Glasgow 18 Edinburgh 29: Edinburgh ruin Townsend’s farewell with shock win at Scotstoun

© SNSDamien Hoyland goes in for Edinburgh's first try at Scotstoun.
Damien Hoyland goes in for Edinburgh's first try at Scotstoun.

Edinburgh stunned Scotstoun and ruined Gregor Townsend’s Warriors farewell with a thoroughly deserved first victory in Glasgow since 2003.

Second-half tries from Damien Hoyland and ex-Warrior Glenn Bryce with a perfect return from the kicking tee by another former Scotstoun favourite Duncan Weir were enough to lift the capital club to their second Guinness PRO12 win in succession after they had lost all of the previous nine.

Glasgow had more than enough possession to continue their domination at home against their old rivals but were repelled by a stiffened Edinburgh defence and coughed up too much ball in contact. They also struggled at the breakdown against a tenacious Edinburgh side who battled for every ball and even overcame a two-man deficit at one point in the first half.

Glasgow’s scant consolation was to regain the 1872 Cup as Edinburgh just failed to wipe out the 13-point deficit from the first leg in December by just two points, but it was a huge anti-climax for the Scotstoun crowd who were expecting a regal send-off for their head coach and several departing players.

It was Edinburgh’s first win in Glasgow since December 2003 at Hughenden and the first time they had won at Scotstoun. It was the Warriors sixth defeat at their home stadium this season, after losing just two in the previous two campaigns.

Edinburgh’s defence coach Peter Wilkins lost his job this week after the capital club’s dismal season but in his final game the players showed much more resistance there than most recent games.

Sometimes their aggression went a little too far but they forced enough Glasgow fumbles to build a 9-6 lead with precious little possession of their own, Duncan Weir landing three penalties from three attempts on his return to his old stamping ground.

Finn Russell kicked a penalty in the opening minute and another on 18 minutes but the Warriors didn’t make much with ball in hand until gradually their domination of possession began to tell on the visitors.

First Ross Ford was yellow carded for a high tackle on Ali Price – although Weir’s third penalty came when the Scotland hooker was off – and then Sam Hidalgo-Clyne saw yellow for not rolling away as his opposite number again took a quick tap.

Edinburgh barely survived with 13 men as Russell couldn’t control the ball after making a half-break, but after Ford returned Glasgow finally made an attack count right on the break.

Lee Jones made ground and Russell kept probing, but it was an unlikely combination of second rows that opened up the Edinburgh defence, Scott Cumming’s superb underhand off-load springing his captain Gray to rumble over from 15 metres out.

The conversion went wide but Glasgow had the lead for the second half and the strong wind in their favour.

Edinburgh regained the lead at 12-11 early in the second half when Weir kicked a fourth penalty after a neat break from Chris Dean, but another penalty at a scrum but the pressure right back on the visitors.

Glasgow turned down the shot at goal to attack again and Jones was just in touch as Russell and Hogg combined at pace but Edinburgh then defended well against two driving mauls from lineouts.

Then a turnover of Hogg on Glasgow’s next attack saw a counterattack with Hoyland regathering his own kick ahead and the Warriors surrendering another penalty on the retreat which Weir kicked for a 15-11 lead.

And Edinburgh turned over ball again to set up another attack where they stunned the Warriors with a try just before the hour.

From an attacking lineout they probed, Dean drew defenders to move the ball wide for Hoyland to step outside one tackle and then inside another to open up a clear run to the line, Weir staying perfect from the tee with the conversion.

Glasgow look rattled but after oddly choosing to kick a penalty which Hogg missed, they went for the lineout on the next one.

From clean ball off the top a trademark move saw Seymour coming on an inside ball, spinning off tackles under the posts, but after a TMO check the try was ruled out to the fury of the Scotstoun crowd.

The try was only denied briefly as Hogg burst into the line off the resulting scrummage to score, Russell’s conversion going over off the post to reduce the margin to 22-18.

The retiring Sean Lamont came on to a huge ovation from the crowd and nearly broke clear from his own half after some nifty footwork by Hogg, but when the Warriors chose to kick the resultant penalty Russell sent it wide.

The Warriors had further chances with possession inside the Edinburgh 22 to get the try they needed, but the game ended with Edinburgh having the stranglehold and former Warrior Glenn Bryce diving over from close range for the clinching score.

Att: 7400

Glasgow: Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour, Alex Dunbar, Peter Horne, Lee Jones; Finn Russell, Ali Price; Gordon Reid, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson; Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray (capt); Rob Harley, Chris Fusaro, Matt Fagerson.

Replacements: Alex Allan for Reid 54, Sila Puafisi for Z Fagerson 54, Tim Swinson for Harley 50, Adam Ashe for Fusaro 63, Henry Pyrgos for Price 54, Nick Grigg for Horne 63, Sean Lamont for Jones 67.

Edinburgh: Glenn Bryce; Damien Hoyland, Chris Dean, Phil Burleigh, Blair Kinghorn; Duncan Weir, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; Allan Dell, Ross Ford, Simon Berghan; Grant Gilchrist (capt), Ben Toolis; Jamie Ritchie, John Hardie, Cornell du Preez.

Replacements: Neil Cochrane for Ford 70, Murray McCallum for Dell 58, Fraser McKenzie for Gilchrist 67, George Turner for Hardie 60, Sean Kennedy for Hidalgo-Clyne 70, Junior Rasolea for Burleigh 38.

Ref: M Adamson (SRU)