Pro14: Edinburgh 29-19 Glasgow Warriors
|Edinburgh (7) 29|
|Tries: Graham 2, Pyrgos, Penalty Cons: Hickey 2 Pen: Hickey|
|Glasgow (7) 19|
|Tries: H Jones, Cummings, G Horne Cons: Hastings 2|
Edinburgh moved second in Pro14 Conference B and kept alive hopes of a third-straight 1872 Cup with a bonus-point win over Glasgow at Murrayfield.
Darcy Graham went over early for the hosts aiming to avenge last week's 20-16 Scotstoun defeat with Huw Jones and the boot of Adam Hastings levelling at the break.
Tries from Scott Cummings and George Horne put the visitors ahead twice, but a Henry Pyrgos score, a penalty try and a second Graham touch-down sealed the victory.
It was not all good news for Richard Cockerill's men, though, who lost captain Stuart McInally in the first half to injury.
For Warriors, who played out the final minutes a man down due to Jonny Gray's sin-binning, it leaves them in fourth in Conference A, two points behind Cheetahs, who now have two games in hand.
From early blunders to blinding brilliance
Last week's meeting of these sides took more than an hour to raise itself above a mistake-ridden, defence-dominated mundanity, but it was a whole lot more satisfying a whole lot earlier at Murrayfield.
It wasn't without its blunders - Glasgow lost three line-outs in the first quarter and Edinburgh kicked out on the full three times in the first half - but when it was good, it was very good. The longer it went on, the more open it got, the more brilliant it became. Edinburgh's bench made a big difference. The home team powered their way through the decisive minutes at the end.
The class came early. Not least when Edinburgh opened the scoring with a high-class try from Graham. The hard-running Duhan van der Merwe started it all with a thunderous break from his own half that had Glasgow scrambling. For a second it looked like Edinburgh were going to undo their good work when Ben Toolis threw a ropey pass as the home team were trying to make more inroads, but when they regathered and came roaring from left to right they had a handy man in possession.
Bill Mata was out near the right touchline when he got it, with one Glasgow defender on his case and another, Ruaridh Jackson, in his way. No bother to the Fijian. He slipped his pass out the side door to Graham, taking Jackson out of the equation and putting Graham free to run to the line. Gorgeous.
Simon Hickey's conversion made it 7-0, but the advantage didn't stand for long. Glasgow experienced significant problems out of touch last week and went through some of the same problems here, but despite losing a third throw, picked off by Toolis, they scored a minute later.
If Edinburgh's try was all about pace and dexterity, Glasgow's response was about patience and accuracy, the visitors sucking in the Edinburgh defence through a series of carries and then striking when the overlap was on, Jones going into the space and stepping his way over. The centre's return to form in recent weeks will come as a major boost not just for Dave Rennie but Scotland coach Gregor Townsend, too.
Hastings, having missed a kickable penalty earlier on, made no mistake with the conversion. Hickey's boot put Edinburgh back in front early in the new half, a prelude to the thrill-fest that followed.
Glasgow took the lead when passing up three easy points and instead of taking a gamble on a kick to touch from a close-range penalty conceded by Jamie Ritchie and a no-arms tackle. Great call by Glasgow, as it turned out. They kept hold of it, worked Edinburgh backwards and forwards and then Cummings pile-driving between Pierre Schoeman and Grant Gilchrist to score. Hastings' extras made it 14-10 to Glasgow.
Again, the lead didn't survive. Matt Scott came off the bench and had a massive influence. His clever line and searing break had Murrayfield on its feet, the centre darting for the posts with three Glasgow giving chase and another, Jackson, moving in from Scott's left.
Scott ate up the ground, his target being the left-hand pad on Glasgow's posts. There was a ferocious collision as the try loomed. Bodies piled up, Scott reached out and Murrayfield thought the score was good. Jackson, though, had timed his intervention brilliantly, sticking his arm between pad and ball and denying Scott his moment.
Glasgow didn't survive, though. Edinburgh's scrum pressure told. They piled it on, launched Mata who found Pyrgos. With Hickey's conversion, Edinburgh were ahead 17-14.
Just as before, the lead was wiped out in rapid order when Glasgow moved downfield ominously, working the field position from where Horne squirreled his way over. Horne is a try-scoring machine and at 19-17 to Glasgow with 14 minutes left to play you wondered how Edinburgh would respond.
The answer was emphatic. With eight minutes left their forward pressure proved too much for Glasgow again, a devastating maul being dropped illegally as he swept inexorably to the try-line. A penalty try was given and Edinburgh were back in front at 24-19. What was worse for Glasgow, Gray was identified as the culprit and he was binned.
Edinburgh were ruthless from there. The try that sealed the win, and the bonus point, was a peach. Nick Grigg coughed it up in midfield and Edinburgh's work from there was exceptional. Van der Merwe picked up the loose ball and was razor sharp in identifying where the opportunity lay. They screamed down the right side, Graham being found by Mark Bennett, the wing then sprinting like a demon down his wing and all the way to the line. A superb score to finish a hugely absorbing game.
Glasgow Warriors: Jackson; Tagive, Jones, Johnson, Van der Merwe; Hastings, Price; Kebble, Brown, Z Fagerson, Cummings, Gray, Harley, Gibbins (capt), Wilson.
Replacements: Turner, Seiuli, Nicol, Ashe, Gordon, Horne, Grigg, Matawalu.
Edinburgh: Kinghorn; Graham, Bennett, Taylor, Van der Merwe; Hickey, Groom; Schoeman, McInally (capt), Nel, Toolis, Gilchrist, Ritchie, Watson, Mata.
Replacements: Willemse, Bhatti, Berghan, Carmichael, Bradbury, Pyrgos, Van der Walt, Scott.