Glasgow co-captain Fraser Brown scored a try on his 100th appearance as Warriors ruined the Edinburgh fans’ long-awaited return to BT Murrayfield. About 700 home supporters formed the first crowd inside a rugby ground since the lockdown in a test event authorised by the government, but they saw their side go down to a 15-3 defeat.
Edinburgh had already sealed top spot in Guinness PRO14 Conference B but their much-changed side failed to excite their supporters or build any momentum ahead of next weekend’s semi-final against Ulster.
The teams conceded 23 penalties between them in a very scrappy encounter but Glasgow managed tries in each half from Brown and Ratu Tagive to hand Danny Wilson a first win as head coach in their final game of the season.
After clinching a home semi-final with their 30-15 derby win last weekend, which also allowed them to retain the 1872 Cup, Edinburgh made ten changes. Fly-half Nathan Chamberlain, 20, and 22-year-olds Charlie Shiel and Jamie Hodgson were among those coming in as Richard Cockerill rotated his squad ahead of next weekend.
Wilson largely went for continuity after losing his first match in charge of Glasgow with even the late withdrawal of Richie Gray keeping his changes at three. Gray pulled out as a precaution while a family member awaited the result of a Covid-19 test.
— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) August 28, 2020
Chamberlain missed an early penalty and Glasgow went ahead in the eighth minute when Brown came from the back of a lineout maul to force his way over. Adam Hastings converted. Warriors centre Huw Jones was again handed the full-back berth but he was sin-binned in the 14th minute for a high tackle on Hamish Watson inside the 22. Edinburgh appealed for a penalty try but had to settle for three points as Chamberlain kicked over.
Glasgow survived the numerical disadvantage without major scares and the game continued in an untidy manner before the visitors pushed for a second try in the closing stages of the half.
Brown was heavily involved again as Warriors tried to force their way over but they were stopped at close range several times with referee Ben Blain twice checking try appeals on the big screen. Warriors passed up the chance to kick a penalty and had to settle for a four-point interval lead.
The second half started in even more untidy fashion with the lack of rhythm further exacerbated by a string of errors and the whistle of the referee, who was increasingly frustrating Cockerill with his decision-making. Edinburgh enjoyed their most enterprising period just before Glasgow’s second try, a quickly-taken penalty from Ali Price relieving the pressure and getting Warriors up the park.
Glasgow outnumbered Edinburgh on the left flank and Stafford McDowall was involved before Jones fed Tagive to go over on the hour mark. A Hastings penalty put the game further out of Edinburgh’s reach and their subsequent pressure proved too little, too late.
"Compare Cockerill’s win percentage to his 4 permanent predecessors and he handsomely outstrips them all… by any objective measure, Edinburgh are a team transformed"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 27, 2020
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