1872 Cup | Edinburgh and Glasgow's season so far
With the opening leg of the 1872 Cup this weekend, we take a look at both clubs’ season so far.
After a season that saw the club reach a Guinness PRO14 Final and Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final, it came as little surprise when a host of Glasgow Warriors were called upon by their respective countries for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. (A total of 16 players – including 12 Scotland internationals – made the trip to Japan, more than any other northern hemisphere club.)
The Warriors began the 2019/20 campaign with a couple of disappointing defeats to Cheetahs and Scarlets before recording a first win of the season against Cardiff Blues at Scotstoun. Defeat to the Dragons in Newport halted the club’s momentum, but there was to be no stopping the Warriors a week later when, with their World Cup stars back in tow, an eight-try dismissal of the Southern Kings at Scotstoun saw Glasgow run up an unanswered half-century in front of the Warrior Nation.
A brace from George Horne helped his side back up the defeat of the South African side with a 31-7 victory over Zebre in Parma, before the Heineken Champions Cup rolled back around for Rennie’s men. A DTH van der Merwe try proved decisive in a 13-7 win over Sale Sharks at Scotstoun in round one, with Exeter Chiefs proving too strong for the Warriors at Sandy Park in round two.
After a brief return to Guinness PRO14 action saw Leinster emerge victorious at Scotstoun, the Warrior Nation travelled in numbers to La Rochelle for the first part of the club’s December double-header in the Heineken Champions Cup. A thrilling encounter in the south-west of France saw the Warriors turn on the style; a try-of-the-season contender from Kyle Steyn gave the visitors a 27-24 victory at the Stade Marcel Deflandre, and whilst the reverse fixture went the way of the French side the Warriors served notice of the rugby they’re capable of producing.
At the other end of the M8, Edinburgh have enjoyed their best ever start to a league campaign. With five wins in seven, the BT Murrayfield outfit currently sit in third place in Guinness PRO14 conference B, just two points behind leaders Munster.
Having started the season with an eight-try demolition of Zebre (with Scotland international Mark Bennett grabbing an opening day hat-trick) the capital side followed up with an equally impressive away win against Cardiff Blues. Further wins over Dragons and Scarlets kept Edinburgh on pace at the top, while a historic victory win against Munster at Irish Independent Park – the club’s first in Cork since 2004 – meant the club finish the opening block of PRO14 fixtures with a record points tally.
That league form has also translated onto the European stage, beginning their Challenge Cup campaign with a comprehensive 10-31 victory in Agen. A 16-16 draw against French Top 14 powerhouse Bordeaux-Begles at BT Murrayfield was followed by a 31-20 bonus-point win over Wasps, maintaining the team’s unbeaten home record, but more importantly keeping them in second place in Challenge Cup Pool 3.
Both clubs now turn their attention to the annual festive derby: The 1872 Cup.
So many players have been in sparkling form for their club throughout the season so far, e.g. Duhan van der Merwe, Mark Bennett, Blair Kinghorn and Viliame Mata for Edinburgh, and Callum Gibbins, Scott Cummings and Kyle Steyn for Glasgow. These in-form players are joined by a host of Scotland international for this weekend’s clash at Scotstoun - Stuart McInally, Hamish Watson, Jonny Gray, Darcy Graham, Adam Hastings, George Horne, Huw Jones are all playing this weekend - so it’s no wonder the match has been sold out for weeks and that ticket sales for the return leg at BT Murrayfield on Saturday 28 December (kick-off 3pm) are already hitting record numbers and hinting at the biggest ever 1872 Cup crowd!
Current holders Edinburgh are looking to claim bragging rights for the third consecutive year, an unprecedented feat in the club’s history. But the Warriors will be more determined than ever to stop them in Dave Rennie’s last season in charge before heading off to become Australia’s head coach.
What a treat in store: as mouth-watering a prospect as your Christmas dinner!
Edinburgh Rugby v Glasgow Warriors, Sat 28 December, 3pm
Tickets for the 1872 Cup at BT Murrayfield are still available to purchase HERE.