Edinburgh claim bragging rights with victory in 1872 Cup decider

Edinburgh claimed the inter-city bragging rights as they recorded a 24-19 Guinness PRO14 victory over Glasgow in the 1872 Cup decider at Murrayfield.

Richard Cockerill had talked up his team's chances during the build-up, insisting his capital outfit could claim to be the best side in Scotland if they edged out Dave Rennie's team in the best-of-three series.

And the Gunners head coach was vindicated as James Johnstone, Jordan lay and Duhan van der Merwe scored first-half tries to hand Edinburgh a 2-1 success.

DTH van der Merwe crossed over twice either side of Callum Gibbons' try for the visitors but a late Duncan Weir penalty eventually put Edinburgh out of reach.

Ulster's draw at Munster meant Edinburgh could kick-off with the relief of knowing both a play-off quarter-final slot as well as their place in next season's Champions Cup had already been secured.

They face a trip to Limerick themselves next week but first and foremost they had their local squabble with Glasgow - already in the semi-finals having topped Conference A - to take care of.

Both sides were forced into a number of last-minute alterations to their starting line-ups but the disruptions did little to slow either down during a thrilling opening half.

Glasgow drew first blood 12 minutes in as Finn Russell's cross kick found DTH Van der Merwe, with the Canada international barging past Dougie Fife to mark his 100th Warriors appearance with the opening try.

But the hosts hit back seven minutes later. Jaco van der Walt took Scott Cummings out of the equation as he scooped the ball off the ground to find Jamie Ritchie. With Glasgow's defence opened up, Junior Rasolea spread wide to Johnstone who powered over the line.

Again the momentum swung back in Glasgow's direction as Russell sent Nick Grigg scampering over the gain-line. George Horne provided support before Russell rejoined the attack, surging another 15 yards up field before laying off for Gibbons to finish after 22 minutes.

But it was Edinburgh who ended the half on top as they struck twice more.

Their pressure forced Glasgow to concede a penalty under their own posts. Cockerill's men chose to take the scrum and got their reward as Lay eventually squeezed over from close-range.

Glasgow scrum-half George Horne then put his team in trouble as Ben Toolis charged down his from inside his own 22.

That mistake was then compounded as Warriors left a massive space in behind unguarded and they paid the price as Sam Hidalgo-Clyne's clever kick sent Duhan Van Der Merwe in to score.

The second period was tighter but no less engrossing. Weir booted over a precious penalty to put clear daylight between the teams with 13 minutes left.

But Glasgow immediately put the squeeze back on. Replacement prop Siosiua Halanukonuka defied his bulk as he raced 40 yards up field and - with the Edinburgh defence at sixes and sevens - DTH van der Merwe dived over for his second touchdown.

He thought he had grabbed the winner soon after but was called back as referee Nigel Owens spotted a breakdown infringement in the build-up.

PA


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