Rarely has a player whose job is to provide his team with an attacking edge had more reason to be grateful to their defensive structures than Duhan van der Merwe was for the opportunities to make the difference as Edinburgh beat Glasgow Warriors 23-7 in Saturday’s derby encounter in the capital.

He and fellow South African Jaco van der Walt, who converted both and knocked over three penalties, scored all their side’s points with Glasgow’s Horne brothers, George and Pete, combining to register their solitary try which was converted by Adam Hastings on what was otherwise an unhappy day for the stand off.

Both van der Merwe’s tries were the result of the discipline his side had shown in suffocating their normally free-flowing opponents as he twice intercepted passes from Hastings to set up 60 and 70 metre glory runs and he indicated afterwards that they had got their tactics just right, to the extent of following the corporation bus model of waiting a long time before two came along at once.

“They like to play wide, that’s one of their things, so if you take their space they’re obviously going to force it and they forced it a lot because they were behind,” the winger explained.

“You can’t give Hoggy (Stuart Hogg) and those boys any time on the ball, so I was just sitting in that space and lucky enough he (Hastings) chucked them and I managed to intercept it and there was no-one at the back, so happy days.

“I’ve never actually intercepted and scored… I was just lucky enough to get those two interceptions.

“We forced errors and stuff and the boys put in some decent shots. They scored a good try, but I think throughout the game our defence was very good.”

The match was certainly a triumph for Calum MacRae, Edinburgh’s defence coach, as his boss Richard Cockerill was swift to point out afterwards, but the outcome should not have been any sort of surprise.

It has become increasingly evident that, for all Glasgow Warriors’ superiority in terms of the competitions in which the two teams have played in recent years, it is the men from the capital who are dominant to the point of near supremacy in these encounters.

Among their domestic league rivals, even multiple European champions Leinster and Munster have been able to claim nothing approaching the success rate they have enjoyed over Glasgow in the past four years, Edinburgh winning seven of the nine meetings of the two sides since the beginning of 2015, six of their last seven meetings at the national stadium and the 1872 Challenge Cup that is contested between the two in three of the last four seasons.

They already held the upper hand, but that seems only to have been strengthened by Cockerill, Saturday’s win having been the team’s third in four derby matches since he arrived, yet he remains insistent that Glasgow should be seen as having the upper hand ahead of Saturday’s return match at Scotstoun.

“They’re are top of their (Pro14) pool, they’ve got a stellar squad of big names in that backline. We are Edinburgh and we do what we do; we haven’t got the depth that they have. The sum of our parts is the key for us, the bit that is really important,” he said.

“We don’t rely on individual brilliance because we haven’t got it. We rely on team spirit and good cohesion and good strategy. We don’t rely on giving it to a bit of stardust to give us some magic because we don’t have it.

“They are at home. They have all the national players… the whole backline, all that stuff. We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing.”

Since Edinburgh are unbeaten at home in eight months, but correspondingly won their first competitive away match in the same period only the previous weekend in Newcastle, so that point about the change of venue is all the more relevant, but belief is growing.

“For me, it’s not about being favourites or not. It’s about making sure we are consistent. When I arrived 18 months ago, this team was a bottom-four team that nobody respected. 18 months later we are a team that has some cohesion and we have some bloody good men in that changing room. We are working hard and they are bloody good players. Give it another 24 or 36 months,” said Cockerill.

“I said it last year, we ain’t going away. We’re going to stay here for a long time and were going to get better. That’s what we’re going to do.”

Cockerill also needs no reminding, though, that after a remarkable win for his side on the same weekend last year, after they had a man sent off early on, his lone derby setback to date came the following weekend when they failed to score a point at Scotstoun and he knows they are unlikely to receive any more of the festive gifts that set up Saturday’s win.

“They are a good side and this will be another game, another opportunity. We had a bit of luck, we forced things with our defence, they made some errors and we scored off intercepts. That’s unlikely to happen next week,” he said.“We’ve got to sharpen our attack a little bit, but we play how we play, we do what we do and will see where we get to.”