Glasgow have now beaten Edinburgh three times in a season for the first time since 2000
Glasgow Warriors have now beaten Edinburgh three times in a season for the first time since 2000 and were worthy 31-24 winners of Saturday night’s latest renewal of rugby’s oldest inter-district fixture.
It was a highly impressive performance from Danny Wilson’s side in the capital, following on from their victory at Scotstoun eight days previously.
The Rainbow Cup may lack a little cachet but it has produced two cracking derbies, with Glasgow prevailing in both by four tries to three, playing some exciting rugby in the process.
Edinburgh scored the first and last tries at Murrayfield but were second best in between and the end of the season cannot come quickly enough for Richard Cockerill’s side who lost both their co-captains, Stuart McInally and Luke Crosbie, to head kocks.
For Wilson, the win was a particularly pleasing way to mark Rob Harley’s 250th appearance for the club.
“A big motivation this week was to do the double over Edinburgh and it was a big week for recognising and putting out the right performance for Robert Harley,” said the Glasgow coach.
“There are still little bits around penalties we need to be careful of. If you end up feeding a good side, you are going to get hurt by that.
“So, a couple of things we still need to tidy up, but on the whole I’m really pleased. The tries we scored and the way we approached the game, I think we showed real passion in both derbies to come away with two wins.”
The Rainbow Cup double coupled with the Pro14 home win in January make it an impressive hat-trick for the Warriors over Edinburgh this year.
The way Glasgow’s players have responded to last month’s aberration against Benetton in Italy will have been particularly pleasing for Wilson. George Turner was a worthy man of the match but Adam Hastings must have run him close and there were also impressive contributions from George Horne, Kyle Steyn and Rory Darge.
Hastings, playing at full-back, was a constant threat and his departure to Gloucester in the summer will be keenly felt.
Edinburgh got the ball rolling at Murrayfield with a try from Chris Dean which owed much to the strong-running skills of Bill Mata. But Glasgow were quickly on top and, after Ross Thompson and Blair Kinghorn had exchanged penalties, they scored two tries in four minutes.
Both come through the quick thinking of their forwards. Matt Fagerson got the first, slithering over the top of a pile of bodies before stretching out his arm to touch down. Then, with Edinburgh prop Pierre Schoeman in the sin-bin, Turner took a quick tap penalty and powered his way over from close range.
Edinburgh responded with a try from replacement hooker Mike Willemse but Hastings then extended Glasgow’s lead with a score just before half-time.
George Horne put the visitors further ahead by darting through a tangle of arms and legs from close range and Thompson’s conversion made it 31-17.
The game became more open as Edinburgh tried to find a way back and Mata was stopped in full flight by a courageous tackle from Ratu Tagive. Blair Kinghorn then broke away to set up home replacement scrum-half Charlie Shiel for a try but it was the final score of the match.