1872 Cup Leg 1: Edinburgh 12-25 Glasgow

Glasgow made the short hop across the M8 to take on their oldest rivals in the now ‘not-so-festive’ 1872 Cup first leg.

Edinburgh welcomed back former Glasgow favourite Duncan Weir at 10, and a return from injury for Alasdair Dickinson. Gregor Townsend gave Junior Bulumakau a first start of the season, in place of the absent Tommy Seymour who was rested.

The stormy weather battering Scotland seemed to have relented for this one, resulting in some attacking intent from both teams, but Edinburgh seemed fully short of luck after only 2 minutes when Blair Kinghorn tried to gather a speculative hack through from Alex Dunbar. The young full-back made a hash of the collection; the ball bouncing off his knee and into the try area, where Bulumakau gratefully dotted down.

First touch of the season, first try. Despite Russell missing the extras, Glasgow were delighted with the belated Christmas present.

Edinburgh really only had one option – start again. The forwards, ably lead by Hamish Watson, continued to carry hard and got the capital side into the right parts of the paddock, but the Glasgow defence seemed comfortable for most of it.

Referee Ian Davies seemed determined to penalise the Warriors at every breakdown, and after 5 penalties (Edinburgh having conceded none) Davies finally snapped, yellow carding former Edinburgh man Alex Allan. Weir added 3 points, on top of an earlier shot at goal to give the Edinburgh side a one point and one man advantage after 20 minutes.

The capital side saw plenty of ball in Allan’s absence, but with little penetration and some fairly poor passing, the Glasgow team comfortably held them out. As soon as Glasgow were restored to 15 men though the visitors turned up the dial, with a thunderous rolling maul absolutely mullering the Edinburgh forwards.

Josh Strauss continued his try scoring streak by sneaking over at the bottom of the heap but this was another 8-man effort, against a strong Edinburgh pack. Russell kicked the extras making it 12-6 to the Scotstoun side.

Russell was oozing confidence, no doubt buoyed by his drubbing of Dan Carter twice in 2 weeks. The 10 was as mercurial as ever in this one, with plenty of tricks added to his outstanding defence. The last kick of the half fell to him, and another 3 points saw Glasgow lead 15-6 at half time.

Half-time: Edinburgh 6 – 15 Glasgow

Edinburgh were full of positive endeavour in this derby game, but when Glasgow upped the intensity you could really see the difference in quality between the sides.

Mark Bennett has become a reserve for Glasgow in recent months, but the Ayrshireman was enjoying his rare start and had a cracking game, with some lovely breaks, one of which led to another easy shot at goal for Russell. This time the swirling wind got the better of him, with the ball sailing wide to the right.

Weir had no such issues with his next penalty attempt, but it started to feel like Edinburgh were clinging on. Russell then showed the world that he can drop a goal, although in very strange circumstances. A penalty shot he had lined up flopped off the tee as he began his run up. Not to panic, he picked it up and dropped a cracking goal, with a bit of laughter to boot with referee Davies and his teammates.

The odds of a drop goal to win it vs Ireland in the 6 Nations opener anyone? At least we know he can do them.

Weir added another 3 of his own to leave the scoreboard 12-18 with 20 minutes remaining. If Edinburgh were to strike, this would need to be the time.

Glasgow would have been happy with 4 points for the win in this one, but a bonus point was still very possible when Alex Dunbar crashed over to secure another Glasgow try following excellent build up play by the pack.

Russell got the extras, but despite plenty of huffing and puffing, Glasgow could not blow the Edinburgh house down as the defence held mostly firm. Edinburgh had one last chance to claim a losing bonus right at the death as Sean Kennedy and Hoyland scarpered through the Glasgow defence but more scramble defence ensured that Mata was held up over the line. Edinburgh had nothing to show for their 80 minutes.

If truth be told this was probably the correct result, and Glasgow will see this as 4 points back on their deficit from last season. Now we only need to wait ‘til match day 22 to see who gets the 1872 Cup trophy.

FT: Edinburgh 12 – 25 Glasgow

Referee: Ian Davies (WRU)

Attendance: 21,036

Man of the match: Sponsors award went to Jonny Gray, with no complaints here. The lock continues to tirelessly go about his work, but his handling of the referee is definitely improving. Russell was excellent, as was Hamish Watson from the capital side. Brian Alainu’uese had one of his best games alongside Gray too.


Edinburgh: Blair Kinghorn; Damien Hoyland, Chris Dean, Phil Burleigh, Tom Brown; Duncan Weir, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Simon Berghan, Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist, Magnus Bradbury, Hamish Watson, Cornell du Preez.
Replacements: Stuart McInally, Allan Dell, Murray McCallum, Fraser McKenzie, Viliame Mata, Sean Kennedy, Jason Tovey, Glenn Bryce.

Glasgow Warriors: Stuart Hogg; Junior Bulumakau, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Lee Jones; Finn Russell, Henry Pyrgos; Alex Allan, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Brian Alainu’uese, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Simone Favaro, Josh Strauss.
Replacements: Pat McArthur, Ryan Grant, Sila Puafisi, Adam Ashe, Chris Fusaro, Ali Price, Nick Grigg, Sean Lamont.


Originally from the Isle of Bute, John is a Glasgow Warriors fan and retired crash ball specialist. John still enjoys the occasional rugby 'social' with his former team mates at Bute and Bishopton RFC

11 comments on “1872 Cup Leg 1: Edinburgh 12-25 Glasgow

  1. Highland Bear on

    Straightforward win for Glasgow who never needed to get out of second gear. Edinburgh remain one-dimensional; once their forward power is nullified there is no Plan B. Disappointed with Russell’s play after the two most recent matches. Thought he tried too hard and took high risk options too often in poor field positions. His kicking from the tee remains sub-standard, hence the need for Laidlaw to play and kick the penalties.
    On the basis of play no Edinburgh player would get into the Scotland back division come 6 Nations time. As the benches emptied it was apparent Glasgow had greater strength in depth.
    Gray and Dunbar were the standout players, while for Edinburgh Bradbury had some dynamic drives and Hidalgo-Clyne outplayed Pyrgos, whose selection over Price baffled me.
    The Hodge bounce seems to have run out of steam. With 14 points from 11 games, and lying third from bottom, what will be needed to confirm his appointment as permanent? Or will supporters be lumbered with a lame-duck SRU anointed coach? In a results business, are the marginal gains in terms of quality of play and performance, acceptable? If Solomons was still helm the cries for his sacking would be deafening here.

    • MK on

      Extremely disappointing afternoon. I was really looking forward to an entertaining game but was let down by poor officiating and poor player performances, from both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Edimburgh need to sort out the coaching position sooner rather than later so they can get a plan together as right now they seem listless…

      • FF on

        As a long-suffering Edinburgh fan always trying to put a positive spin on things, I’ll be devastated if Hodge is given the reins permanently. He’s clearly not up to it. Edinburgh have a pretty strong squad in my opinion but there is no substitute for good coaching – look at the influence Lam had at Connacht. I’m pretty confident the SRU are scouting for a replacement as they have a track record of identifying and getting top quality coaches like Cotter and Rennie. The question is whether Edinburgh is too small for any ambitious coach to bother with.

      • MK on

        Probably looking for an experienced assistant coach looking to make the step up to a full time position? But experimentation probably is not what Edinburgh need right now, they need a steady hand on the tiller but someone with a bit more verve than Solomons. Not an enviable position for the SRU to be in. As an Edinburgh fan also the only thing im pleased with is the performances of the young players, they will make mistakes as Kinghorn showed, but at least we’re producing decent players…just need a good coach to guide and nuture them before they lose self confidence that comes with losses.

      • Rory on

        I thought O’Halloran would have been perfect for it if he wasn’t good mates with Rennie and so a natural fit at Glasgow when he comes in.

    • Nicholas on

      I flew up from London for this fixture, I won’t be doing that again. A really uninspiring, uncreative performance by two cautious teams. The ref didn’t help either, too whistle happy and not allowing play to flow. I seem to remember 4 maybe erecting passages of play. £25 per ticket is a bit of an insult to the fans who sat in a cold, wet, empty stadium to watch such a dross match.

      We went into a pub afterwards where the Leinster vs Munster game was on. Really concerning how much better their standard of play was. More entertaining for spectators too.

      Brutally dissapointning whether you support Glasgow or Edinburgh.

      • FF on

        If you are expecting ‘erecting’ play for 80 minutes perhaps your expectations are a little high for a rugby match?

  2. Highland Bear on

    A ‘derby’ match with league points at stake, between two mid/lower table clubs? If its ‘entertainment’ you seek I suggest you head to your nearest panto. I saw the an intense fixture with the 2 teams cancelling each other out. We all know the limitations of the Edinburgh squad and coaching team so to expect them to raise their game to heights of which they are incapable was fanciful. Glasgow, after their recent form, were disappointing, but this is a team in transition after the peak of 2 seasons ago, and had more than enough quality to stuff the opposition even when playing below full throttle.
    We learnt plenty about individual players including those such as Kinghorn who are currently some way below international level.
    The return fixture is likely to be meaningful for only one team, the 13 point difference is too big a gap for Edinburgh to bridge.

  3. James on

    Would have been nice for Edinburgh to get a very valuable league point at the end.

    As for the Edinburgh job, what about getting Robbo back?

  4. Ade on

    A game for the purists perhaps, but it still had enough going on with the various head to heads. Both sides know each other well and for the most part cancelled each other out – an indication that Edinburgh aren’t that far behind Glasgow and only lack a “winning culture”?

    Defensively, both sides did well. The Edinburgh of old would have coughed up that third try after 3 or 4 phases – instead it took Glasgow 3 or 4 minutes of battering at the gates. Credit to both sides for that.

    Was pleasing to see a referee not being conned into giving penalties – you could hear Davies clearly telling the 9s to use the ball at scrums, and also not to try to prevent players moving away at rucks.

    Lastly, how nice to see Russell and Weir giving each other a nod and a wink, both clearly enjoying testing themselves against a mate – what rugby is all about.

  5. Bulldog on

    Shame about the kicks – there was nine points squandered so could have been 12- 34 . I know the days of crossing the line to ‘try’ and kick a goal are well behind us, however that performance needs a firm word. It just puts a burden on your mates for longer. It’s a different game when you have daylight early in the match.

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