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Glasgow see off Edinburgh to get back to winning ways and claim edge in 1872 Cup

Glasgow bounced back from three successive defeats in the Guinness PRO12 to see off Scottish rivals Edinburgh 25-12 in a fixture that was also the first leg of the 1872 Cup, a piece of silverware currently held by the capital club.

The visitors took the honours with tries from Junior Bulumakau, Josh Strauss and Alex Dunbar, while Finn Russell added two conversions and a brace of penalties as Glasgow got the better of a home side that had only four Duncan Weir penalties to show for their efforts.

A game that had promised much from two sides intent on playing open rugby never managed to shrug off the festive lethargy and, although tense and keenly contested, was a disappointing encounter for the 21,036 spectators.

That did not look like it was going to be the case, though, as the Warriors made a barnstorming start to open the scoring inside the first minute.

Bulumakau sprinted after a clever kick by Dunbar and, when the ball ricocheted off Blair Kinghorn's leg as the Edinburgh man covered back, the Glasgow winger pounced to touch down.

The hosts clawed back three points when Hamish Watson blasted into the opposition 22 and a penalty for preventing the release handed Weir a simple opportunity which he gladly accepted.

For Glasgow, Russell displayed some clever work with the boot, while there was an elusive run by home centre Chris Dean that almost unlocked the visitors' defence, but little else to keep the bumper audience entertained as the clock ticked past the 20-minute mark.

A penalty despatched into touch inside the Glasgow 22 was wasted when Edinburgh failed to secure the ensuing lineout ball. However, the referee issued a warning for the initial offence and, when the Warriors offended at the next breakdown, he sent Alex Allan to the sin bin. And Weir exacted full retribution when he booted the penalty to edge Edinburgh in front.

The home side failed to capitalise on their numerical superiority, however, and when Allan returned to the fray, Edinburgh's advantage was still a single point.

The prop's next involvement was to lend his weight to a powerful Glasgow drive following a close-range lineout, a surge that ended with Strauss applying the final touch down over the line to regain the initiative for Glasgow.

Russell's successful conversion created a 12-6 lead which had grown by a further three points at the interval after he slotted a straightforward penalty with the final action of the half.

The second period resumed in the same error-strewn fashion, although there were glimpses of the threat posed by Glasgow full back Stuart Hogg as he sought to become more involved in the proceedings.

The visitors had a chance to extend their lead but Russell was off target with a relatively simple penalty effort eight minutes after the restart. Weir showed him how it was done when he banged over a three pointer following a scrum offence.

Russell had another opportunity to boost the Glasgow points tally after Magnus Bradbury was penalised at the breakdown. The ball fell from the tee as the stand off lined up his kick, but he was alert enough to steer a drop goal between the posts.

Weir kept Edinburgh in the game entering the final quarter when he booted his fourth penalty, but once again the momentum swung Glasgow's way when Johnny Gray charged down an attempted clearance by Weir and forced his former team-mate to carry the ball over his own line.

Edinburgh escaped unpunished after stealing the ball at the scrum, but Glasgow were soon back on the attack and they struck the killer blow in the 68th minute with a third try.

A period of sustained pressure stretched the home defence before Russell sparked a slick handling move that saw the ball swept wide and ended with Sean Lamont providing the scoring pass for Dunbar. Russell added the conversion.

Edinburgh began the chase for a losing bonus point but failed to take advantage of the opportunities that came their way and ended the evening empty handed after Vilame Mata was held up over the line in the final play of the match.


From Belfast Telegraph