kick from Ratu Tagive on six minutes resulted in a Glasgow penalty that was kicked to the corner, only for Edinburgh to turn possession over at the key moment.

At the other end, the capital side were looking to their pack to turn the screw. After earning a penalty in the Glasgow 22, the shot at goal was turned down in favour of a five-metre scrum. Yet the Warriors defence held firm, repelling phase upon phase of possession from their hosts and frustrating the Edinburgh attack.

Undeterred, the home side continued to hammer away with their forwards as they went in search of an opening score. Time and time again, though, they were met with a wall of white-clad defenders; after the returning Richie Gray’s experience and intelligence forced an error from the hosts, second-row partner Scott Cummings finished the play by sacking Henry Pyrgos and turning possession over to whoops of delight from the Warriors bench.

Having impressed with their defence, it was then the turn of the Glasgow attack to shine. The best attacking move of the half came on 27 minutes, as Huw Jones identified a mismatch on his own 22 and accelerated through the gap. The full-back’s break took him up to Edinburgh’s 22, and were it not for the cynical killing of the ball by Henry Pyrgos the Warrior Nation could have been celebrating a score. As it was, a penalty attempt from the tee was pushed wide by Brandon Thomson and the teams remained tied.

Indeed, scoreless would be how the match would remain as the half-time whistle sounded. Neither side could find a breakthrough prior to the interval, Glasgow coming closest through Jones and Ali Price’s chasing down of Jaco van der Walt.

It was Glasgow who came out the blocks firing at the start of the second half, with an inspired Gray leading the charge. The second-rower’s second lineout steal of the match almost led to a score for Tagive, before Zander Fagerson was denied a try by last-ditch Edinburgh defence.

The Warriors were threatening, with Gray racking up another steal prior to a try-scoring chance for Price on 48 minutes. Against the run of play, however, it would be Edinburgh who would open the scoring just after the hour mark as Jaco van der Walt slotted a penalty from 40 metres to give the hosts a 3-0 lead.

An Edinburgh sucker-punch was followed swiftly by a second such blow; a loose pass in midfield was hacked ahead by van der Walt, with Magnus Bradbury winning the race to touch down under the posts. Van der Walt added the extras, and the hosts led by 10 with 10 minutes to play.

Undeterred, the Warriors came forward with a renewed sense of urgency. A Lee Jones chip and chase forced Blair Kinghorn to concede a lineout on the Edinburgh 22, with both the Glasgow winger and namesake Huw looking for the score.

The elusive Glasgow try eventually arrived with 90 seconds to play. With Ryan Wilson claiming the lineout, the Warriors pack went to work inside the Edinburgh 22. In the end it was Bean who crashed over from close range for his first try in Glasgow colours, Ross Thompson – on debut – drop-kicking the conversion as the Warriors chased the victory.

In the end, though, the clock ran out on the visitors to hand Edinburgh the victory. Danny Wilson’s men won’t have to wait long to try and redress the balance, though, as they welcome their cross-country rivals to Scotstoun in just six days’ time.

live commentary 3:00 PM Saturday 2 Jan 2021

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Kick-off 3:00 PM

Edinburgh

Glasgow Warriors

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