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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Glasgow retain 1872 Cup despite Edinburgh defeat

Glasgow retain 1872 Cup despite Edinburgh defeat


Duhan van der Merwe’s try gave Edinburgh the lead late on
Edinburgh: (5) 19
Tries: Currie, Van der Merwe; Pens: Healy 3
Glasgow: (7) 14
Tries: Matthews, McDowall; Cons: Horne 2

Edinburgh gained revenge on Glasgow with victory in front of a record crowd at Murrayfield, but were unable to overcome their aggregate deficit as Warriors retained the 1872 Cup.

Johnny Matthews opened the scoring for the visitors early on before Matt Currie crossed for Edinburgh in a first half that saw the momentum swing back and forth.

Stafford McDowall powered over for an excellent score after the break to put Glasgow in control.

However, Duhan van der Merwe’s breakaway try and the boot of Ben Healy turned the tide in Edinburgh’s favour.

Although they failed to secure precious URC points, Glasgow won the inter-city trophy 36-29 on aggregate.

Glasgow, holding a 12-point aggregate advantage following a 22-10 win over their rivals at Scotstoun last weekend, immediately set about adding to that and they were on the board just four minutes in.

Edinburgh were on the back foot from the opening kick-off and when Warriors forced an attacking line-out near the home try-line, it was almost inevitable that the resulting line-out maul would be finished off by the prolific Matthews.

A sharp Healy break took Edinburgh into the red zone but Glasgow’s disciplined defence kept the door shut.

The home side were having the better of it though, and Currie finished off a sweeping move to dive over in the corner.

Healy’s penalty after the break nudged Edinburgh in front for the first time at 8-7 and a wonderful breakout from deep involving Ali Price, Van der Merwe and Glen Young looked like it may bring a try until the move broke down deep in Glasgow territory.

With the Six Nations fast approaching, McDowall did his case for inclusion in the Scotland squad no harm at all with a well-taken try.

Sione Tuipulotu did well to free his hands from a tackle and offload to McDowall who blasted through three suspect tackles and stretched out for the line to score.

It was a rare bright moment in a second half that was littered with handling errors. Healy kept calm amid the chaos though, and knocked over another penalty to bring Edinburgh back within three with 15 minutes left.

Warriors seemed to be managing the game well, holding onto possession and keeping Edinburgh pinned back as they looked to run down the clock.

That was until they turned over possession deep in the Edinburgh 22 and the Warriors could only watch on helplessly as Darcy Graham set Van der Merwe surging free to the line.

Healy kicked another three to steer Edinburgh home for the victory, if not quite to the 1872 Cup.

The victory in front of 37,904 people, a record for a club game in Scotland, moves Edinburgh up to fourth in the United Rugby Championship while Glasgow, having missed the chance to go top, drop to third.

What they said

Edinburgh senior coach Sean Everitt: “We were more disciplined, and I’m proud the guys got the job done.

“We’re disappointed we didn’t win the cup, but it’s about the URC at the end of the day, and it’s important for us to stay in touch with the top four.

“Winning is important because you create habits.”

Glasgow head coach Franco Smith: “We knew it would be tough today, and compliments to Edinburgh – they never rolled over, they have got a quality squad and they are well coached.

“We left our hearts out on the field, so I’m proud of the boys. Never take winning silverware for granted – we earned that and kept them from scoring a bonus point.”

Line-ups

Edinburgh: Goosen, Graham, Bennett, Currie, Van der Merwe, Healy, Price; Schoeman, Ashman, Nel, Young, Gilchrist (capt), Ritchie, Crosbie, Mata.

Replacements: Cherry, Venter, Rae, Sykes, Watson, Vellacott, Scott, Boffelli.

Glasgow: McKay, Jones, Tuipulotu (capt), McDowall, Rowe, Jordan, Horne, Bhatti, Matthews, Fagerson, Cummings, Gray, Gordon, Darge, Miller.

Replacements: Turner, McBeth, Kebble, Peterson, Williamson, Venter, Afshar, Thompson.

Referee: Mike Adamson



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