Edinburgh Rugby A ran out deserved victors against Glasgow Warriors A on the back pitches of BT Murrayfield on Monday night, winning 27-10.
Tries from Damien Hoyland and Tom Brown helped the home side build a 12-0 lead before Glasgow struck back through Rory Hughes and James Eddie to close to within two points at the break.
Number 8 Magnus Bradbury touched down at the beginning of the second half before fly-half Jade Te Rure increased the lead with a penalty. Hoyland’s second try sealed the win for the hosts.
Glasgow A started the game well and looked to pressurise the Edinburgh A line in the opening minutes. Good hands from back row forwards James Eddie and Will Bordill made sure Edinburgh A had to defend diligently before clearing their lines.
While the initial stages were dominated by Glasgow A, it was Edinburgh A who scored first. Making significant gains in Glasgow A territory, scrum half Sean Kennedy skilfully slipped a reverse pass to a speeding Damien Hoyland who skipped his way under the posts. Te Rure slotted the conversion to make it 7-0 after nine minutes played.
Edinburgh A were on the attack soon after and through a series of powerful charges from the forwards, found themselves back deep in Glasgow A territory. Glasgow A struggled to hold onto the ball in their own dead ball area, and Tom Brown gathered to score Edinburgh A’s second try. Te Rure was however unsuccessful with the conversion attempt.
Trailing 12-0, Glasgow A responded well and struck back within five minutes of Brown’s try. An interception from Gregor Young put the visitors on the front foot and a silky interplay between Fraser Lyle and Rory Hughes put the latter in for his side’s opening score. Lyle’s conversion fought valiantly against a strong wind but was unsuccessful.
Whilst the Edinburgh A defence was resolute in the opening quarter of an hour, it began to creak as Glasgow A piled on the pressure. Flank forward Will Bordill broke through a gap in the defence and burst up the field before feeding fellow back-row forward James Eddie. The Scotland Sevens player easily sped away from oncoming defenders to score the second Glasgow A try. The conversion missing, the score remained 12-10 at the break.
On-loan player Hugh Blake was then taken off with concussion after suffering a heavy knock to the head. The youngster was initially knocked out but was able to sit up before leaving the field.
Having being under pressure at the culmination of the first half, Edinburgh A started the second with an intensity akin to that of certain points in the opening 40 minutes. Early territory and possession counted for the home side as they stretched the Glasgow A defence to the limit. A series of penalties forced the visitors back even further and after another pummelling maul, number 8 Magnus Bradbury barged over the line for the third try. Te Rure added the simple extras from in front of the posts to extend the lead to 19-10.
Te Rure would make Glasgow A pay for indiscipline on 60 minutes as the new Kiwi recruit slotted a penalty to make the score 22-10.
Glasgow A’s defence began to tire and eventually could take no more as Edinburgh A spent the remaining 15 minutes in the opposition half. More content to play than to capitulate, Edinburgh A went in search of a fourth try. After innumerable phases, Hoyland bagged his second try of the night with a dive for the line in the corner. Te Rure missed the conversion but Edinburgh A were now out of sight.
Glasgow A battled till the end in search of another try of their own, but slight handling errors prevented the Warriors from achieving their goal. Staunch Edinburgh A defence forced several turnovers, despite indiscipline creeping into the closing stages. Nothing would come of any more phases of play and it was Edinburgh A who secured a 27-10 victory at a cold and blustery BT Murrayfield.
Coach Stevie Scott spoke of his delight post-match: “It was an important game for us tonight and we’re delighted with the win. We based our game on physicality and that’s what we asked for from the guys.”
“It’s great to have Damien back, he’s obviously done really well in the Sevens and he showed some great pace to score that try. It’s good that the Sevens is that tool to develop players and give them that confidence,” Scott said.
Scott also spoke of the opportunity for some of his A players to make selection for the upcoming 1872 Cup games against Glasgow Warriors. Edinburgh Rugby make the trip to Scotstoun this Saturday for the first in the back-to-back matches with the return fixture on January 2nd at BT Murrayfield.
Images: John Preece