Late Van der Merwe score seals derby win
Edinburgh gained a measure of revenge for last week’s defeat at Scotstoun by snatching a late 19-14 victory over Glasgow Warriors in the BKT United Rugby Championship thanks to a late Duhan van der Merwe try.
But there was some compensation for the Warriors who lifted the 1872 Cup after winning on aggregate.
Trailing 22-12 from the first leg eight days earlier, the home team needed to win by 13 points or more at Murrayfield to lift the silverware.
The capital side never managed to pull away however, playing in front of record crowd for a Scottish club rugby fixture, with 37, 904 in attendance at Scottish Gas Murrayfield.
After beginning with a high-tempo attack in which Tom Jordan came close to breaking through, Glasgow took an early lead when Edinburgh offended and the penalty was sent to touch deep inside the home 22.
Johnny Matthews, always a potent threat from such situations, finished off from the lineout maul and George Horne added the conversion.
Edinburgh hit back thanks initially to Darcy Graham. The winger tapped and ran with a penalty, getting close to the Warriors goal line.
Then, when play went left, Mark Bennett floated a superb pass to his fellow centre Matt Currie, who dived to score in the left corner. Ben Healy was wide with the conversion attempt.
Inside the last five minutes of the half, another Glasgow penalty was sent to the corner.
The lineout drive was held up but Edinburgh offended again and the ball was sent back to touch – only for Matthews’ throw to be ruled not straight.
Ten minutes into the second half, a Healy penalty, awarded for a ruck offence, put his team ahead for the first time.
But it did not take long for Glasgow to regain the lead thanks to Stafford McDowall, who powered past three defenders before stretching out to reach the line.
Horne added the two points to put his team 14-8 ahead but with quarter of an hour left Healy halved the deficit with his second penalty of the day.
Then, inside the final 10 minutes, Darcy Graham robbed Glasgow of the ball inside his own 22 and broke before passing to van der Merwe.
The winger just had the stamina to reach the line before the defence closed him down, putting his team 16-14 ahead.
Healy’s conversion attempt missed but with time running out he made it 19-14 with another penalty before Edinburgh replacement Marshall Sykes was yellow-carded for foul play in the last minute.
BKT United Rugby Championship player of the match
Edinburgh wing van der Merwe not only scored a long-distance try late in the game, he also put in one of his best overall displays at club level. He went looking for work from the opening minutes and was always a threat.
Play of the match
Graham is best known as a superb finisher but the Edinburgh wing showed his versatility with minutes to go. First he stripped Glasgow of the ball at the breakdown inside his own 22 and then broke and put in van der Merwe for his team’s second try.