Edinburgh v Glasgow: hosts edge grim 1872 Cup encounter

It took over an hour to break the deadlock with both teams failing to rise to the occasion in attack

Glasgow Warriors No8 Matt Fagerson tackles Edinburgh's Stuart McInally. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Glasgow Warriors No8 Matt Fagerson tackles Edinburgh's Stuart McInally. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Edinburgh 10

Glasgow Warriors 7

DAVID BARNES @ Murrayfield

THIS was not the antidote we were hoping for to wash away the disappointments and frustrations of 2020. The New Year got off to an inauspicious start for Scotland’s two pro teams as they fought out a grim contest on a cold but dry night in the capital. 

Ultimately, Edinburgh’s composure at the start of the final quarter proved the difference. Victorious head coach Richard Cockerill and his players will take the league points and move on – and we will all hope for something a bit more entertaining when these two teams meet again at Scotstoun next Friday night.

The opening 10 minutes set the tone. It was a game of cat and mouse, then, slowly but surely, Edinburgh – aided by a careless fumble from Ratu Tagive – got on top. The hosts allowed a golden opportunity to break the deadlock to slip by them when they opted to scrum a penalty on Glasgow’s five-yard line, only to see a decision for collapsing go against them a few minutes later.

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Edinburgh were back in the strike zone a few minutes later when a high tackle by Aki Seiuli on Darcy Graham allowed Blair Kinghorn to kick to the corner, but they still couldn’t find a way through Glasgow’s resolute defence, before a terrific double-tackle by Ryan Wilson and Zander Fagerson on Viliame Mata gave Warriors a chance to ease the pressure again.

Warriors finally made it into Edinburgh’s 22 with a wonderful slaloming run from Huw Jones just before the half hour mark – the only time this tussle really threatened to turn into a rugby match during the first hour – and the visitors should have taken the lead when awarded a penalty right in front of the posts, but Brandon Thomson, not for the first time in recent weeks, fluffed his lines.

Your granny could have back-heeled a chest of drawers over from there, but just as he did against the Dragons at the start of December, Thomson somehow contrived a way to miss.

That meant it was 0-0 at half-time. The score-line flattered the spectacle.

Finally, with 63 minutes gone, Jaco van der Walt struck a 40-yard ruck penalty which broke the deadlock and edged Edinburgh into a three-point lead.

Up until this point, Warriors had actually looked the marginally more dangerous when they had the ball – not a high bar to hurdle – but they shot themselves in the foot with 10 minutes to go when the hapless Thomson fired a pass behind Sam Johnson’s shoulder and van der Walt hacked the loose ball ahead.

There were four Edinburgh jerseys lining up to claim the try as it bobbled over the line, and it was replacement No8 Magnus Bradbury who stepped forward to do what needed to be done.

Warriors spent the last five minutes battering away at Edinburgh’s line, and got their reward when Lewis Bean wriggled over, and Ross Thompson – making his debut off the bench – popped over the straightforward conversion.

A bonus point salvaged by the visitors, but when Huw Jones lost possession in the tackle as he tried to run the restart back from his own 22, the chance of a last-gasp win evaporated.

The final whistle came as a blessed relief.

Teams –

Edinburgh: B Kinghorn; D Graham, M Bennett C Dean, D van der Merwe; J van der Walt, H Pyrgos (N Groom 66); P Schoeman (R Sutherland 56), S McInally (M Willemse 71), W Nel ( S Berghan 56), B Toolis, J Hodgson, J Ritchie, H Watson, V Mata (M Bradbury 67).

Glasgow Warriors: H Jones; L Jones, N Grigg, S Johnson (G Bryce 74), R Tagive; B Thomson (R Thompson 71), A Price (J Dobie 77); A Seiuli (G Thornton 60), G Turner (J Matthews 71), Z Fagerson (E Pieretto 67), R Gray (L Bean, 74), S Cummings, R Wilson, T Gordon (T Ioane 63), M Fagerson.

Referee: Sam Grove-White

Scorers –

Edinburgh: Try: Bradbury; Con: Van der Walt; Pen: Van der Walt.

Glasgow Warriors: Try: Bean; Con: Thompson.

Postponed 1872 Cup match to be played next Friday night

About David Barnes 4028 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Give Ross Thompson a chance to start he seemed confident and brought a little spark to a very poor Glasgow performance. watched Bath vs Leicester yesterday so much better than the Edi vs Glasgow derby the skill level gulf between Edi/Glasgow and Leicester/bath was sadly immense. Also thought Matt Scott looked very capable. Glasgow desperately need a 10 and Edinburgh need a 9 and a centre. Both they and Scotland need a new attack coach. SWith Scotland’s attacking performance for Gatland to pick Townsend as attack coach would be laughable.

  2. Typical Edinburgh/Glasgow derby game. It’s the same each time. What is the saying about doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result?
    I noted our illustrious national coach was watching, I wonder what he learned and if he did will he be man enough to act on it:
    1. Gray senior is by far our best lock
    2. Huw Jones is a much better option than Kinghorn to cover Hogg
    3. Bennett is better than Harris
    4. We’re in great need of a No 8, I’d probably prefer Bradbury to Fagerson if we’re playing Watson & Ritchie as he offers better ball carrying but would probably still go with Blade Thomson
    5. Pyrgos shouldn’t make the training squad

    The SRU should note that without some big signings the outlook for both Glasgow and Edinburgh is bleak and that will be a problem down the road for the National team

  3. This contest summed up Scotland it was a huff and puff event lacking any cutting edge, albeit Darcy Graham and Huw Jones did light up the empty stands on a couple of occasions. A game played by two teams not wanting to loose. The forwards contest was absorbing, Glasgow dominated the line out, Edinburgh dominated the scrum and both sets of backs defended well. The only real highlights happened during periods of broken play, let’s have more of it. The Rugby League influence has shored up defences, however the one dimensional attacks are making it relatively easy! Bennet got man of the match for doing nothing more than his role, if it doesn’t deserve to be awarded then let’s not award it. This pandemic shows little sign of going away any time soon, if professional sport is to continue then surely they have a responsibility to provide entertainment and give their adoring public something to smile about.
    I look forward to The next encounter!

  4. There was a time there when I thought we were heading for a 0-0 such was the lack of enterprise on show.
    Can someone explain to me why every time Glasgow managed to get the ball from a ruck or turnover the ball went across the field and backwards by at least 20 metres every time. Then they would run in to the Edinburgh defence which had enough time stroll into line. We really miss the flat pass kid Finn, every time Price backwards to Thompson , backwards to Johnson backwards to Grigg and L Jones rarely saw the ball because Edinburgh shut them down. I could not believe the Edinburgh try 5 of their players chasing the ball and not a Glasgow man in sight. That said for Glasgow thought Zander, Gray and Cummings had a great game along with H Jones and for Edinburgh the front row were immense along with Bennett. Glasgow are a shadow of their former selves.

  5. Poor game, but delighted for Bennett. Well deserved Player of the Match. He needs to show he can defend as well as Harris and tonight he did.

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