Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh
It was a bittersweet season finale for Edinburgh as they ended a 14 year winning drought in Glasgow with a 29-18 victory, but were unable to retain the 1872 Cup with their derby rivals possessing more points on aggregate.
The visitors delivered a well-rounded performance showing tenacity in defence and producing some fluid running rugby in attack.
Stand-off Duncan Weir was sensational with the boot at his former home-ground kicking five penalties and successfully converting two superb individual tries from man of the match Damien Hoyland and Glenn Bryce, who was also facing his former club.
The win was hard-earned with the visitors having to battle through some periods of adversity, most notably when Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Ross Ford were shown yellow-cards within minutes of each other reducing Edinburgh to 13-men.
It was the home-side, however, who got off to a flying start with Finn Russell kicking the first points with just over a minute on the clock.
Weir fired one back before the stand-offs kicked another penalty apiece to make it all square at 6-all on 16 minutes.
The home side dominated possession with only superb cover defence from scrum-half Hidalgo-Clyne keeping Glasgow’s Lee Jones from scoring in the corner.
The pressure continued to mount and on 25 minutes Ford was sent to the sin-bin for a high-tackle on scrum-half Ali Price.
Edinburgh showed their resilience to hold-out a number of Glasgow forays on their line and their patience paid off as they went up the other end and regained the lead with Weir slotting another penalty (6-9).
Again under pressure in defence, Edinburgh’s grit was tested as Hidalgo-Clyne joined Ford on the sidelines after failing to release the tackled player on the ground.
Warriors broke the try deadlock on the cusp of half-time as Scott Cummings broke through the initial line of defence before finding his captain and second-row colleague, Jonny Gray, with an exceptional offload which put the Scotland international in for the score. Russell failed to convert (11-9)
HALF-TIME | Glasgow 11 – 9 Edinburgh
Weir continued his fine afternoon from the tee in putting Edinburgh ahead less than a minute after the interval with his fourth successful penalty (11-12).
Glasgow’s Jones again came close as he crossed the line on 46 minutes, yet following a TMO consultation it was confirmed to referee Mike Adamson that the wing had stepped into touch on approach to the line.
A superb kick-chase from the Edinburgh backs and tenacity at the breakdown won a penalty in a good position allowing Weir to give Edinburgh a four-point lead with 52 minutes on the clock (11-15).
Hoyland, who had put in the initial kick to set-up Weir’s penalty, was again to the fore in the following run-of-play as he danced his way through the Glasgow defence to score Edinburgh’s first try of the game just four minutes later. Weir’s successful conversion took the score to 22-11 in favour of the vistors.
Glasgow battled back and, despite a potential Tommy Seymour try being disallowed on 63 minutes, closed the gap with a try from full-back Stuart Hogg from the resulting 5 metre scrum.
Russell’s conversion closed the gap to four points, yet he was unable to further the reduce the deficit on 68 minutes as he put a kickable penalty wide of the mark (18-22).
Edinburgh continued to put the opposition under pressure with a huge shift in defence and when Seymour was bundled into touch metres from his own line, Hodge’s charges gave themselves an opportunity to close out the game.
And it was former Glasgow-man Bryce who seized his chance as the clock went dead, skipping inside against the grain to touchdown and secure the victory for his side. Weir maintained his 100% record with the successful conversion closing the game at 29-18 to Edinburgh.
FULL-TIME | Glasgow 18 – 29 Edinburgh