Edinburgh Rugby vs Glasgow Warriors, Sat, 29/12/2012 - 16:05

A spirited Edinburgh fightback in the closing 20 minutes was too late to affect the second leg of the 1872 Cup at Murrayfield this afternoon.

Edinburgh’s biggest crowd of the season (11,225) witnessed their rivals from along the M8 take the silverware and boost their prospects of a league play-off place.

The urgency which characterised the closing stages for the hosts was very much on the Glasgow menu at the outset and it said something for Glasgow’s profligacy that they neither secured a four try bonus point nor were out of sight at the death.

Edinburgh Rugby head coach Michael Bradley, said: "Again we found ourselves in a poor position after just 20 minutes, which left us chasing the game, against a very good side.

"We had over 11,000 fans here tonight, which is absolutely fantastic, so it was disappointing to have the game dictated to us for large spells and rarely give out supporters anything to shout about until the end when we were in a position to steal the match.

"We need to improve our game management and our ability to be composed under pressure."

Glasgow opened the scoring, reacting quickest to a stray ball inside the Edinburgh 22 and then launching a narrow-side attack for Sean Maitland to be released by Ruaridh Jackson for the Kiwi to exploit poor home defence for his first try for the Warriors. Horne missed the conversion (0-5).

Chasing the game

Greig Laidlaw gave a captain’s response landing an eighth minute penalty after Glasgow’s late hit on Piers Francis (3-5).

Referee Paterson sin-binned Glasgow centre Peter Horne for an obstruction after Tim Visser was tackled in centre field on the 13th minute and, five minutes later, awarded Glasgow their third penalty at scrummage as Edinburgh tried to build momentum inside the visitors’ 22.

Edinburgh ground a scrum penalty out of their opponents (which was then marched back ten for petulance) but, from 26 metres to the left of the posts, Laidlaw was off target to deny his side the lead.

Greig Tonks was required to make a saving tackle on Horne in the 26th minute after the centre had menaced from a Henry Pyrgos tap penalty but a try was not long delayed.

Laidlaw took a tap penalty after Ryan Grant had been pinged for side entry at breakdown. Francis sought to continue the attack but his pass to Netani Talei was intercepted by Jackson who had enough gas to see off the pursuing Tonks. Horne’s conversion struck the left upright and stayed out (3-10, 28 mins).

Dougie Hall did cross the whitewash in the 33rd minute – after Ryan Grant and Stuart Hogg had combined – but the obstruction that paved the way yielded a penalty to Edinburgh.

Glasgow continued to dominate and when an advancing maul was halted in the Edinburgh 22, the hosts were penalised and Horne goaled (3-13).

On half time another breakdown offence was punished by Horne and things looked bleak for Edinburgh going in at the interval.

HALF-TIME: Edinburgh Rugby 3-16 Glasgow Warriors

David Denton at least gave a lead in defence depriving DTH Van der Merwe of a try within one minute of the restart, after Maitland had carved space up the middle.

Glasgow’s Sean Lamont butchered a gilt-edged try chance in the 49th minute after good work by Jackson and Van der Merwe and, Edinburgh got some welcome respite through a penalty, but once again self-inflicted mistakes meant the pressure could not be cleared.

Glasgow continued to press and, when Allan Jacobsen was sin binned for hands in a goal-line ruck on 52 minutes, the visitors immediately opted for the scrum. At once, Pyrgos squirmed over for a try, verified by TMO Jim Yuille, though Horne missed the conversion (3-21).

Edinburgh desperately needed a spark and head coach Michael Bradley went to his bench, introducing Richie Rees and Ben Atiga for Francis and James King, with Laidlaw moving out to stand-off.

And it was from that pivotal position – off lineout ball from Grant Gilchrist – that Laidlaw’s clever chip was pouched by Matt Scott whose strength in contact was mirrored by Roddy Grant who took the off-load and barrelled over for Edinburgh’s first try. Laidlaw converted (10-21).

If that was clinical finishing (and it was) the same was not replicated at the other end of the  stadium as Hogg spilled the ball when over the goal line after the elusive Van der Merwe had done sterling work to create the chance though, three missed tackles were also a big part of the story.

It wasn’t entirely obvious from where the grandstand finish had emerged but, with Glasgow down to 14 men, as Sean Lamont had been helped off the field injured, Edinburgh struck ruthlessly for their second try.

Richie Rees sniped from close-range and found Visser on his shoulder for the winger to cross for his 11th try of the league season to match Tommy Bowe’s league all-time PRO12 record haul of 48 overall. Laidlaw converted (17-21).

Niko Matawalu was fortunate to escape a yellow card for Glasgow for deliberately deflecting ball into touch in the 78th minute and for all Edinburgh’s huff and puff in the remaining exchanges the clock ticked inexorably towards no-side and the fairytale ending was not to be.

FULL-TIME: Edinburgh Rugby 17-21 Glasgow Warriors

Edinburgh Rugby: Greig Tonks; Dougie Fife, Matt Scott, James King, Tim Visser; Piers Francis, Greig Laidlaw captain; Allan Jacobsen, Andy Titterrell, Geoff Cross, Grant Gilchrist, Sean Cox, David Denton, Roddy Grant, Netani Talei.
Subs: Steve Lawrie for Titterrell (68mins), Robin Hislop for Talei (52-62 mins then for Jacobsen 62 mins), Lewis Niven for Cross (68 mins), Perry Parker for Gilchrist (68 mins), Dimitri Basilaia for Talei (62 mins), Richie Rees for Francis (55 mins), Ben Atiga for King (55 mins), Sep Visser.

Glasgow Warriors: Stuart Hogg; Sean Maitland, Sean Lamont, Peter Horne, DTH Van Der Merwe; Ruaridh Jackson, Henry Pyrgos; Ryan Grant, Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Tom Ryder, Al Kellock captain, Josh Strauss, Robert Harley, Ryan Wilson.
Subs: Pat MacArthur for Hall (55 mins), Gordon Reid for Grant (67 mins), German Araoz for Low (75 mins), Tim Swinson for Ryder (50 mins), James Eddie for Harley (30-35mins) and then for Strauss (55 mins), Niko Matawalu for Lamont (75 mins), Duncan Weir for Jackson (60 mins), Graeme Morrison for Horne (60 mins).

Referee: Neil Paterson (Dundee HSFP)

Team lineups

Edinburgh Rugby
Glasgow Warriors

Backs

Backs

Forwards

Forwards

Substitutes

Substitutes

Attendance: 
11 225
RaboDirect PRO12 Man of the match: 
Ryan Wilson