Opportunistic Edinburgh scored their two tries on Duhan van der Merwe interceptions but wholly deserved another 1872 Cup win over their rivals Glasgow at Murrayfield.
The comfortable scoreline didn’t flatter the capital club even if their two tries came from breakaways – both times van der Merwe intercepted passes from Adam Hastings – as they pressurised the Warriors in defence continually and dominated the key moments of the match apart from a 10 minute spell either side of half-time.
Glasgow too often looked hurried and made continual errors in the face of Edinburgh’s outstanding defence to drop to their seventh loss in their last eight visits at Murrayfield.
Hastings, picked out by Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill for saying before the game that Glasgow were targeting ten points from the two festive meetings of the teams, ended up gifting ten points to Edinburgh’s South African finisher.
Cockerill also seemed fully justified in goading the Warriors “going to fight club” in pre-season to toughen up from last year, as his Edinburgh side still enjoyed the better of the physical exchanges on the night.
Edinburgh completely dominated the first half hour against a Glasgow team that looked strangely sluggish and mistake-prone.
A couple of neat offloads, the first from Blair Kinghorn and another from Luke Hamilton, gave Edinburgh some early encouragement in attack against Glasgow’s defence and eventually an infringement by Rob Harley on the deck allowed Jaco van der Walt to kick the home side in front after eight minutes.
Glasgow took more than ten minutes to get their first real handle on the ball but it brought the opening try for their rivals.
The Warriors were looking promising with ball in hand but van der Merwe gambled on a short pass from Hastings to Nick Grigg and the big wing juggled, held on and sprinted away from the retreating cover for a 70 metre interception try, converted well from the touchline.
More strong Edinburgh phases brought a second penalty from van der Walt as almost everything that could have gone wrong for the Warriors did, two attacking lineouts coming to naught when they were stalled in the mall and then overthrew the target.
Glasgow did look a little more incisive with ball in hand late in the half and got the score they desperately needed just before half-time, when the forwards made ground and they were given a penalty advantage deep in the Edinburgh 22.
George Horne took the option of the chip in behind on the free play and it was perfectly weighted for elder brother Pete to time his run perfectly, gather the ball in his dive and score the try converted by Hastings.
The pattern of the first half was totally reversed at the start of the second, with Glasgow enjoying the upper hand and forcing penalties from Edinburgh in retreat.
But although Glasgow enjoyed a long spell of phases close to the Edinburgh line, strong defence kept them out and Hastings’ hurried flick pass fell into touch to relieve the pressure.
Edinburgh made the most of that mistake and more, attacking off a fumbled pass in midfield with Duhan van der Merwe getting around Tommy Seymour, James Johnstone carrying on before being hauled by Stuart Hogg.
Gibbins infringed in retreat to kill the move and got a yellow card for his troubles as Jaco van der Walt kicked Edinburgh 16-7 ahead with the penalty.
And Glasgow’s errors gifted a second try for van der Merwe just on the hour, Hastings completing a fairly awful night by telegraphing a pass as the Warriors attacked on the Edinburgh 10 metre line, easy meat for the big South African flier to step in and race away a mere 60 metres this time, van der Walt converting to take the home side away and clear.
Hastings departed and Pyrgos then got in on interception act picking off a floated pass from Grigg but didn’t have the pace to go all the way from his own 22 sparing Glasgow further embarrassment.
The Warriors tried to reduce the deficit against a swathe of Edinburgh replacements in the dying minutes but Huw Jones couldn’t get the touch down to another chip and in their final lumbering effort the final pass went wild and into touch.
Edinburgh: B Kinghorn; D Graham, J Johnstone, C Dean, D van der Merwe; J van der Walt, H Pyrgos; P Schoeman, S McInally (capt), WP Nel; B Toolis, G Gilchrist; L Hamilton, H Watson, V Mata.
Replacements: D Cherry for McInally 67, A Dell for Schoeman 60, P Ceccarelli for Nel 62, C Hunter-Hill for Toolis 67, L Crosbie, N Fowles for Pyrgos 72, S Hickey for van der Walt 74, JP Socino for Dean 73.
Glasgow: S Hogg; T Seymour, N Grigg, P Horne, DTH van der Merwe; A Hastings, G Horne; O Kebble, G Stewart, S Halanukonuka; R Harley, J Gray; A Ashe, C Gibbins (capt), M Fagerson.
Replacements: K Bryce for van der Merwe 70, J Bhatti for Kebble 67, D Rae for Halanukonuka 55, T Swinson for Harley 60, C Fusaro for Ashe 60, A Price for G Horne 63, H Jones for Hastings 63, N Matawalu for Seymour 63.
Ref: M Adamson (SRU)