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edbgGlasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby did battle yesterday in the Rabo Direct Pro12 at Murrayfield. The match also doubled up as the second leg of the 1872 Cup. Glasgow won the first leg of the cup game last weekend at their home ground, Scotstoun Stadium, by nine points. Glasgow were comfortably in front in yesterday’s game, leading by 18 points on the 55 minute mark. However, a late rally by Edinburgh made for an exiting finish, FINAL SCORE : Edinburgh 17 - 21 Glasgow.

Rather than bring one match report I thought for a change would post two match reports, one from either camp. There is some repetition but it is interesting to see the reports as written from ‘both sides of the fence’.

Glasgow Warriors Match Report

Glasgow Warriors cemented their position in the play-off places of the RaboDirect PRO12 and took home the 1872 Cup for a fourth successive year with victory over Edinburgh at Murrayfield.

A first Warriors try for Sean Maitland and a score apiece for Ruaridh Jackson and half-back partner Henry Pyrgos gave Gregor Townsend’s side the win, with the platform built on a domineering defensive performance.

They now sit just two points behind second place Scarlets and a point behind Munster as the battle for the play-offs intensifies.

Captain Al Kellock said afterwards:  “The boys were magnificent tonight. From 1 to 15 and throughout the squad there was an intensity, which was great to see.

“Yes, we’re disappointed that we let them in for a late score but for the majority of the game we were very, very good.

“The backs were outstanding and they showed the quality that they have if they are given good ball.  

“With hindsight, we would have liked to have taken both games with bonus points as the chances were there, and the guys will be disappointed with that, but we’ve come away from two tough games with eight league points in the bag.

“The reaction in the last ten minutes to them scoring was brilliant.  The energy in the changing room was phenomenal at half-time and we managed to keep that going, especially in that final period, when we stepped up again and closed out the game.”

Warriors will now face Treviso at home on Friday, 4 January (kick-off 7.30pm) looking to make it three wins in a row in the league and maintain their pursuit of success in the RaboDirect PRO12.

Within seven minutes at Murrayfield, Sean Maitland had touched down for the first score of the day, and his first try for the Warriors.  With the pack ruthlessly efficient at the breakdown, the ball was moved wide to the left and the wing was in the line to evade two tackles and have the large Warriors supporter contingent on their feet early on in the afternoon.

The boot of Greig Laidlaw brought Edinburgh back into the game just a couple of minutes later when Stuart Hogg, who looked back to his menacing best throughout the match, was deemed to have taken out his opposite number, Tonks, under a high ball.

Peter Horne was sin-binned for an offence off the ball near the breakdown but the Warriors held firm with fourteen men and shortly after Horne’s return to the field of play, Jackson would further extend the lead.   He read the pass by Piers Francis, plucked it out of the air and took off from 40 metres out.  Ears pinned back, the fly half headed for the corner and the second score of the day to make it 3-10 to Glasgow.

Two penalties by Peter Horne extended the advantage towards half-time and even with a Dougie Hall try disallowed, Warriors entered the break with a solid 13 point advantage.

Half-time 3-16

Glasgow began the second half with the same intenstity as the first, with a searing break from the hugely impressive Sean Maitland setting up a chance for DTH van der Merwe in the corner.  With the ball shuffled out to his wing, DTH looked to be over in the corner but the TMO ruled no try and a foot in touch.

One of the greatest weapons in the Warriors armoury all afternoon was a dominating scrum and the pack won numerous penalties at the set-piece, all contributing to more pressure on the home goal line.

Pyrgos was next to breach the whitewash as another scrum squeezed the home side.  When the ball popped out from under the control of Ryan Wilson, Pyrgos was first to react and, after another decision by the TMO, the try was awarded.   

Edinburgh tried to inject something a little different into the game and got their rewards almost immediately as Laidlaw, now at stand-off, dinked over the defence.  Roddy Grant the eventual beneficiary as he touched down near the posts.

Glasgow should have put the game beyond any doubt when an incredible run from van der Merwe scattered the Edinburgh defence, his flipped pass to Hogg should have led to the easiest of scores but the full back took his eye off the ball to his obvious frustration and the try went begging.

It was game on come 75 minutes when Tim Visser finally showed what he can do, scoring the try that would make the last seven minutes a nervy affair.  The big Scotland winger equalled Tommy Bowe for number of tries scored in the league, 48, when he touched down inside the final ten minutes but such had been the defensive effort, his threat had been largely nullified for the majority of the game with his first real involvement only occurring on 67 minutes.

Edinburgh, as they have done in seasons past, looked for the grandstand finish and had thrown caution to the wind in an attempt to breach the defences once again, but they met with Warrior resistance and the sounds of ‘Glasgow, Glasgow’ rang around the Edinburgh stands as the Warriors held out for a 17-21 victory.

Edinburgh Rugby

15 Greig Tonks 14 Dougie Fife 13 Matt Scott 12 James King 11 Tim Visser
10 Piers Francis 9 Greig Laidlaw (Captain)

1 Allan Jacobsen 2 Andy Titterrell 3 Geoff Cross 4 Grant Gilchrist 5 Sean Cox
6 David Denton 7 Roddy Grant 8 Netani Talei

Substitutes

16 Steven Lawrie 17 Robin Hislop 18 Lewis Niven 19 Perry Parker 20 Dimitri Basilaia 21 Richie Rees 22 Ben Atiga 23 Sep Visser

Glasgow Warriors

15 Stuart Hogg 14 Sean Maitland 13 Sean Lamont (Sub Matawalu 72)  12 Peter Horne (Sub, Morrison 60) 11 DTH van der Merwe

10 Ruaridh Jackson (Sub, Weir 60) 9 Henry Pyrgos

1 Ryan Grant (Sub Reid, 67) 2 Dougie Hall (Sub MacArthur 54) 3 Moray Low (Sub Araoz 72) 4 Tom Ryder (Sub, Swinson 51) 5 Al Kellock (Captain)
6 Josh Strauss (Sub Eddie 63)  7 Rob Harley 8 Ryan Wilson

Substitutes

16 Pat MacArthur
 17 Gordon Reid 18 German Araoz 19 Tim Swinson 20 James Eddie
21 Niko Matawalu 22 Duncan Weir 23 Graeme Morrison

Referee:  Neil Patterson

Att:  11225

MOTM: Ryan Wilson

Edinburgh Rugby Match Report

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).

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 the grinded 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)

Attendance: 11,225

RaboDirect PRO 12 Man of the Match
: Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors)

 

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