Edinburgh finally got the victory they deserved over Glasgow in a mistake-strewn 1872 Cup clash that was scoreless until more than an hour was played at BT Murrayfield.
Warrior stand-off Brandon Thomson’s woeful wild pass with ten minutes left gifted a try to Magnus Bradbury and ensured that Edinburgh would win again at home in the latest inter-city derby. The capital club had the upper hand for most of the contest, particularly in the scrummage.
But they utterly failed to make that superiority count for 64 minutes until they belatedly opted to take a penalty shot at the posts. Jaco van der Walt kicked them ahead, and Bradbury’s gift try followed soon afterwards.
Glasgow defended manfully throughout and Richie Gray was outstanding at the lineout while Huw Jones looked the best back on the field. But Edinburgh’s collective effort well deserved the win and their strength in depth told late in the game.
The teams looked more coherent after six months off in lockdown in August than they did after just the latest 10-day hiatus caused by Covid-19 infections.
Only one penalty kick at goal was attempted in a scoreless first half despite numerous opportunities, and that was an embarrassing shank in front of the posts by Thomson in one of Glasgow’s rare forays into the Edinburgh 22.
Other than that the teams conspired to hand each other easy outs from pressure, plentiful missed touches and frequent guddles of possession in what would have been a dispiriting first 40 for the watching Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend.
Glasgow couldn’t even lift a jumper for a lineout inside the Edinburgh 22 early on, but it was the home side who were easily the more flagrant with their chances in the first half.
They encamped in the Glasgow 22 for 20 minutes, but referee Sam Grove-White was indulgent with the Warriors as they conceded six penalties, all of which Edinburgh chose to scrum or kick to the corner without success.
Just as Glasgow seemed about to wilt, a powerful double hit by Ryan Wilson and Zander Fagerson on Bill Mata forced Henry Pyrgos into spilling the ball. The Warriors finally raised the siege, somehow without any damage to numbers or the scoreboard.
Huw Jones’ searing run when he spotted WP Nel as his defender was the nearest anyone came to opening up a defence, but Mark Bennett’s hit on Nick Grigg saved the day for the home side.
It was Glasgow’s turn to miss a big opportunity at the start of the second half when Ali Price’s kick forced Kinghorn into touch on the retreat. But the Warriors’ maul couldn’t make ground and they knocked it on after tapping another kickable penalty.
Edinburgh’s scrum domination brought them a string of penalties to relieve pressure, and finally a Warrior didn’t roll away from the tackle 35 metres out. Van der Walt at last broke the unwanted deadlock with the home side’s first shot at the posts.
With barely ten minutes left Glasgow shot themselves in the foot as they tried to move ball wide just inside their own half and Thomson’s wild pass went behind Sam Johnson.
Van der Walt pounced to boot the ball through and any one of four Edinburgh chasers could have scored, replacement Bradbury falling on the ball for the easiest of tries.
Van der Walt converted and the Warriors attempts to salvage something for the game brought a late try from replacement Lewis Bean converted by debutant Ross Thompson, but it was all too late.
Edinburgh: Blair Kinghorn; Darcy Graham, Mark Bennett, Chris Dean, Duhan van der Merwe; Jaco van der Walt, Henry Pyrgos; Pierre Schoeman, Stuart McInally, WP Nel; Jamie Hodgson, Ben Toolis; Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Viliame Mata.
Replacements: Mike Willemse for McInally 70, Rory Sutherland for Schoeman 55, Simon Berghan for Nel 55, Magnus Bradbury for Mata 66, Nic Groom for Pyrgos 65.
Glasgow: Huw Jones; Lee Jones, Nick Grigg, Sam Johnson, Ratu Tagive; Brandon Thomson, Ali Price; Aki Seuili, George Turner, Zander Fagerson; Scott Cummings, Richie Gray; Ryan Wilson, Tom Gordon, Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: Jonny Matthews for Turner 70, George Thornton for Seuili 60, Enrique Pieretto for Z Fagerson 66, Lewis Bean for Gray 74, TJ Ioane for Gordon 64, Jamie Dobie for Price 77, Ross Thompson for Thomson 70, Glenn Bryce for Johnson 74.
Ref: Sam Grove-White (SRU)