Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors
Edinburgh lifted the 1872 Cup for the third time in four years after battling to a courageous 24-19 victory against Glasgow Warriors at BT Murrayfield.
With a place in the Guinness PRO14 Final Series secure prior to kick-off – as Ulster drew away to Munster in an early kick-off – Edinburgh capped off Silver Saturday by not only securing play-off rugby and the 1872 Cup, but Champions Cup for next season.
Speaking after the match, Head Coach Richard Cockerill said: “We have worked really hard this year. I wanted to be in the play-offs, and I wanted to be in Europe, so what happened effects the whole of next year as well.
“Credit to the players; they have worked so hard. We are starting to see the reward of the hard work we have put in. I am glad for the players and they should take all the credit.
“Like I have said all week - we are just trying to be get better week on week; we aren’t here to go away, we are here to compete.
“I put my head above the bar and could have looked a real fool today, but I believe in this group; I believe in Edinburgh Rugby and we are trying to build something – but it’s going to take a long time.”
We are going to go to Munster next week, which is an incredibly hard place to go, so let’s see how good this side can be.
With fullback Blair Kinghorn and centre Chris Dean failing late fitness tests, James Harries and Junior Rasolea were late additions to the starting XV.
Despite Edinburgh’s early advances, it was Glasgow who broke the deadlock – with prolific winger DTH Van der Merwe the man on the scoresheet.
Finn Russell provided a pin point cross field to the winger, who had the simple task of gathering and collapsing over the whitewash to give his side the early lead.
Edinburgh hit back immediately, however. With momentum on their side, the ball was worked out wide to James Johnstone, who showed a quick first step to cut inside his man and finish under pressure.
Glasgow hit back immediately following the restart, with mercurial stand-off Russell once again at the heart of the move. Callum Gibbins added the finishing touch to an end-to-end break.
However, Edinburgh’s turgid persistence payed off when Jordan Lay bruised his way over the try line from short yardage and it was to get even better for Cockerill’s side just moments later.
In the dying seconds of the half, Hidalgo-Clyne weighted a perfect cross field chip to Duhan van der Merwe, who expertly finished to give his side a 21-14 lead at the break.
With both sides giving away little in defence, it took a 50-metre intercept and break from Stuart McInally to breathe life into Edinburgh’s attack. Although the hooker was eventually dragged down, Glasgow were penalised at the resulting breakdown, allowing Duncan Weir to tap home a simple penalty to extend his side’s lead.
Glasgow’s Van der Merwe scored his second of the evening; resulting in a tense final ten minutes, but as Edinburgh’s defensive eventually ground out the win, it is Cockerill’s side who are crowned the 2018 1872 Cup winners