Two late tries from a penalty award and from Darcy Graham finally turned a thrilling end-to-end 1872 Cup derby in Edinburgh’s favour at Murrayfield.
The lead changed hands three times in the last 20 minutes but the crucial score was the third of them, a penalty try for hauling down a maul that also left the Warriors short-handed as Jonny Gray was yellow carded.
Graham’s final try in the dying seconds – his second of the afternoon – gave Edinburgh the bonus point as well as a handy aggregate advantage to take into the third 1872 Cup at the end of the season, but also provided a huge boost their Guinness PRO14 playoff hopes..
Glasgow will feel a little aggrieved at having contributed much to the match but leaving without anything, but Edinburgh were better at taking their scoring chances in a game they didn’t control for long periods.
The introduction of Matt Scott and Henry Pyrgos for the final quarter was probably the key for the hosts, the former Scotland centre’s two blinding breaks leading to two of their tries as the teams swapped scores in a frantic spell.
There were two tries in the first half to really savour for the record Murrayfield crowd for the fixture, but while that was a marked improvement on Scotstoun there was again too much indiscipline and wayward kicking by both sides.
Glasgow also had the same issues with their lineout as a week previously and it hurt them twice inside their hosts’ 22, the second time leading to a thrilling Edinburgh breakout.
Hastings had missed a penalty well within his usual range in the fifth minute but the Warriors had the obvious territorial advantage until Fraser Brown overthrew Jonny Gray at a lineout right on the Edinburgh 22 and Duhan van der Merwe opened the counterattack.
The big wing smashed through two tackles on getting the ball and then ran right over Ruaridh Jackson as he motored 60 metres at pace. Edinburgh quickly recycled possession and Bill Mata’s exquisite off-load as he came on to the ball on the wide right allowed Graham to race away for the score, Simon Hickey converting.
Glasgow didn’t let that shock make them waver from their gameplan and when they secured lineout ball for once inside the Edinburgh 22 they made it count at last in the 25th minute.
Successive hard carries from the forwards progressively weakened the Edinburgh defence and their patience was rewarded with good hands from Hastings, Johnson and Jackson opening up the gap for Huw Jones to run in under the posts on an excellent inside line, his stand-off converting.
It was Edinburgh’s turn to be frustrated with their attacking lineouts now with one turned over at the maul and a second producing a forceful defensive set by the Warriors that eventually ended with a poor kick from Hickey going straight into touch.
In the end just before the break the home side were slightly fortunate not to pay for Graham’s ill-judged off-load in his own 22 which ended up in Glasgow hands, only for Jackson to knock on after Jones was brought to ground.
Hickey put Edinburgh back in the lead with a 47th minute penalty as they pressed, but then the fun really started.
A fine Hastings run seemed to have been wasted as Glasgow battered to the line and Schoeman won the turnover, but the TMO spotted Jamie Ritchie’s no-arms tackle and instead the Warriors for a second chance.
This time their patience was again rewarded with Scott Cummings diving between tacklers to twist over the line, Hastings converting.
Before the hour back came Edinburgh, replacement Matt Scott running a superb line from the lineout move and seemingly getting the ball down at the abse of the posts, only for the TMO to spot Jackson’s arm managing to stop him.
From the resultant scrum, however, Mata sucked in tackler and Pyrgos, on for Groom, darted over for the score, Hickey converting.
Undeterred, Glasgow came right back with their replacement 9 George Horne darting and dodging near the line, Aki Seuili nearly getting there but Horne finally wriggling over from close range.
But Glasgow had lost Hastings to a head knock, Jackson missed the conversion, and back came Edinburgh for the crucial try.
It was from more typical Edinburgh play, after Scott had again cut a superb line in attack and Glasgow offended on the retreat. They went to the corner, the maul this time had the Warriors backtracking, and Mike Adamson awarding the penalty try as the maul collapsed.
A yellow card to Jonny Gray for that offence left the Warriors in desperate straits, and the final cut came when Nick Grigg dropped a pass under pressure, Edinburgh swiftly countered and Graham motored away down the touchline for the clincher.
Edinburgh: B Kinghorn; D Graham, M Bennett, G Taylor, D van der Merwe; S Hickey, N Groom; P Schoeman, S McInally (capt), WP Nel; G Gilchrist, B Toolis; J Ritchie, H Watson, V Mata.
Replacements: M Willemse for McInally 37, J Bhatti for Schoeman 75, S Berghan for Nel 46, L Carmichael, M Bradbury for Watson 57, H Pyrgos for Groom 52, J van der Walt for Hickey 63, M Scott for Taylor 57.
Glasgow: R Jackson; R Tagive, H Jones, S Johnson, DTH van der Merwe; A Hastings, A Price; O Kebble, F Brown, Z Fagerson; S Cummings, J Gray; R Harley, C Gibbins, R Wilson.
Replacements: G Turner for Brown 72, A Seuili for Kebble 57, A Nicol, A Ashe, T Gordon for Wilson 72, G Horne for Price 57, N Grigg for Hastings 63, N Matawalu for Tagive 72.
Ref: M Adamson (SRU)