Edinburgh took all the honours and a probable trip to South Africa for the URC play-offs with a deserved and dominant victory over Glasgow at Murrayfield.
A crowd of over 24,000 saw the capital club clinch the 1872 Cup and the Scottish-Italian Shield trophies on offer and Heineken Champions Cup status next season. For the watching Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend, almost all the positives were wearing blue and orange.
Glasgow’s indiscipline just like Scotland’s
🛡🏆 IT'S A SHIELD AND CUP DOUBLE.
— Edinburgh Rugby (@EdinburghRugby) May 21, 2022
In truth Glasgow actually looked more like this season’s Scotland than Edinburgh did. The crippling penalty count against the Warriors meant they were forever retreating to their own 22 or defending lineout mauls.
Blair Kinghorn had a mixed game at 10 in general play, but scored a first-half try that established Edinburgh’s foundation. Magnus Bradbury’s try straight after the break meant that the Warriors were left chasing the game frantically.
Bradbury, off to Bristol next season, took a sentimental man of the match. But the real difference maker on the pitch for Edinburgh was Darcy Graham. The Scotland wing’s darting runs sucked in the Glasgow defence for the first two tries. He twice threatened to weave his way through on solo runs in the second half.
For Glasgow, a disappointing season will now see them face European rugby’s Mission Impossible – a quarter-final play-off at Leinster. But for a decent spell midway through the first-half, they were never in the game and badly missed the injured Rory Darge.
Penalty count leaves Edinburgh in command
A Blair Kinghorn try is the difference as @EdinburghRugby hold a 7-point lead at the break.
🏰 13-6 ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/wHZ0uGa3Cc
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) May 21, 2022
Edinburgh enjoyed a comfortable lead on the scoreboard and crucially the penalty count in a fractured first half.
Glasgow captain Ryan Wilson was involved in some tense negotiations with Irish test referee Andrew Brace. But he was pinged himself needlessly twice, once for getting involved with Jamie Hodgson when Glasgow had the home side stacked up in their own 22.
Both sides had early clear breaks they couldn’t convert, and Emiliano Boffelli missed a routine penalty. But he landed one on 14 minutes after Glasgow’s defence fringed offside when Chris Dean pinballed off tackles through a gap in midfield.
Glasgow were losing the ball in contact frequently. But a patient series of phases forced a penalty caught Hamish Watson slow on the retreat close to the posts. Ross Thompson duly levelled the scores on 21 minutes.
But the Warriors were too adventurous coming out of their own 22, lost control and Josh McKay was snared holding on by Mark Bennett.
Edinburgh kicked to the corner and although stalled at the maul, Darcy Graham’s flying feet sucked in defenders. Although the ball went loose as Edinburgh recycled, Kinghorn retrieved it, shrugged off Sam Johnson’s tackle and went over.
A high tackle on Jamie Bhatti allowed Thompson to peg Edinburgh back with a penalty. But a silly obstruction on the restart by Wilson allowed Boffelli to put Edinburgh 13-6 ahead at the break.
Bradbury’s try takes Edinburgh clear
Magnus Bradbury with a MASSIVE try for @EdinburghRugby! 😱
They're in control of this high stakes derby now 🏰 pic.twitter.com/jo0MynpsCK
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) May 21, 2022
Edinburgh seized on an unexpected chance four minutes into the second half when Ollie Smith fumbled a routine kick on his own 22.
From the scrum – the first of the game – the capital side worked a deft switch move to send Graham through a gap. He was felled but Edinburgh swiftly moved it for Magnus Bradbury to score his farewell try against the fractured defence.
Boffelli’s conversion hit the post but Glasgow were penalised yet again off the ball as they tried to respond. It got even worse when Rob Harley was yellow-carded for a clear interference on the deck at the next breakdown.
Boffelli stretched Edinburgh’s lead out to 15 points and might have been more. George Turner made a heroic retreat to save the day after Graham thrillingly blazed down the right touchline.
Graham then almost broke through single-handed from his own half after a break from Jack Dempsey into Edinburgh territory ended when the No 8’s pass was dropped.
A breathtaking passage of play finally ended with Damien Hoyland darting in after the undermanned Glasgow defence was stretched left and right.
Smith got Glasgow a score from a pinpoint cross-kick by replacement 10 Domingo Miotti. But it was scant consolation for the well-beaten Warriors.
Edinburgh: Emiliano Boffelli; Darcy Graham, Mark Bennett, Chris Dean, Damien Hoyland; Blair Kinghorn, Ben Vellacott; Pierre Schoeman, Dave Cherry, WP Nel; Jamie Hodgson, Grant Gilchrist (capt); Luke Crosbie, Hamish Watson, Magnus Bradbury.
Replacements: Adam McBurney (for Cherry 75), Lee-Roy Atalifo (for Nel 75), Marshall Sykes (for Hodgson 60), Ben Muncaster (for Crosbie 66, Henry Pyrgos (for Vellacott 35), Jaco Van der Walt (for Graham 75), James Lang (for Dean 61).
Glasgow: Ollie Smith; Josh McKay, Sione Tuipulotu, Sam Johnson, Rufus McLean; Ross Thompson, Ali Price; Jamie Bhatti, George Turner, Zander Fagerson; Rob Harley, Richie Gray; Ryan Wilson (capt), Thomas Gordon, Jack Dempsey.
Replacements: Johnny Matthews (for Turner 70), Nathan McBeth (for Bhatti 66), Simon Berghan (for Fagerson 66), Gregor Brown (for Gordon 59), Jamie Dobie (for Price 66), Domingo Miotti (for Thompson 66), Stafford McDowall (for Johnson 73).
Ref: Andrew Brace (IRFU)