Edinburgh’s victories in both festive derbies may have rendered their end-of-season encounter with Glasgow Warriors meaningless in terms of their 1872 Challenge Cup contest, but the Scottish sides’ meetings with Irish opposition this weekend can ensure that it is a match that matters more than the previous two and may even set the home team up with a chance to level the score before the season is out.

Following their contrasting exits from the Champions Cup the previous weekends both responded well in recovering from conceding early scores to claim impressive wins, though once again the men from the capital earned greater credit by heading to Llanelli to beat the 2017 champions and last year’s beaten Champions Cup semi-finalists in a match that mattered as much to the Scarlets as to their visitors.

That has been the pattern of this season, the Scottish sides looking ever more evenly balanced, but Edinburgh, not least on the back of their seventh and eighth wins in their last 10 meetings with their closest neighbours, continuing to look like the team on the up, whereas Glasgow seem at best seem to be stagnating.

While the only Scottish win in a Champions Cup quarter-final – Edinburgh’s defeat of Toulouse in 2012 - looked even more anomalous than it did at the time when they failed to win a match in the competition the following year, then suffered a four year absence from it between 2014 and 2018, this season’s performance was of a different order as they beat three time champions Toulon home and away, then Montpellier in a winner-take-all pool decider before being squeezed out in a captivating quarter-final with Munster.

Their rise has consequently introduced a different dynamic to the remaining derby, or derbies as they have built on last season’s revival that saw them reach the play-offs for the first-time. Failure to repeat that would take something of the sheen off this season’s European efforts, but knowing they probably needed four wins from their four post-Six Nations matches, inflicting what was only the fourth defeat in 24 matches this season on European and Pro14 champions Leinster was a fine start and Saturday’s characterful recvery from 12-0 down at the break to deny the Scarlets so much as a losing bonus point kept them on course.

With the toughest looking schedule of the four teams involved in a race for the remaining two play-off places behind Leinster, they remain fourth overall and can anticipate no help from elsewhere,. Beat second placed Ulster on Friday, though and everything would point towards the prospect of a visit to Scotstoun to meet a Glasgow side looking for the win that will earn top spot in their Conference and a home semi-final. The worst case scenario could see Edinburgh fail even to get into the play-off between the fourth placed sides in each Conference for the seventh Champions Cup spot allocated to the Pro14, but should they win both they will likely finish third, which could mean the biggest derby of all would seem them back at Scotstoun for a third time this season in the quarter-finals.

Having recruited much more vigorously than Glasgow these past two seasons, victories in two more derbies would confirm the impression that the balance of power has shifted back to the east at a time when three Edinburgh teams and one from the Borders are getting ready for involvement in the domestic game’s new professional tier from which Scotland’s biggest city has been excluded. Silverware may not be on offer, then, but derby rugby has never mattered more than it looks like doing at the end of this season with the teams’ shared ownership surely rendered irrelevant by all that is at stake.