Glasgow Warriors 8

Edinburgh 16

Edinburgh retained the 1872 Cup at Scotstoun yesterday after making it back-to-back wins in this ancient inter-city fixture.

Doubtful if this match will be memorable in the early hours of next year, never mind the next decade, but this was another example of Edinburgh pragmatism – and a game-plan laid down by Richard Cockerill – completely undoing anything their hosts might have had in the way of potency.

If a week is a long time in politics, then it must have felt like an eternity for Glasgow coach Dave Rennie, who watched his side fail to function properly at Murrayfield. And as a result, he probably played out a season of matches in his head during the past seven days.

And no doubt that was why Rennie arrived at a starting 15 that showed six changes to the previous Saturday, none of which was terribly controversial or arguable. It was the kind of overhaul that suggested pride meant just as much as PRO14 points at Scotstoun.

In contrast, Richard Cockerill, his Edinburgh counterpart, went with just a solitary amendment. Life is easy when you are winning and, after victories over Newcastle in Europe and Glasgow domestically.

Just as nice, if not better, was the warm, if not loving reception ahead of kick-off in this tie, the ball delivered by Doddie Weir, OBE, an award earned for his services to rugby, MND research and Scottish Border life.

And it turned out the former Scotland No 5, adorned in Edinburgh weave, has backed a winner.

Edinburgh were first on the board, Jaco van der Walt landing a penalty from just inside Glasgow territory. That generated a vocal response from the Glasgow crowd, although down a few decibels on their response when referee George Clancy made the next award in favour of Edinburgh. Cue ironic applause for many of his calls thereafter.

Van der Walt’s high tackle on Adam Hastings was easy enough to spot, after some entrepreneurship from Tommy Seymour and Stuart Hogg. The latter kicked for the corner, Warriors winning the line-out but losing possession when Hogg threw a pass that was readable from the stand, never mind from a few yards away.

Parity was secured midway through the first half, Hastings kicking the penalty after several attempted charges from the Warriors pack was repelled.

There was a growing frustration, even this early, at some of the calls being made from referee Clancy. Most supporters, however, spotted the infringement that gave van der Walt his second penalty and Edinburgh a 6-3 advantage.

There was some running rugby, but none of it resulted in an end-product.

Duhan van der Merwe, the Edinburgh wing and man of the match at Murrayfield, was given a chance to stretch his legs but spilled the ball in contact.

Edinburgh almost immediately found themselves back on halfway.

Given conditions were dry, the handling from both sides was below-par, James Johnstone arguably the biggest culprit inside the Glasgow 22.

The expectant Glasgow audience, willing their charges to show some flare, looked gaunt-faced when Stuart Hogg failed to emerge after the turnaround.

He wasn’t the only one to disappear. Oli Kebble was yellow-carded after a collapsed scrum.

Needing a specialist prop for the next scrum, Jamie Bhatti came on for Matt Fagerson, the No 8, and found himself reeling backwards as Edinburgh made their numerical advantage count.

And without a direct opposite to counter him, Bill Mata picked up and rampaged towards the Glasgow line. While halted, Edinburgh were not beaten, and Stuart McInally spun his way out of three tackles and in for the score, van der Walt converting.

At 13-3 down, and still a man short, it looked an uphill climb – sheer, if truth be told – back into this one for Glasgow.

The usual spate of substitutions and replacements took place, as Glasgow tried to find some kind of way back into a game that was fast becoming a lost cause, more so when van der Walt knocked over another penalty to stretch Edinburgh’s superiority.

Niko Matawalu tried his level best to ignite some urgency within the Warrior ranks. However, against a teak-hard Edinburgh defence, the Fijian, like so many over the preceding 160 minutes, came up short.

There was a consolation try for George Horne, unconverted by Hastings, three minutes from time. Too little to late, and the spoils, in terms of silverware and points, belonged to Edinburgh.