Edinburgh 25-32 Glasgow Warriors
A scintillating second-half comeback saw Glasgow Warriors secure the 2022/23 1872 Cup in style at BT Murrayfield this evening, roaring their way to a 32-25 bonus-point win over Edinburgh.
With the fog from the pre-game fireworks, it was Glasgow who made the brighter start in front of over 25,000 at BT Murrayfield. An early scrum penalty won by Lucio Sordoni was kicked to touch, before Sione Tuipulotu’s thundering carry took the Warriors to within 10 metres. Good identification of space saw Tom Jordan pull the ball out the back, allowing Sintu Manjezi to feed Kyle Steyn. The skipper’s step saw him cut inside two players and show excellent strength to finish, Jordan adding the extras for a 7-0 lead with five minutes played.
Edinburgh’s response was swift, as the capital outfit sparked themselves into life. Only a superb cover tackle from Sione Vailanu would deny Blair Kinghorn in the corner, but the home side’s first score wasn’t long in arriving. From the ensuing scramble after Ali Price’s box-kick was charged down, the ball would end up in Edinburgh hands. Jamie Ritchie would be the man to profit two phases later, driving over next to the posts for a try that would level the scores when converted by Emiliano Boffelli.
Boffelli would nudge his side in front on 14 minutes by punishing Glasgow indiscipline at the ruck, with the hosts enjoying the upper hand in both possession and territory. Duhan van der Merwe’s short-range burst for the line had the home crowd on their feet, only for strong defence from Jordan and Stafford McDowall to hold up the winger over the whitewash and deny the hosts.
A second try for the men in blue would arrive on 26 minutes, however, as Edinburgh made their territory and possession pay. Successive penalties to the corner would allow the hosts to maul, and when the second of those mauls was broken up Luke Crosbie would take advantage to crash over. Boffelli converted, and Edinburgh led 17-7.
With the travelling Warrior Nation urging their team forward, Glasgow would find their own response with five minutes left in the half. A clever shift drive close to the Edinburgh line would see Matt Fagerson driven over for the score, and whilst Jordan’s conversion drifted wide, Glasgow were back in the fight.
Boffelli would extend Edinburgh’s lead at the break to 20-12 with a penalty on the stroke of half-time, but the Warriors would come out of the half-time blocks firing on all cylinders. A piston of a handoff from Jordan on Mark Bennett would see the fly-half break through, only for the ball to just evade Sebastian Cancelliere’s grasp.
The Warriors knew that the chances would come, however, and come they did as Smith’s men showed exactly what they can do with ball in hand. Jordan’s cut-out pass to Vailanu was perfectly timed, the big Tongan racing through a gap and sending his pass to Cancelliere steaming up on his outside. The winger would in turn feed the supporting Jordan, sending the fly-half over for his first try in Glasgow colours. Jordan himself would convert, bring it to a one-point game with 55 minutes on the clock.
Glasgow were raising the tempo at every opportunity, with Jordan pulling the strings supremely from fly-half. The forwards, led by Jamie Bhatti and Vailanu, were carrying with aplomb, with Tuipulotu similarly looking menacing any time he had the ball in his hands.
Edinburgh were creaking, and their resistance would crack on 66 minutes. With Marshall Sykes sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul, Horne – off the bench for Price – coolly slotted a penalty from directly in front of the posts to put his side in front, before an even more telling contribution.
In one of the all-time classic 1872 Cup scores, Glasgow silenced the home crowd and put the pre-game fireworks to shame. Tuipulotu’s pinpoint grubber kick from deep inside his own half sparked the attack, the ball sitting up perfectly for the onrushing Steyn. The captain’s flipped offload back inside found Jordan, who simply had to look inside and feed the omnipresent Horne on his shoulder. Over went the scrum-half, and cue bedlam amongst the Warrior Nation.
Not content with stopping there, Horne would add a penalty on 73 minutes to put the result beyond any doubt, despite Patrick Harrison’s late riposte for the home side. It would be a score of little consequence for the Warriors though; a bonus-point BKT URC win, the 1872 Cup secured and an unbeaten December sends the Warrior Nation into the New Year in the highest of spirits.