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Edinburgh: 3 (3) Glasgow Warriors: 15 (7)

... as sporting legend Alan Hansen once said.  The cultured defender was proved wrong on that occasion, but not this evening as the Warriors gained sweet revenge for the loss of the 1872 Cup last weekend.  Not that the kids in question did much wrong, but this was a match for grizzled veterans. Glasgow, with Man of the Match Fraser Brown and Rob Harley, the Ginger Ninja, to the fore, finished their season with a richly deserved victory.

Prior to this match, one of the major talking points appeared to have been the 700 spectator limit at BT Murrayfield that had been imposed on the SRU by the Scottish Government.  For an evening in part designed to prove the concept of punter attendance in these strange times, it was fair enough.  The Edinburgh management came up with a sensible approach to identifying The Elect and it's difficult to criticise the decisions they made.  The trademark call of 'Shoooo' certainly rang out from the Ultras when The Greatest Schoeman took the ball up.  My only worry was whether the notoriously temperamental Premier Sports app would faithfully relay procceedings live to the remote legions of the Embra tifosi.

Glasgow fielded a strong side on the night.  Their priority was to give their first choices another hit out and hopefuly a win before they take time off to prepare for the 2020/21 season proper.  From an Embra perspective, by contrast, this was a chance to keep the top team healthy for knock out rugby. 

As a result, the kids were unleashed, with a number of debuts. Like many, I was particularly looking forward to seeing the debut of the Charlie 'Chico' Shiel and Nathan Chamberlain half-back combination.  Two young men not lacking in talent, ambition and a bit of the X factor that Russell, Hastings, Price and Hornito have brought to the national team.  But there was still plenty of experience in the starting XV, Richie Gray's late withdrawal evened the forthcoming contest at the ineout, and there was the welcome return of Mr Darcy Graham on the wing.  Lots of power in the back row, but one wondered whether this time Glasgow might have the edge at the breakdown under the new law interpretations.  

The Warriors' breakdown woes continued from the off, Fagerson pinged on three minutes on his own 10 metre line, but Chamberlain's kick drifted just wide.  Glasgow then built up good field position, knocking a couple of penalties inside the enemy 22 to set up the attacking maul.  On the second attempt, skipper Fraser Brown on his century carried three Edinbugh defenders over for the try, smashing between the Edinburgh half backs.  Hastings' conversion put the visitors 0-7 up on 10 minutes.

The Gunners had a great chance shortly afterwards, van der Merwe fielded a loose clearance, beat a defender and cantered forward.  He released Shiel, who gave to Watson in the 22 heading towards the line.  Huw Jones took Watson high five metres out and, after a review, referee Blain penalised the Edinburgh-bound full back and carded him. Chamberlain nailed the three pointer to make it 3-7 on 15 minutes.

Once again, there were an awful lot of penalties in this match already.  But Glasgow held out well over the rest of the power play and repelled a period of concerted Edinburgh pressure deep in their 22 as Jones returned to the fray after 30 minutes.  The Warriors had the edge at the breakdown and control in the set piece in this tight match.  And the half ended with them pummeling the Gunners' tryline.  They seemed to be making progress, inching closer and closer, but the home defence just held out, surviving two separate reviews.  The second effort saw Brown, looking for his brace, confirmed as having knocked the ball on in the act of crossing.  

That left the score 3-7 at the break and the Embramen were still in this one, despite being under the cosh for much of the half.  Particularly as the Gunners tend to concede very few points in the second period and finish strongly, it was all still to play for.

Only a couple of minutes into the second period, Edinburgh changed their front row, both to protect the starters and give McInally, WP Nel and Rory Sutherland just a bit more gametime ahead of the Ulster match. 

Inevitably, as the Premier Sports app malfunctioned again on the hour, it looked like the Gunners might be upping the pace, only for Ali Price to break superbly from defence to deep into the Gunners' half.  Glasgow put in several quick phases, with Brown breaking through the defensive line a key moment.  The ball was shipped to the left wing for Tagive to cross in the corner for a fine try and a 3-13 advantage to the Warriors.  Hastings knocked over a penalty shorly afterwards to stretch the lead to 3-15 on 65 minutes.  All of a sudden Edinburgh had a mountain to climb as they emptied the bench.

In the final 10 minutes, the Gunners enjoyed good field position and posession, but little handling errors and tenacious Glasgow defence kept them out.  The match rather petered out as the Warriors ran out deserved 3-15 victors.

Edinburgh, meanwhile, look ahead to the PRO14 semi-final tie at BT Murrayfield next weekend.  There is much work to do, on the basis of this evening's showing, but they have every chance of overcoming Ulster and earning the right to have a crack at Leinster in a one off match in the final.  This evening saw no injury concerns, a few more minutes in the legs and plenty of work-ons for the week to come.  Not a bad position to be in.