1872 Cup: George Turner grabs the glory for Glasgow

Edinburgh concede defeat late on in match which sees five yellow cards

George Turner scored the decisive try for Glasgow Warriors. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
George Turner scored the decisive try for Glasgow Warriors. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Glasgow Warriors 20

Edinburgh 16

STUART BATHGATE @ Scotstoun

A MATCH that had been seriously soporific for 40 minutes and more burst into life in a final 15-men spell which saw three tries scored. Ali Price put Glasgow ahead, Blair Kinghorn restored the lead for the visitors, then Warriors substitute hooker George Turner claimed the winning score in a breathless conclusion.

There were five yellow cards in the game, but on the whole it was a cleanly contested affair. The teams have it all to do again next week at Murrayfield, of course, in the second leg of the 1872 Cup, but for Glasgow the main thing about this result was the addition of four valuable PRO14 points to their tally.

The game could have gone either way, and for a while there was a real possibility that Glasgow would once again come up short, as they have done in several key matches in both the league and the Champions Cup. But over the piece they deserved their narrow win, and in tighthead Zander Fagerson had the outstanding performer.


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Adam Hastings opened the scoring for the home side with a sixth-minute penalty after Edinburgh had gone off their feet at the breakdown, and that bright start for the Warriors continued as Pierre Schoeman was penalised at the first scrum then an attack by the visitors was overturned some 30 metres out from the Warriors line. But, as they had done last week against La Rochelle, Glasgow made life difficult for themselves by committing unforced errors: after that turnover, for example, they coughed up possession at a lineout and eventually gave away a penalty, which Simon Hickey converted to draw his team level. 

With less than quarter of an hour to go before the break, Darcy Graham made space for himself near to the right touchline then chipped over Ruaridh Jackson, who jumped, stuck a leg out, and made contact with the Edinburgh winger’s midriff, bringing him down. After some consultation, referee Ben Blain eventually yellow-carded the full-back.

Hickey’s penalty came back off the post, but Glasgow failed to clear their lines and two minutes later gave away another penalty for offside. This time the New Zealander was on target to put his team three points up again.

The big plus of the half from the Warriors’ point of view was Zander Fagerson’s superiority over Schoeman in the scrum, and five minutes from time the Edinburgh loose-head was penalised again, allowing Hastings to level the score. Soon back on the attack, Glasgow came close to a try following a Fraser Brown break, and eventually Bill Mata was sent to the bin for what the referee termed a cynical play at the breakdown.

Hastings could easily have kicked the points, but Glasgow opted to scrum, only to be penalised at the set-piece, with Schoemann this time appearing to get the better of Fagerson. Edinburgh gratefully accepted the opportunity to end the half by kicking to touch.

The 14 men were under pressure at the start of the second half, but kept the Warriors at bay while Mata languished in the sinbin, with Hamish Watson and Ben Toolis being prominent in defence. No sooner was the Fijian back on, however, than Stuart McInally replaced him in the bin, harshly being given the ten-minute sentence for a high tackle on Fraser Brown. The Glasgow hooker had been tackled and was falling down before McInally made contact, so it was hard to see how the Edinburgh man was culpable.

Duhan van der Merwe was sacrificed by Cockerill to allow Mike Willemse to take McInally’s place in the front row. Brown went off for an HIA, and within minutes his replacement, George Turner, became the fourth player to be yellow-carded for a no-arms tackle on Schoeman. Hickey stepped up to take the penalty and put his team in front again with 25 minutes to go.

Tommy Seymour soon came close to taking advantage of the extra space with a break down the right, but he knocked on in trying to collect his chip. Glasgow had been on top for almost all of the third quarter by that time, but they were handicapped when Brown failed his HIA with Turner still in the bin. Oli Kebble came off the bench, with winger Kyle Steyn having to come off.

Both coaches had gone to their bench voluntarily by that time, and it was one of the Glasgow substitutes, Ali Price, who made the breakthrough after 65 minutes. A Hastings chip was collected on the full by Huw Jones, who darted infield then fed the replacement scrum-half, who touched down between the posts. Hastings converted, Turner came back on, and Glasgow had a four-point lead just as they were restored to 15 men.

Jones was soon back on the attack with a couple of hacks down into the Edinburgh 22, but the visitors mopped up the danger – and within minutes were down the other end and scoring themselves. With advantage being played for an offence on Graham, the visitors spread the ball left. Watson fed Blair Kinghorn, and the full-back cut inside two men before crossing and touching down as Adam Ashe tackled him. Jaco van der Walt converted to put his team three points ahead with less than 10 minutes to play.

Price was close to crossing again, then Glasgow were held up on the line and Nic Groom became the third Edinburgh player to be binned – this time for a high tackle. The Warriors went for the lineout, and this time they got it right, with Turner touching down to restore their lead. Edinburgh had four minutes in which to hit back, but their first real chance to build a platform was demolished by a ferocious counter-ruck, and their second, lengthier assault was ended when Graham was isolated and Glasgow got a penalty to end the game.

Teams –

Glasgow Warriors: R Jackson; T Seymour, H Jones, S Johnson, K Steyn; A Hastings, G Horne; A Seiuli, F Brown, Z Fagerson,  S Cummings, J Gray, R Harley, C Gibbins (captain), R Wilson. Substitutes: G Turner, O Kebble, A Nicol, A Ashe, T Gordon, A Price, N Grigg, N Matawalu.

Edinburgh: B Kinghorn; D Graham, M Bennett, G Taylor, D van der Merwe; S Hickey, H Pyrgos; P Schoeman, S McInally, P Ceccarelli, B Toolis, G Gilchrist, M Bradbury, H Watson, V Mata. Substitutes: M Willemse, J Bhatti, S Berghan, L Carmichael, J Ritchie, N Groom, J van der Walt, J Johnstone.

Referee: B Blain (Scotland).

 

Scorers  –

Glasgow: Tries: Price, Turner. Cons: Hastings 2. Pens: Hastings 2.

Edinburgh: Try: Kinghorn. Con: Van der Walt. Pens: Hickey 3.

Scoring sequence (Glasgow first): 3-0, 3-3, 3-6, 6-6 half-time, 6-9, 11-9, 13-9, 13-14, 13-16, 18-16, 20-16.

 

Yellow cards  –

Glasgow: Jackson, Turner

Edinburgh: Mata, McInally, Groom.

 

Attendance: 7,351


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About Stuart Bathgate 1414 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.