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1872 Cup

1872 CupThe festive season continues with derby matches in Round 12 of the Guinness PRO12. Some of the matches are the return leg of derbies played around the Boxing Day period. The attention in Scotland will be focussed on BT Murrayfield on Friday night where Edinburgh will host their rivals from the west, Glasgow Warriors, in a PRO12 fixture that doubles up as the second leg of the 1872 Cup.

Glasgow Warriors go into the game with a 10-point advantage following their win over Edinburgh on Boxing Day and will be looking to retain what is said to be the oldest cup in club rugby, yet again. There was only 1 try scored in the first leg of the 1872 Cup last week and with blustery conditions likely for Friday night the game may be a low scoring battle of attrition that could go the way of the team that makes the least errors.

Considering the relative positions of the 2 teams on the PRO12 table and the fact that Glasgow go into the game with that 10- point cushion one should expect at the very least that they maintain their grip on the 1872 Cup.

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Commonwealth Games 2014The rugby year has not pegged out just yet but, even before the first of the thunderous 1872 Cup clashes between Glasgow and Edinburgh, the sport seems to have lapsed into reflective mode.

So, too, your correspondent, croaking towards 2014’s finishing line in a clapped-out but generally contented frame of mind. So when the stockings have been hung, I shall allow myself a few moments of rheumy-eyed and entirely random reflection on what made this twelve-month memorable .

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011Peter Murchie scored twice as Glasgow Warriors climbed to second in the RaboDirect PRO12 table with a dramatic 37-34 win over Edinburgh that also sealed them the 1872 Cup for a fifth year in a row.

In their rescheduled clash after January’s fixture was washed out, the Warriors ran in three tries in the first half through Murchie, the departing Ruaridh Jackson and Mark Bennett.

WP Nel barrelled over for the visitors who struggled with ill discipline as they lost a man in each half to the sin bin but Murchie bagged a second soon after the interval to put the Warriors in control.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011glasgowrugbyEdinburgh RugbyGlasgow Warriors home RaboDirect PRO12 match against Edinburgh Rugby finally takes places this Saturday at Scotstoun (kick off 19:05 BST, 20:05 SAST) and is the only PRO12 game this weekend. The match, which also doubles up as the second leg of the 1872 Cup, was initially due to be played on 1ST of January this year but was called off due to the pitch being waterlogged.

Had there not been the 1872 Cup to play for there would have been little more than pride at stake in this match for Edinburgh. They have missed out on their chance to qualify for next season’s European Champions Rugby Cup by not being able to end sixth or higher on the PRO12 log. Glasgow, who will play in that competition, will be keen to win the match to enhance their already good chance of qualifying for this season’s knockout stage of the PRO12 by ending in the top four on the log. They should also look to win well and try score four tries at least to pick up an all important bonus point for that too as they still have a chance of securing a home semi final by ending second.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011glasgowrugbyGregor Townsend today branded Saturday’s 1872 Cup second leg Scotstoun clash with Edinburgh as the biggest game of Glasgow’s season.

A thrilling 27-9 Good Friday victory over Ulster has taken Warriors to within four points of second-placed Munster.

While with the Limerick side set to host third-placed Ulster in their final game of the campaign and the Scotstoun men nursing this weekend’s derby dust-up against Edinburgh in hand, Glasgow’s chances of landing a first-ever home play-off semi-final are growing by the week.

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Edinburgh_Rugby_logoAStraussbIt was speculated here on rugby-talk on Saturday that South African centre Andries Strauss was going to sign up with Edinburgh Rugby. The news was confirmed on Sunday by the club. Strauss has signed up for two and a half seasons, subject to passing the customary medical tests.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011The traditional festive season local derbies are set to take centre stage as the Pro12 Round 11 provides an exciting escape from turkey and TV. The games in Scotland and Wales take place on Boxing Day, whilst Ireland foregoes St Stephens’ Day games and sticks to the traditional Friday and Saturday slots.

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Edinburgh_Rugby_logoEdinburgh Rugby moved up to sixth position on the RaboDirect PRO12 table with their hard fought victory over Leinster (11/6) at a cold, wet and windy Murrayfield on Friday night. This after they have spent much of the PRO12 season languishing near the bottom half of the table. This win followed a good one they achieved the weekend before in their Heineken Cup pool game against Gloucester.

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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’.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011At the half-way point of the regular season Ulster sit atop of the Pro12 table with a perfect won 11 out of 11 record.

The leaders face Munster in one of four games on Saturday, safe in the knowledge that regardless of other results, they will enter 2013 as table toppers.

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edbgThis weekend sees further action in the RaboDirect Pro12 as this season’s competition enters the twelfth round of matches in the league stage.  Most of the games will be completed during the weekend but one of the matches, Scarlets versus Ospreys,  is scheduled for the afternoon of Monday  afternoon.

The attention in Scotland in particular will, for the second week in a row, be centred on the derby match between Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors. This match will take place at Murrayfield on Saturday, kick off due 18.05 South African Time.

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