Edinburgh secure Champions Cup spot with 1872 Cup triumph over Glasgow Warriors

·4-min read
Edinburgh secure Champions Cup spot with 1872 Cup triumph over Glasgow Warriors
Edinburgh secure Champions Cup spot with 1872 Cup triumph over Glasgow Warriors

EDINBURGH ended the league season in convincing fashion to secure a place in next season’s Champions Cup and win the 1872 Cup on aggregate. They just about edged a turgid first half, going in at the break 13-6 ahead, but a commanding display early in the second 40 saw them run out deserved winners by more than the 14-point margin they needed to claim the domestic trophy as well as securing seventh place in the URC table.

Both teams had already qualified for the play-offs, but the capital club needed the victory to finish above the Warriors - and to avoid a trip to Leinster in the quarter-finals early next month. That is now the Warriors’ fate, while Edinburgh were awaiting full-time in the late Leinster v Munster match to learn their opponents in the last eight.

Tries by Blair Kinghorn, Magnus Bradbury and Damian Hoyland helped Mike Blair’s team to the win, with Argentine full-back Emiliano Boffelli converting two, and adding three penalties. Ollie Smith got the Warriors’ only try, and Ross Thompson added two penalties.

After some tentative early exchanges, the stalemate was broken after quarter of an hour, when Boffelli, who had earlier missed one penalty, resumed his usual accuracy. The advantage only lasted five minutes, however, before the Warriors were awarded a penalty in front of the posts and Ross Thompson duly equalised.

When two teams know each other’s games inside out, creativity and unpredictability are conspicuous by their absence, but right on the half-hour mark Blair Kinghorn came up with a piece of magic to put Edinburgh back on the front. Make that two pieces of magic, in fact, as the stand-off first offloaded out of a tackle to keep an attack alive, then 30 seconds later reclaimed possession and snaked his way round two defenders to score the first try of the game.

Boffelli’s conversion took his team into double figures. Glasgow narrowed the gap through a Thompson penalty, but minutes later it was their Warriors’ turn to be punished by the referee for an offence, and Boffelli put his side seven points in front again.

Invention and imagination may have been hard to come by in the first half, but Edinburgh displayed it in spades in the opening stages of the second 40 and soon stretched their lead. Some slick sleight-of-hand passing stretched the Warriors defence to breaking point, and Magnus Bradbury finished off from inside the five-metre line.

Boffelli’s conversion attempt missed, leaving Edinburgh with a 12-point lead, and that forced Glasgow to be more adventurous as they looked for a way back into the contest. Their task got all the harder, however, with half an hour to play, when Rob Harley was yellow-carded for slapping the ball to the deck at a ruck. Edinburgh were soon back on the attack, the Warriors strayed offside, and Boffelli scored his third penalty to make it 21-6.

The game had opened up considerably by that time, and a few minutes later Edinburgh were again denied at the death. Graham broke from deep on his own this time, but just lacked the speed to beat the last defender.

Edinburgh were full of confidence by that stage, and they claimed the third try that their play deserved with just over 15 minutes to go. Mark Bennett made the running, Henry Pyrgos and Boffelli carried on the attack, and Damian Hoyland finished off. Boffelli’s conversion made it 28-6.
Glasgow had to hit back quickly, and they did when substitute Domingo Miotti lofted a kick to the corner and Ollie Smith beat Pyrgos to the ball to touch down in-goal. Miotti missed the conversion.

Another try would have given the Warriors the consolation of winning the 1872 Cup on aggregate, but Edinburgh’s defence held firm to close out the game.

Scorers: Edinburgh: Tries: Kinghorn, Bradbury, Hoyland. Cons: Boffelli 2. Penalties: Boffelli 3.

Glasgow: Try: Smith. Penalties: Thompson 2.

Yellow card: Glasgow: Harley.

Edinburgh: E Boffelli; D Graham (J van der Walt 76), M Bennett, C Dean (J Lang 61), D Hoyland; B Kinghorn, B Vellacott (H Pyrgos 35); P Schoeman, D Cherry (A McBurney 76), W Nel (L ATalifo 76), J Hodgson (M Sykes 74) , G Gilchrist (captain), L Crosbie (B Muncaster 67), H Watson, M Bradbury.

Sub: H Courtney.

Glasgow Warriors: O Smith; J McKay, S Tuipulotu, S Johnson (S McDowall 74), R McLean; R Thompson (D Miotti 67), A Price (J Dobie 67); J Bhatti (N McBeth 67), G Turner (J Matthews 71), Z Fagerson (S Berghan 67), R Harley (K McDonald 62), R Gray, R Wilson (captain), T Gordon (G Brown 59), J Dempsey.

Referee: A Brace (Ireland).

Attendance: 24,187.

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