Historic play-off spot and 1872 Cup on the line as Edinburgh host Glasgow
Edinburgh Rugby face Glasgow Warriors at Murrayfield in an 1872 Cup decider this evening knowing a point would also secure their first-ever Pro 14 play-off spot. Preview by Gregor Kerr.
With one game remaining in the Pro14 conferences, Edinburgh Rugby need just a point this Saturday against their rivals Glasgow Warriors if they are to find themselves in their first-ever play-off spot.
And with both sides claiming a win apiece in the previous two meetings this season, the 1872 Cup sits perfectly in the balance.
Glasgow already lead Conference A and have a home semi-final to look forward to, but Edinburgh will require at least something from the game, as 4th place Ulster will be waiting in the wings to capitalise on any slip-ups.
Normally, a game with these implications would already write the story itself but factoring in one of the biggest rivalries in world rugby only ramps up the magnitude of this meeting at Murrayfield.
Edinburgh have not finished above their rivals in seven years but based on recent performances you could belief the tide is turning, and head coach Richard Cockerill is a firm believer.
“They’re (Glasgow) starting to get a bit twitchy because they know – and we know – we’re good enough to beat them,” he said.
“Glasgow have been the sort of privileged elder brother for a long time and we’re starting to redress that, and we want to be competing with and overtaking Glasgow in the next 12 months or so.
“They’ve lived in a relatively comfortable way because Edinburgh have been so poor over the years, but now we’re a side that’s improving and performing, and we’re a team that wants to supersede them in the Scottish rankings and be the number-one team in Scotland.”
Edinburgh’s full-back Blair Kinghorn and fly-half Jaco van der Walt both came off in their side’s recent battering of Scarlets with knee and head injuries respectively, but are fit and ready for Saturday’s clash.
The capital side will be full of confidence with that win two weeks ago, as they cruised to their heaviest win of the season at home to Scarlets, winning 52-14.
Glasgow on the other hand travel to the capital on the back of a 36-15 defeat to Ulster, with one their star-men missing in the form of centre Huw Jones, who suffered facial injuries in the recent loss.
Head coach Dave Rennie described the meeting as a “huge clash” for both sides.
“There’s a cup at stake which has a lot of history and that means a lot to our fans,” he said.
“There’s lots of motivating factors for us. We’ve got to make a statement for ourselves. We know they are desperate. We have to throw the first punch, so to speak.”
This will be the first time that the 1872 Cup is decided over three-legs. For the previous ten years, it was decided over two legs, with Glasgow leading Edinburgh 7-3 in trophy victories, including last year’s edition.
This came after the two sides were split into separate conferences this season to accommodate the introduction of South African teams in the Pro12, leading to the league scheduling an additional two derby matches.