Glasgow took home the silverware but over the two legs honours were shared with both sides taking the Magners League points – arguably more valuable – in their home fixtures.The second leg yesterday was far more exciting than the first (unless you like fighting) with both sides going for tries and for the most part succeeding. Tim Visser scored his usual try, and set up a second while the exciting prospect that is Rob Harley grabbed a well-worked five-pointer after some ball in two hands, heads up rugby from Vernon and Gregor. And it was Jim Thompson who settled the matter late on after a period of intense pressure from Glasgow, scooping a Colin Gregor pass out of the air and running the length of the pitch to touch down. (The strange try celebration by Visser and Thompson is, we hear, some form of tribute to Alex “The Mole” Grove who has now returned to Worcester after his loan period at Edinburgh. Glad to see he made some friends although am not sure how much impact the loan spell has had on his World Cup chances.)
Thompson’s converted try sealed the win and denied Glasgow a bonus point to put Edinburgh 7th and Glasgow 9th, but the scoreline left the home side a point short in the 1872 Cup aggregate reckoning, so Glasgow retained the cup.
Villain of the series: John Barclay. You could say that Fusaro came close with his five-minute boxing cameo. But every panto season needs a boo-hiss villain and Barclay duly stepped up, giving away a bunch of silly penalties and earning a yellow card for his troubles. Outshone by Harley and Vernon for positive effort in both legs and mostly anonymous except when getting ticked off by referees – and it is rare we say that sort of thing about Barclay on these pages.
Man of the series: Rob Harley. Edinburgh put in one good individual performance (D Blair in the first leg) and one good team performance but had no real stand out candidates for more than about 20 minutes. DTHVDM was probably a Mossy brain-cell away from 2 man of the match awards after looking threatening every time he got the ball out wide and making several big breaks, but for overall workrate as well as a good try in the second leg, Rob Harley gets the nod.
Honourable Mention: The Glasgow fans who created such a great atmosphere at both games. Big attendances for both legs, with 7,062 and 9,292 respectively.